What is the Porsche 911 GT3 RS?

Say hello to the latest member of the Porsche Sportmade family – the Porsche 911 GT3 RS. An athlete both on and off the track, this all-new aerodynamic wonder follows its 2013 predecessor – the 911 GT3 RS (Type 991 II) – and is presented in a more radical form than ever before, thanks to its lightweight construction and incredible attention to detail. Never before has Porsche put such levels of effort into the development of one of its Porsche GT sportscars.

It’s easy to get a sense of just how much went into developing the 911 GT3 RS when listening to Andreas Preuninger, Director GT Model Line at Porsche, talking about the car. “I don’t remember any project where we spent more days and nights – countless hours – inside the wind tunnel,” he explains, adding that the end result proves that the long hours were worth it. “It offers such a rewarding driving experience on the track. It puts a smile on my face, and on all of the development drivers’ too, every time we drive it.”

Close-up of Porsche 911 GT3 RS parked on racetrack
Porsche 911 GT3 RS: the promise of pure driving euphoria both on track and road

How powerful and fast is the new 911 GT3 RS?

The 911 GT3 RS quickens the pulse like very little else can. You are catapulted by the 4.0-litre, high-revving, naturally aspirated 525PS engine from 0-100km/h in just 3.2 seconds. With up to 465Nm of torque available to you, you’ll barely have time to draw breath as you make extraordinarily rapid progress through the gears. Top speed is a dizzying 296km/h. Its lightweight stainless steel sports exhaust system ensures a dramatic, unfiltered sound experience up to a maximum of 9,000rpm. With 860kg of downforce at 285km/h – a speed reached on the Nürburgring’s Döttinger straight – coupled with the Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) seven-speed automatic gearbox, acceleration and grip is at levels that constantly enthral and entertain. 

What’s the difference between the 911 GT3 and the 911 GT3 RS? 

The 911 GT3 and 911 GT3 RS are cars that have both been developed to make every second count, but that RS suffix – standing for ‘Rennsport’ or ‘racing’ – signals the intentions of the 911 GT3 RS from the moment you see it written along its flanks. It takes a mere glance to recognise the wider body and huge rear wing – which rises even above the roofline of the car. An imposing, sporty look. Designed to push things harder and for longer when you are on the track, with 15PS more available to you, and a wealth of aerodynamic detailing, it all adds up to triple the downforce when compared to the 911 GT3. This is a serious track day vehicle. No compromises have been made.

So how does it really feel when driving the 911 GT3 RS in its natural habitat – the racetrack? “It’s a racecar driver’s dream come true,” says Porsche test driver Jörg Bergmeister. “All this makes it the best-handling 911 road car ever on a racetrack. It’s so much fun, especially in the high-speed corners – the performance is just amazing.”  

Is the 911 GT3 RS a track car only?

Wherever you go, it goes. The street-legal 911 GT3 RS is as happy on the road as the racetrack.  Alongside its phenomenal performance, overall drivability has been improved, too. The electronic damping control system actively and continuously adjusts based on current road conditions and driving style. At low speeds, this system steers the rear wheels in the opposite direction to the front for increased agility, especially through bends. At high speeds, the rear wheels are steered in the same direction as the front for optimal stability – perfect for when it comes to overtaking on the racetrack. With this kind of all-round performance, the 911 GT3 RS proves itself to be an exceptionally versatile sportscar.

Porsche 911 GT3 on track – view of rear wing
Increased downforce means personal best times are always around the corner

What makes the 911 GT3 RS more aerodynamic than ever before? 

Packing 40kg more downforce, the 911 GT3 RS also hits a new milestone in Porsche road car aerodynamics, with its perfect aero balance equalling a set-up that’s suitable for every condition on the racetrack. “With over 1,500 simulations and 250 hours spent in the wind tunnel, we’ve been able to achieve a new level of performance. We doubled the downforce compared to its predecessor,” explains Matias Roll, aerodynamics engineer at Porsche. This radical change is due in part to new packaging in the form of an S-Duct front with single-cooler concept that ensures improved downforce and brake-cooling aerodynamics – a concept that is also used in uncompromising Porsche racecars such as the 911 GT3 R. Tackling the challenge of headwinds head-on, the 911 GT3 RS was designed to use air flow optimally with every component. For example, a new passage for the air behind the front wheels was designed to optimise venting and air flow, with roof fins continuing the work on top.

The two-piece rear section – made from a fixed main blade and a moveable second element of the flap – marks the first time in Porsche road car history where a vehicle includes a high-performance wing which is also fully active and infinitely adjustable. Press the DRS button, and the flaps are turned to the low downforce position for the lowest drag. On the underside of the front of the car, another flap can be rotated by over 80 degrees in just 0.3 seconds to achieve the maximum downforce configuration. The extra wide-bodied rear coupled with the active system in the front reduces drag by almost 30 per cent.  

Side view of Porsche 911 GT3 RS racing on track
Less is more: laps are thrillingly swift with the super lightweight Porsche 911 GT3 RS

How light is the 911 GT3 RS?

Addition by subtraction – the 911 GT3 RS has truly cracked the formula. Despite the significantly expanded equipment (like the wider wheels and body), its unladen weight checks in at only 1,450kg. Lightweight materials are used all over the car, with carbon fibre spanning the roof, front lid, bumpers, rear wing, suspension and, for the first time, the doors, shaving off almost 5kg. Ultra-thin, light glass is further used in the car. This not only optimises vehicle weight, but also improves interior acoustics by minimising external noise. On the inside, lightweight carpets and bucket seats were fitted alongside an extensive use of microfibre cloth. Speaking of the impressive construction inside and out, Andreas Preuninger says, “We looked at every component of the car. It’s our passion to make our cars as lightweight as possible.”  

911 GT3 RS cockpit in black and red materials
The full bucket seats in the 911 GT3 RS balance performance with comfort 

What’s so special about the motorsport-inspired interiors?  

Proving that comfort and racing exhilaration can go hand-in-hand, climbing aboard reveals sporty credentials worthy of the most elite athlete. The full bucket seats are made of carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) with a carbon-weave finish and black leather cover. GT3 RS lettering is embroidered on the headrests, while the seat centre sections come in black perforated Race-Tex with contrasting underlay. Adaptive, 18-way electric sports seats are available as an option, and the interiors can be furnished with advanced leather/Race-Tex features and contrasting Guards Red or GT Silver colours on request.

On the motorsport-orientated steering wheel, the four integrated mode switches offer more diverse setting options, from Drive Mode and Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) to Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTV Plus) and Traction Control (TC-ESC). The results? Heightened interactive connection between driver and car. At no extra cost, the Clubsport package comes as standard, comprising a steel roll cage – available in Black or iconic Guards Red – and a six-point racing harness for driver safety.

911 GT3 RS on black and white chequered racetrack grid
Every gram counts: choose the optional Weissach package for further weight savings in the 911 GT3 RS

What is the Weissach package for the Porsche 911 GT3 RS?

Available as an option, the Weissach package – named after the legendary Porsche development centre – makes every gram in the 911 GT3 RS count – reducing the overall weight by almost 15kg. With this option, the front lid, roof, top half of the exterior mirror and part of the rear wing sport a carbon weave finish (high-gloss), emphasising its motorsport personality. The chassis’ stabilisers on the front and rear axles, coupling rods on the rear side and CFRP shear panel also provide optimum weight savings for those determined to do all they can to help shave time off their personal best.

The carbon story continues inside, where the roll cage is finished in a carbon-weave (satin) that offers style and race protection all in one. The final flourishes can be seen in lightweight PDK gearshift paddles that are made of magnesium, a dashboard upper section covered with black Race-Tex and more interior elements dressed in the carbon weave finish (satin). You’ll also spot the Weissach motif itself on the passenger side and headrests in the form of the Weissach RS logo. All-in-all, this is a Porsche sportscar that is a compelling exercise in form follows function.  

Lightweight champion

Discover 911 GT3 RS
Porsche 911 GTS RS racing around bend of racetrack