With the latest generation of the 911 GT3 R, Porsche unveils a new customer racing car. The new challenger for GT3 series around the world is based on the current 992 generation of the iconic 911 platform and will be ready to race at the beginning of the 2023 season. Development began in 2019. Priority was given to further improving the drivability for drivers with various skillsets, as well as tapping larger performance reserves for different Balance of Performance (BoP) classifications. Another focus was on streamlining the handling of the race car for the teams and reducing the running costs. Porsche Motorsport now offers the new 911 GT3 R to North American customers at a price of $567,210 and optional extras. In the United States and Canada, the new racer is only available through Porsche Motorsport North America.
“In North America, GT3 is the top category of GT racing, as it soon will be around the world,” commented Volker Holzmeyer, president and CEO of Porsche Motorsport North America. “This made the new generation of the 911 GT3 R especially important to our market. Its development, which incorporates not only lessons learned from the previous generation GT3 R but also from the GT3 Cup one-make car as well as the 911 RSR, has made this car very appealing to our customer teams. Drivability is remarkably important to the wide range of drivers that we have competing here and that was a focus of the type 992 911 GT3 R. We have already had overwhelming interest in the car, and we are looking forward to seeing it turn its first wheel here soon.”
After the GT3 class was announced as a professional category in the North American IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) will follow suit. Beginning in 2024, GT3 racing cars such as the new 911 GT3 R will be eligible to take part in the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the first time.
“We hit the bull’s eye with the enormously successful predecessor. Accordingly, the bar for its successor is high,” emphasizes Sebastian Golz, 911 GT3 R Project Manager at Porsche Motorsport. “Our task was less about making the new 911 GT3 R even faster – the classification within performance windows set by the BoP quickly cancels out this advantage. For us, it was primarily about our customers being able to drive the racing car fast for longer. This requires durability and that’s why we focused predominantly on improved drivability. This is reflected in the new 4.2-liter engine’s broader usable rev band, more stable and constant aerodynamics and lower loads on the rear tires, which allow their potential to last longer.”
At the core of the new racing car is the near-standard engine based on the 992-generation 911 powerplant. Like in the previous model, it is a water-cooled flat-six engine with four-valve technology and direct fuel injection. The main new development is the displacement. Like the 911 RSR, the capacity of the new 911 GT3 R has increased by a five percent from 3,997 to 4,194 cc. This has boosted the engine’s peak output to around 565 HP (416 kW). More importantly, however, Porsche has optimized the torque and power curve across the entire rev range. Consequently, the new 4.2-liter six-cylinder is better suited for a wider range of driver experience.
The high-revving six-cylinder continues without turbocharging and sits in the classic rear position, thus enhancing traction and braking. However, it has been tilted forward by 5.5 degrees, creating more space for the underbody diffuser. Auxiliary components such as the alternator and the air conditioning compressor were moved significantly forward and further down into a space in front of the engine and gearbox, which has a positive effect on the weight balance of the 911 GT3 R. The sequential six-speed contest-mesh gearbox is derived from the current 911 GT3 Cup race car. Shift paddles control an electronic shift drum actuator that enables particularly rapid and precise gear changes.
The new 911 GT3 R’s suspension – many details of which have been modified – supports drivability, allows more precise steering, contributes to a reduction in wear on the rear tires and reduces the time spent on set-up changes. For this, numerous components and technical solutions were taken from the 911 RSR. At the front axle, a state-of-the-art double wishbone layout controls the wheels. The rear axle sports a multi-link design. The KW shock absorbers were further improved and offer five adjustment settings. Set-up modifications are done with plates known within the industry as shims. These shims enable precise adjustments without the need for the time-consuming re-alignment of the suspension afterwards.
The optimized positioning of the central pivot points at the front axle frees space for the aerodynamic “race underfloor” concept. Like in the 911 RSR, this elevated underbody allows for a clean flow of air to the rear diffuser and reduces the pitch sensitivity of the racing car – i.e. a high rake under braking. The rear wheels have been moved further back, which extends the wheelbase from 2,459 to 2,507 millimeters (8.0 feet to 8.22 feet). This also reduces the load on the rear tires and improves the consistency of the tires’ performance over longer stints.
In addition to the aluminum monobloc racing brake calipers, the brake discs on the new 911 GT3 R are now also supplied by the specialist company AP. The internally vented and slotted front steel discs measure 390 mm (15.35 inches) in diameter and are activated by six pistons. Fitted at the rear are four-piston calipers and discs measuring 370 mm (14.56 inches). A sophisticated software application for the fifth-generation racing ABS reduces wear on the tires and brakes. Porsche’s traction control system also received a further development.
The new 911 GT3 R is the second racing car from Porsche Motorsport to be based on the current type 992 911 after the 911 GT3 Cup. Its lightweight body with an intelligent aluminum-steel composite design draws on the production model, albeit with major modifications for use in the 911 GT3 R. Almost all body panels are made of lightweight carbon fiber, including the front and rear lids, doors, side panels, rear wing and roof. The wheel arches are made of aramid fibers.
In a vehicle like the new 911 GT3 R, functionality is key. Nevertheless, Grant Larson from Style Porsche again succeeded in creating particularly stunning and harmonious shapes. They accentuate the heritage of the Porsche 911 and blend it with sophisticated efficiency. Most notably, this is reflected in the aerodynamics. The key points include an elevated underbody ahead of the front axle, for the first time in conjunction with a smooth undertray, and a rear diffuser. This combination improves downforce without a significant increase in drag. The rear wing now features a swan-neck mount. This ensures clean airflow under the wing and thus improves the aerodynamic efficiency of the component.
The interior of the new car continues the theme of efficiency and evolution. The seat has moved closer to the center of the car. This enabled Porsche to optimally adapt the more ergonomic seat position to the improved roll cage and the newly developed FIA side impact protection mandates. Like in the predecessor, the steering wheel and pedals can be adjusted longitudinally to suit the driver while maintaining a fixed seat mount. Porsche specialists took another close look at the six-point harness. The tongues now slide even faster into the clasp via special ramps – saving about a second during pit stops for driver changes. The steering wheel design also received further upgrades on the previous model. It incorporates elements that have proven themselves in the latest generation 911 GT3 Cup and 911 RSR race cars. The 10.3-inch display, for example, comes from the successful one-make cup racer, with the multi-switch concept adopted from the Le Mans class winner.
The high-performance LED headlights on the 911 GT3 R rely on collimator technology, which Porsche developed for the new IMSA GTP and WEC LMDh 963 prototype, among others. This device works like a magnifying glass, only in reverse. It illuminates a particularly large area of the race track and is a significant improvement on the previous model, which had been regarded as the class leader.
Up-to-date information as well as film and photo material on Porsche Motorsport live from race tracks all over the world can be found on the Twitter channel @PorscheRaces, in the Porsche Newsroom and on the Porsche Motorsport Hub.