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Porsche's 542bhp track-only 911 GT3 R is here
Hardcore track-focussed Porsche GT3 RS slots between the Cup and RSR race cars. We want one
There’s good news if you’re of the slightly deluded belief that the new 513bhp, 6m 56.4secs ‘Ring lapping Porsche GT3 RS isn’t light or track-focussed enough. This good news comes in the shape of the GT3 R: a track-only, single-street, stripped out racing 911 that’s based off the new road-going RS but sandwiched between the 911 Cup and RSR race cars.
Being a thoroughbred race car, everything that can be massaged out of the road-going RS for more performance has. This means more aero, more lightweight and more power. Plus a monstrous wing.
The GT3 R is built off an aluminium-steel chassis but the roof, front hood and fairing, wheel arches, doors, side and tail sections as well as the rear lid and interior trim are made of featherweight carbon-fibre composite. And anything that’s normally glass has been swapped out for lighter plastic options.
Powered by a near-as-identical 4.0-litre flat-six from the road-going RS, it’s been wound up to 542bhp, which, compared to the last GT3 R apparently offers better driveability and a broader, more usable rev range. It’s connected to a very serious sequential six-speed constant-mesh gearbox with an electronic shift actuator for lightning bolt gear changes even quicker and more precise than the road car. Which we thought was impossible. Meanwhile, braking is taken care of by six-piston aluminium monobloc racing calipers combined with ventilated and grooved 390mm steel brake discs at the front, and four-pot 370mm disc at the rear.
Like the road car, there are the now trademark slashes in the wheel arches. This time they’ve been supersized to release aero pressure more efficiently while a more defined diffuser and a bonnet with a giant crater in it suck the R to the floor. Other racy mods include a fuel cell that can be filled from either the left or right sides depending on which circuit you’re screaming around, and additional safety features in the newly redesigned cockpit. There’s a fixed-position seat, added carbon-fibre Kevlar side-impact panels and, for the first time in a GT3-spec Porsche, an air conditioning system. Oh, the luxury.
Prices start at £404k plus taxes, so if you’re a track day enthusiast and sick of wringing out an old Citroen Saxo, it might be time to go and buy a lottery ticket and sign yourself up to race at Spa.