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Track weapon: it’s Porsche’s 911 GT3 R
But imagine if Porsche itself took the ultimate circuit-focused 911, and binned all the components necessary to make it road-legal? What sort of bewinged, stripped-out monster would result?
That’d be this: the brand new Porsche 911 GT3 R. Yours for €420,000 plus taxes, and featuring every nugget Porsche’s learnt about making rapid 911s. The word ‘weapon’ springs to mind.
Of course, we need to discuss that magnificent rear wing. Two metres across and 40cm wide, it dwarfs the road-going 911 GT3 RS’s poxy aerofoil. To balance its effect, the GT3 R’s grown a no-nonsense chin splitter and borrows the street car’s front wheelarch vent idea. Those shark-like gills reduce pressure behind the front wheels and funnel airflow over the body, increasing downforce as you accelerate.
The direct-injection, 4.0-litre flat-six is pretty much lock-stock from the street-legal RS, complete with high-pressure direct fuel injection and churning out a nice, round 500bhp.
Porsche says alterations to the valve timing have cut fuel consumption, while the fuel tank’s capacity is up a handy 12 litres. Why do you want a more efficient, less thirsty racing car? So you spend less time in the pits and more time hunting 458s and Corvettes, that’s why.
Because the 991-generation car is longer and has a more generous wheelbase than the old 997-gen racer, it’s a bit more stable at speed, but Porsche’s been scratching its head trying to keep the bigger bodyshell’s weight down.
So, in come carbon fibre panels, and for the first time ever the windscreen is made of polycarbonate. Plus, ditching two side-mounted radiators for one fitted low down in the car’s belly has dropped the centre of gravity. Everything about the GT3 R is from the school of little gains = big difference.
Because the GT3 R is on the market to anyone with the readies to hand, Stuttgart has had to consider the talent of certain drivers might not necessarily match their wealth and enthusiasm. The roof and doors are easily removable for extracting stricken playboy racers, the seats have been reshaped for better support as you arrive in the tyre wall, and the secret escape hatch in the roof is bigger. No need to skip lunch before your stint, then. Pity there’s no ejector seat, really.
You won’t see the new 911 GT3 R at Le Mans or the Nürburgring this year, with the first buyers getting their hands on their new toys in December 2015. Ah well. Until then the new 911 GT3 RS, complete with numberplates, will have to do…