It's called the 911 GT3 R and was unveiled this week in the run-up to the Nürburgring 24 Hours, where its price was announced: 429,000 euros plus tax (GT3s are getting more expensive all the time).
The new race car makes extensive use of everything premiered in the 991, employing the four-litre displacement direct injection petrol engine from the GT3 RS, but decaffeinated by the FIA's artificial 'performance balance' to 500 horsepower. The gearbox is a six-ratio racing sequential controlled by paddle shifters behind the steering wheel rim.
It receives a very intensive weight treatment. Obviously, the FIA, in its quest to artificially equalize the performance of the cars, also controls very much what is done on that front, but Porsche has been particularly clever. The aim has not only been to reduce the weight, but to place it "where it is in their interest", to maintain the benefits of the engine hanging behind the rear axle (superior traction at the exit of corners), but reducing its drawbacks (high polar moment of inertia).
Thus, intensive use is made of carbon fiber and aluminum in many elements of the bodywork, while all the glass of the car is replaced by polycarbonate, which seems quite risky for the windshield, given the amount of scratches that can withstand with the wiper during a long distance race. We assume they will have come up with some solution for this.
From the 911 GT3 RSR (a GTE homologated car, a pure racing machine that shares no suspension concept with the standard 911), the 911 GT3 R is inspired by its cooling concept. Thus, centralizes the cooling in the front of the car to mount a single radiator, well tucked into the nose of the car, to protect it in case of typical accidents and problems of a long-distance race. The hood gains new air vents to cool the radiator and also improve downforce on the front of the car, another historical problem area of the 911.
As we said above, the FIA achieves with its performance calibration system that all GT3 run more or less the same, something that is replicated by many organizers of championships where these cars run, as the ADAC when mounting the 24 Hours of Nürburgring, with the idea of maintaining the interest of manufacturers. But knowing this, manufacturers have been able to look for other areas where they can differentiate themselves from their rivals and get more competitive cars. Porsche demonstrates this with the concepts that I have told you: centralization of masses, lowering the height of the center of gravity, and a car that, a priori, will be harder when it comes to withstand the "bumps" of an endurance race.
Time will tell if the new 911 GT3 R is able to shine as some of their ancestors. Keep in mind that the engine will have its first test of fire (the GT3 Porsche ran until now with the legendary engine Mezger still), and will have to prove to be ready for an endurance race, while the car will also have to prove that its gearbox and suspension can withstand tests such as the 24 Hours of Nürburgring. And is that the old 911 GT3 R and GT3 Cup Cup were fast cars but proved to be somewhat "soft" at the Nürburgring, which made leading teams like the multi-champion of the 24 Hours, Team Manthey, preferred to run with the 911 GT3 RSR, the GTE car, much more expensive and much more capped by the organization in terms of performance artificially, to subtract competitive advantage. And in spite of that he won...
At the Nürburgring it will still be a year before we see the new 911 GT3 R in private hands.