It will tackle both WEC and IMSA events in 2017

Porsche attended this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show to showcase the second-gen Panamera, including the long-wheelbase Executive version, but the German manufacturer also used the American event to introduce a new race car: the 911 RSR. Revised following the 991.2 facelift applied to the road-going model, the RSR will tackle the 2017 racing season with a host of new features, as well as a new engine.

The unit in question is the naturally aspirated, 4.0-liter, flat-six that’s already being used in the 911 GT3 R and GT3 Cup race cars. Granted, it’s not exactly new in the Porsche stable, but it’s the first time this version found its way in the RSR. Porsche says that the six-cylinder is good for around 510 horsepower, but the actual output depends on the size of the restrictor, which varies depending on racing regulations. The engine mates to a six-speed sequential gearbox with a magnesium housing, which sends all the power to the 12.2-inch-wide rear wheels.

The RSR also became the first Porsche GT race car to feature state-of-the-art assistance systems. The track-prepped 911 comes with a radar-supported collision warning system. The feature detects the faster LMP prototypes early enough so that drivers can get out of the way. There’s also a new safety cage concept and a new, rigidly-mounted racing seat, both of which enhance driver safety.

Revised drivetrain and safety features aside, Porsche also improved the car’s serviceability, which is crucial during long endurance events such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans. On the new 911 RSR, entire elements of the carbon-fiber body can be exchanged completely in a very short time thanks to clever quick-release fasteners, while changes to the suspension setup can be performed much quicker and easier than before.

Porsche will run two factory entries during the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), including the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The 911 RSR will also tackle the IMSA Weathertech Championship, which will commence with the 24 Hours of Daytona on January 28, 2017. In all, Porsche expects to run the 2017 911 RSR at 19 events, which equates to more than 140 hours of racing.

Continue reading for the full story.

Why it Matters?

2017 Porsche 911 RSR Roars into L.A. Ahead of Track Debut High Resolution Exterior
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Although race cars aren’t exactly common at events like the Los Angeles Auto Show, the fact that the 911 RSR will make its debut on American soil in the first month of 2017 makes it the proper setting for a global debut. What’s more, being such an important race car for Porsche, with numerous victories over the last decades, the 911 RSR needs as much exposure as it can get before it hits the track.

Press Release

Porsche will tackle the 2017 racing season with an all-out newly developed GT racer. The new 911 RSR makes full use of the breadth of the Le Mans 24 Hours GT regulations, and in addition to systematic lightweight design, features the ultra-modern, flat-six unit positioned in front of the rear axle. The four-litre, extremely light aggregate features direct fuel injection as well as a rigid valve drive and is characterised by outstanding efficiency. The new 911 RSR will make its debut at the Daytona 24-hour race in January 2017.

“While retaining the typical 911 design, this is the biggest evolution by now in the history of our top GT model,” says Head of Porsche Motorsport Dr Frank-Steffen Walliser. The new 911 RSR is a completely new development: the suspension, body structure, aerodynamic concept, engine and transmission have all been designed from scratch. The engine concept has enabled the designers to install a particularly large rear diffuser. Combined with a top-mounted rear wing adopted from the LMP1 race car, the 919 Hybrid, the level of downforce and the aerodynamic efficiency were significantly improved.

“For the 911 RSR, we deliberately focussed on a particularly modern and light normally-aspirated engine, as this gave our engineers immense latitude in developing the vehicle,” explains Dr Walliser. “Apart from that, in principle, the LM-GTE regulations stipulate the absolute equality of various drive concepts, as the torque characteristics of turbo and normally aspirated engines are aligned.” Depending on the size of the restrictor, the new normally-aspirated unit puts out around 375 kW (510 hp). Shift paddles on the steering wheel actuate the sequential six-speed gearbox with a magnesium housing, which delivers power to the 31-centimentre-wide rear wheels. The changeover to the new engine generation is now complete. After the 911 GT3 R and the 911 GT3 Cup, the spearhead of Porsche GT racing cars is now also powered by the same cutting-edge six-cylinder boxer engine family.

In the past, Porsche has already thoroughly pushed the limits with the concept of the 911 – in 1996 with the 911 GT1. With great success: In 1998 the 911 GT1 achieved the 16th overall victory for Porsche at the Le Mans 24-hour race. Back then, the fastest vehicle in the field emerged from the GT1 class.

For the first time, a Porsche GT race car features state-of-the-art assistance systems: the new 911 RSR is equipped with a radar-supported collision warning system, the so-called “Collision Avoid System”. Even in the dark, the faster LMP prototypes are detected early enough and misunderstandings can be avoided. A new safety cage concept and a new, rigidly-mounted racing seat enhance driver safety. With the seat fixed to the chassis, the pedalry can now been moved and adjusted to fit the driver.

The new 911 RSR’s serviceability has also been significantly improved: Entire elements of the carbon-fibre body can be exchanged completely in a very short time thanks to clever quick-release fasteners. Moreover, changes to the suspension setup can be performed much more quickly and easily.

With the look of the body wrapping, the 911 RSR is striking out in a new direction: For the first time, the GT racer bears the new factory design that has further developed the clear and dynamic design language of Porsche Motorsport. From a bird’s eye view, a hint of the Porsche emblem silhouette can be seen. The basic colours remain white, red and black.

In the 2017 season, the factory is expected to run the new 911 RSR at 19 outings which equates to more than 140 hours of racing. With two factory-entries, Porsche will tackle the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) including the 24 Hours of Le Mans as well as the American IMSA Weathertech Championship. The new racer will celebrate its debut under the toughest conditions at the IMSA season opener in Daytona on 28-29 January. “We’re very well prepared for this,” says Marco Ujhasi, Head of GT Works Sport. “Since its first rollout in Weissach in March this year we’ve covered 35,000 test kilometres on racetracks in Europe and North America – that’s more than in the development of any other Porsche GT racer.”

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