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911 GT3 RS 3.8 – 450 ch [2010 à 2011]

Porsche 911 GT3 RS: Past, present and future

Porsche 911 GT3 RS

The history of an evo favourite

Turbo models might sit atop the Porsche 911 tree in terms of power and expense, but it’s the GT3 and even more focused GT3 RS models that really illustrate what Stuttgart’s engineers are capable of.

The latest 991-based car has recently been spotted in a car park in the automaker’s hometown, giving a clue as to its upgrades over the standard GT3 – evo’s Car of the Year in 2013.

RS beginnings: The RS 2.7

The RS (‘RennSport’, or ‘racing sport’ in English) lineage began with the Carrera RS 2.7 of 1973, its lightweight build and race-bred engine pointing the way for future models carrying the badge.

Performance, for its day, was staggering: 0-60mph in 5.6sec, 100mph in 12.8sec and 150mph at the top end. RS models were visually apparent by a small ducktail spoiler on the rear deck and a lower, deeper front splitter.

Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7

Carrera script was pasted along the sills, its colour replicated on the distinctive Fuchs alloy wheels. Inside, the RS’s cabin was Spartan, even by the standards of modestly-equipped contemporary 911s.

996 GT3 RS

Several models have since carried the RS moniker, but in the modern era it was the 996 GT3 RS of 2003 that revived the name. Based on the 996 GT3, the RS featured an upgraded 381bhp version of the ‘Metzger’ racing engine.

In its basic form, the water-cooled flat-six was developed for Porsche’s 1990s GT1 racing models, and has since become legendary in Porsche circles through its installation in GT3 models.

Uprated springs and dampers replaced those of the regular GT3, with a high-downforce rear wing and distinctive decals paying homage to those on the 1973 RS.

997 GT3 RS

A GT3 RS version of the Porsche 997 followed, once again eclipsing the standard GT3 – unique features included a plastic rear window to aid weight reduction and a wider track for greater grip and stability.

The 997 GT3 RS reached its zenith with the GT3 RS 4.0 of 2011 – a 493bhp road-going racer capable of 62mph in 3.9sec, brushing 193mph and limited to just 600 examples worldwide.

As the pinnacle of 911 development at the time, it was an obvious inclusion in evo’s 2011 Car of the Year test, and duly walked away with the title against stiff competition – 2011’s Algarve-based eCotY also saw debuts from the McLaren MP4-12C, BMW 1M Coupe and Porsche’s own Cayman R.

991 GT3

The latest generation of GT3 broke the traditional mould in several areas. Out was the manual gearbox, in favour of a seven-speed PDK. Also dropped was hydraulic power assisted steering, replaced by an electric setup.

The ‘Metzger’ engine was also finally replaced, its 3.8-litre successor producing 468bhp at a screaming 8250rpm. A spate of engine failures caused by faults in an external supplier’s part sullied its early reputation but there’s little doubt the 991 GT3 provides the perfect basis for an RS model.

991 GT3 RS: What we know

Details on the latest car are limited to those apparent from the hastily-grabbed Instagram images posted online, but the new car is notable for its sizeable rear wing, deeper front spoiler and pressure-reducing vents in the front wings.

Inside, a set of 918 Spyder-inspired seats is also visible, with a yellow strip denoting the top of the Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel.

If previous RS models are anything to go by, it’s likely the new car will also feature several weight-reducing elements – perhaps including a plastic rear screen – an extra injection of power and some unique colour scheme and decal options.

No set release date has been announced either, but best indications point to a launch at the Geneva motor show in March.


Antony Ingram

6 Jan 2015
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993 RS v 997 GT3 RS: the Rennsport showdown

For Porsche, the letters ‘RS’ conjure up a rich image of sporting achievement and excellence, twinned with impressive road-going performance earned the hard way through countless racing victories. To its credit, the Stuttgart manufacturer has ensured that since 1973, each successive major evolution of the 911 has featured the RS badge in its line-up, and each has in turn taken the sub-model to new levels of motoring greatness.

RS3

At the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1993, Porsche unveiled its all-new 3.6-litre Type 993 model, the first 911 to be completely redesigned from the ground up. It was, however, only in 1995 that the Carrera RS was introduced, featuring a larger 3,746cc engine with Porsche’s innovative VarioRam induction system. Weighing 100kg (220lbs) less than the standard Carrera, the higher performing, air-cooled RS ran on three-piece, 18-inch ‘Cup’ wheels as standard equipment.

RS2

Fast forward little over a decade later to the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show and the motoring world was introduced to the Type 997 GT3 RS, the embodiment of the Stuttgart manufacturer’s latest technology, now boasting a 450bhp, 3.8-litre water-cooled engine. To some it’s a ‘street-legal race car’ while others say it’s a ‘Porsche for purists’.

The motivation for producing both the 993 RS and 997 GT3 RS was homologation for motorsport, and ultimately to demonstrate how motorsport influences and inspires the design and manufacture of road cars at Porsche. In particular, the later car was virtually identical to the GT3 Cup race car of the same period, which in turn provided the foundation for the success of the 997 GT3 RSR in international GT racing.

RS4 To read the full feature of our Rennsport showdown, pick up your copy of Total 911 issue 106 from the Imagine Shop or download in digital form via GreatDigitalMags.com.
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