The iconic flat-six grows bigger once again

The Porsche 911 RSR, the company’s iconic race car for FIA endurance duty, was redesigned for 2019 and introduced at the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed. Improved in all key areas, the new 911 RSR replaces the previous RSR that scored more than 20 class wins in the FIA World Endurance Championship and other long-distance series in North America and Europe.

The 2019 Porsche 911 RSR is still wide, more aerodynamic

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Porsche relocated the tailpipes to the sides, now exiting in front of the rear wheels

The redesigned 911 RSR remains familiar, sporting the wide body that turns the regular 911 into an aggressive-looking race car. There are notably wider fenders front and rear, a prominent splitter up front, bigger side skirts onto the sides, and a huge wing, backed by a diffuser, in the rear.

Porsche also made significant changes to the old RSR recipe, starting with relocating the tailpipes to the sides, exiting in front of the rear wheels. This modification not only saves weight through shorter ducting, but it also helps with aerodynamics. The new tailpipes contribute to the optimization of the profile’s aero specification but also leaves room for a more aerodynamic diffuser. The revised front fascia with new vents and carbon-fiber splitter also enhances aerodynamics. Overall, Porsche claims efficiency and stability "have increased significantly," thanks to the new design.

As before, the 911 RSR features a carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic body. The shell can be swapped out quickly, reducing pit times in the event of a crash.

The 2019 Porsche 911 RSR is now safer for drivers

The 2019 Porsche 911 RSR Says "Screw Your Turbo" - There's No Replacement for Displacement
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Porsche made notable changes, but mostly in the safety department

The RSR’s new interior looks largely the same. The cockpit has nothing in common with a race, featuring a carbon-fiber shell for a dashboard, Alcantara upholstery, a race-spec seat, a race-specific center stack, and a two-spoke steering wheel that looks like a game console controller and lights up like a Christmas tree. It also has a screen that displays vital information in the center.

Porsche made notable changes, but mostly in the safety department. It now comes with a revised collision warning system that detects faster cars approaching from behind and an optimized roll cage. Porsche also added the FIA-approved side-impact panels in the doors and additional protection for the legs. As before, it features a removable roof hatch and a six-point safety harness for the driver.

The 2019 Porsche 911 RSR features the company’s largest flat-six engine

The 2019 Porsche 911 RSR Says "Screw Your Turbo" - There's No Replacement for Displacement
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Porsche isn't yet ready to give up on the all-motor flat-six and enlarged the engine once again

When the iconic 3.8-liter flat-six mill was enlarged to 4.0 liters for 991.2-generation 911s, the consensus was that the naturally aspirated unit had reached its maximum potential. Of course, it was believed that Porsche would drop it in favor of a twin-turbo engine. Well, it turns out that Porsche isn’t yet ready to give up on the all-motor flat-six and enlarged the engine once again, this time around to 4.2 liters.

This is the largest ever boxer engine mounted in a 911. How much does it produce? Porsche says it cranks out 515 horsepower, but the final output will depend on the size of the restrictor specific to each racing series. That’s five horses less than the 4.0-liter unit in the outgoing, road-legal 911 GT3 RS, but the comparison isn’t very relevant since the RSR should be much lighter.

The 2019 Porsche 911 RSR Says "Screw Your Turbo" - There's No Replacement for Displacement
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The engine mates to a new six-speed sequential gearbox that lighter and more rigid than the old unit. The transmission provides faster gear shifts and helps increase the drivetrain’s efficiency.

2019 Porsche 911 RSR specifications
Engine Water-cooled six cylinder boxer engine, positioned in front of the rear axle
Displacement 4,194cm³
Horsepower 515 HP
Transmission Six-speed sequential dog-type transmission, weight optimized

The 2019 Porsche 911 RSR goes racing in September

The 2019 Porsche 911 RSR Says "Screw Your Turbo" - There's No Replacement for Displacement
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Customer teams will have access to the new Porsche 911 RSR in 2020

Showcased at the 2019 Good Festival of Speed, the 911 will celebrate its first race outing in September, when it will take part in the season-opening round of the new FIA World Endurance Championship at Silverstone. The race is scheduled on September 1.

The Porsche GT Team will field two works cars at eight rounds of the 2019/2020 season with drivers Michael Christensen (Denmark) and Kévin Estre (France), and Gianmaria Bruni (Italy) and Richard Lietz (Austria). In the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the switch to the new 911 RSR will take place in the 2020 season. In North America, an additional two factory-run.

Customer teams will have access to the new Porsche 911 RSR for the 2020/2021 FIA WEC championship.

Further reading

2016 Hyundai Creta STC Concept
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Read our full review on the 2017 Porsche 911 RSR.

2020 Porsche 911
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Read our full review on the 2020 Porsche 911.

2020 Porsche 911 Cabriolet
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Read our full review on the 2020 Porsche 911 992 Cabriolet

Porsche puts its faith in the brand-new 911 RSR (2019 model year) to defend the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) title. The race car complying with the FIA GTE regulations is a completely new development.

The vehicle from Weissach has undergone improvements in all areas and will replace the successful 911 RSR with which Porsche won the manufacturers’ and drivers’ world championship in the FIA WEC as well as the Le Mans endurance classic (France) and the IMSA races at Sebring and Road Atlanta (Petit Le Mans) amongst other events in 2019.

“We never rest on our laurels”
Pascal Zurlinden
In developing the new Porsche 911 RSR, substantial insights were garnered and adopted from the extremely successful race outings of its predecessor. “Since 2017 the 911 RSR has yielded us more than 20 class wins in the world championship as well as at long-distance series in North America and Europe. Our job in the development was to make a very good car even better. The engineers at Weissach have perfectly implemented this in every aspect,” says Fritz Enzinger, Vice President Porsche Motorsport.

“We never rest on our laurels,” explains Pascal Zurlinden, Director GT Factory Motorsport. “We’ve extensively analysed all factory and customer campaigns with the Porsche 911 RSR. Our engineers noticed room for improvement in a number of areas. We have made significant progress in the development of our car for the next three-year homologation period, especially in the complex areas of driveability, efficiency, durability and serviceability. Ninety-five percent of the car is new. The only components that we’ve kept unchanged from the predecessor are the headlights, brake system, clutch, driver’s seat and parts of the suspension. Tests so far have run excellently. We’re already looking forward to the first races of the 2019/2020 FIA WEC season.”

911 RSR (2019 model year), 2019, Porsche AG
The 911 RSR on the track
New flat engine with larger displacement
In terms of the drivetrain, Porsche remains faithful to its chosen path. The latest nine-eleven is also powered by a six-cylinder naturally aspirated engine. The highly efficient boxer unit positioned in front of the rear axle has a capacity of 4,194 cc and – depending on the size of the restrictor – produces around 515 hp. The new power unit is the largest ever boxer engine to be mounted in a Porsche 911 ex-works, and offers even better driveability over a wider rev-band compared to the predecessor’s proven four-litre aggregate. Power is delivered to the rear wheels via a weight-optimised, more rigid sequential six-speed constant-mesh gearbox. The new powertrain in the Porsche 911 RSR ensures faster gear-shift times and increased efficiency. The two exhaust pipes now exit on each side in front of the rear wheels. The new exhaust gas ducting saves weight and is aerodynamically advantageous.

911 RSR (2019 model year), Porsche wind tunnel, Weissach, 2019, Porsche AG
The aerodynamics were fine-tuned in the Porsche wind tunnel
With the repositioning of the tailpipes, space has been made for an optimised diffuser. The distinctive component at the rear of the Porsche 911 RSR now generates even more downforce. Thanks to the optimisation of airflow at the front and the sides of the Weissach racer, aerodynamic efficiency and stability have increased significantly, thereby further improving the use and durability of the tyres during racing.

Focus on the work of drivers and mechanics
Driveability and serviceability are critical factors in long-distance racing. For this reason, Porsche placed particular emphasis on these aspects when developing the new 911 RSR. The cockpit has been reworked with the focus on better usability. In this regard, extensive feedback from the Porsche drivers proved invaluable. Like with the predecessor, the body made of carbon-fibre reinforced plastic can be swapped out quickly and thus ensures efficient pit processes in long-distance racing.

911 RSR (2019 model year), 2019, Porsche AG
The cockpit has been reworked
To give drivers added protection, the active and passive safety elements in the Porsche 911 RSR have been overhauled. The proven collision warning system allows drivers an even better overview to detect approaching prototype vehicles early enough. The optimised roll cage, the FIA side impact panel in the door and cage as well as additional impact protection for the legs improve the passive safety in the event of an accident. Other features include the removable roof hatch and the rigidly-mounted racing seat featuring a six-point safety harness for the driver.

First race outing in September 2019
“We’ve been working on the concept of the new Porsche 911 RSR since 2017. The first designs were created using CAD software. In August 2018, the best racing nine-eleven to date completed its first kilometres on the factory’s own test track in Weissach,” says Pascal Zurlinden, describing the important milestones in the car’s development. Over the following months, the factory team conducted numerous tests. Seasoned Porsche works drivers took turns at the wheel of the new 911 RSR. Parallel to this, the aerodynamics were fine-tuned in the Porsche wind tunnel. “Another milestone was our long-run in March 2019 at Le Castellet, where we included the works teams from both the WEC and IMSA. We covered more than 6,000 kilometres over 30 hours without any technical hiccups. The drivers and engineers were very satisfied. The car received its racing homologation on 1st July,” added Zurlinden.

911 RSR (2019 model year), roll out, Weissach, 2019, Porsche AG
The team consisting of drivers and developers in Weissach
World premiere at Goodwood
The most spectacular 911 of all time makes its world premiere on 6 July at the Goodwood Festival of Speed (Great Britain). The Porsche 911 RSR will also celebrate its race debut on the British Isles – at the season-opening round of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) at Silverstone on 1 September. Prior to this, the vehicle of the current manufacturers’ world champions will face rival manufacturers contesting the FIA WEC GTE-Pro class for the first time at a two-day prologue in Barcelona (Spain) on 23/24 July. The Porsche GT Team will field two works cars at eight rounds of the 2019/2020 season with drivers Michael Christensen (Denmark) and Kévin Estre (France) as well as Gianmaria Bruni (Italy) and Richard Lietz (Austria). In the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the switch to the latest model will take place in the 2020 season. In North America, an additional two factory-run Porsche 911 RSR will fight for the GTLM category title against competing manufacturers. For customer teams, the vehicle will be available from the 2020/2021 FIA WEC season.

911 RSR (2019 model year), Goodwood Festival of Speed 2019, Porsche AG
Presentation of the new 911 RSR in Goodwood
For the first time, the factory race cars from Weissach will be decked out in two different designs: The typical Porsche white will continue to be the dominating colour on the No. 91 car. Added accents include a centrally-placed red stripe extending from the front hood over the roof to the rear apron, as well as red side sills. Grey highlights on the side complement the clear and dynamic design. On the No. 92 car, the white and grey colours are reversed. The rear wing and the wing mirrors are black instead of white so that fans can differentiate between the two.

911 RSR (2019 model year), 2019, Porsche AG
The typical Porsche white will continue to be the dominating colour

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