Porsche recently lifted the wraps off the new 911 GT3 RS, packing the most powerful naturally aspirated engine of any 911. It’s the most track-capable 911 road car yet, having lapped the Nurburgring faster than the 918 Spyder. But now there’s an even more hardcore version: meet the new track-only Porsche 911 GT3 R, Porsche’s new customer racer for the 2019 GT3 series. Based on the road-going 911 GT3 RS production car, the thoroughbred racer uses a mostly identical 4.0-liter flat-six engine paired with a sequential six-speed gearbox.
In the 911 GT3 R, the unit has been tuned to deliver 550 horsepower and also has a wider rev range than its predecessor. Compared to the previous 911 GT3 R, the racecar's aerodynamics have been optimized with new front wheel arch vents and a massive rear wing providing significantly more downforce than the street car. Other modifications include an increased tire circumference at the front wheels from 25.5 to 26.7 inches, while Porsche’s new double wishbone suspension ensures superior braking performance and consistency over the duration of a race. Engineers have also increased the stiffness of the braking system and enabled more precise control of the ABS.
At the front axle are six-piston monobloc racing callipers made from aluminium combined with ventilated and grooved 390-mm discs. At the back, Porsche has installed four-piston calipers with 14.5-mm discs. Porsche has also improved the safety features of the 911 GT3 R by fitting a new bucket seat bolted at six points to to provide better protection for the driver in the event of an accident. Combined with an adjustable pedal box, Porsche says the driver’s center of gravity has been improved to increase safety in the event of an impact. The driver is also further protected by a side impact element added to the driver’s door made of carbon fiber Kevlar aluminum with energy-absorbing plastic.
To make it easier to fill up the 120-liter fuel tank and reduce the time spent in the pits, the 2019 911 GT3 R can be refilled from the left or right, depending on the track’s configuration. All windows are made from polycarbonate while a carbon-fiber composite material was used for the front hood, roof, doors, wheel arches, rear lid, and the interior trim to make the new racer as light as possible. Inside, the cabin has been redesigned and “all controls have been perfectly aligned to suit the needs of the driver.” There’s also now an air conditioning system for the first time in the 911 GT3 R linked directly to the driver’s helmet and seat.
Porsche is currently accepting orders for the 2019 911 GT3 R for €459,000 (around $548,000), plus country-specific value added tax. Customer deliveries will start in December.