Porsche has ramped up the already heady performance of the 911 GT3 RS through the adoption of a new naturally aspirated 4.0-liter version of the company's venerable flat-six engine.
The new Porsche Motorsport-developed unit kicks out an extra 50hp more than the 3.8-liter powerplant used in the existing 911 GT3 RS, producing a 911 Turbo-equaling 493hp at a soaring 8250rpm – some 350rpm higher than before.
Along with the increase in peak power, the largest-capacity engine ever offered in a road-going 911 develops an additional 22lb-ft of torque, taking the peak figure to 339lb-ft. The maximum twist is now developed 1000rpm earlier in the range at 5750rpm, promising a more flexible delivery.
Porsche claims a 0-62mph time of 3.9sec for the 2,998lb 911 GT3 RS 4.0 – a scant 0.1sec inside the time quoted for the old model. It also quotes a 0-124mph (200kph) time of under 12sec, although the company points out that the gearing and aerodynamics of the new car, like those of its direct predecessor, can be altered. The old 911 GT3 RS was rated at 13.3sec for 0-124mph.
Along with the new engine, the 911 GT3 RS 4.0 adopts a new aerodynamic package that features downforce-enhancing deflector vanes, called "flics" or dive planes, on the outer edges of the front bumper. Further developments are claimed to increase the maximum downforce acting on the rear axle to more than 420lbs. In its standard setting, the rear wing permits a top speed of 193mph.
The chassis includes a revised setup for the Porsche Active Suspension Management system, plus additional ball joints. The changes take the car closer to the GT2 RS's setup than that of the regular GT3 RS. Special red Alcantara leather details feature in the cabin (RIGHT)
In recent testing, the new 911 – the last of the existing 997-series models before the planned appearance of an all-new, 991-designated model at the Frankfurt auto show in September – established a Nurburgring lap time of 7min27sec, although Porsche emphasizes that it is not a final figure. By comparison, the old model claimed a lap time of 7min33sec there.
Underlining its competition background, the 911 GT3 RS 4.0 will be sold exclusively in an all-white paint scheme at a price of $185,000 when it goes on sale in the U.S. in late 2011. Production of the new car, which replaces the regular GT3 RS in the lineup, will be at Porsche's Zuffenhausen manufacturing plant alongside standard versions of the 911. Only 600 examples will be built.