Porsche has just debuted a new 911 customer race car, and although the GT3 R isn’t a new nameplate, Porsche’s Byzantine model hierarchy and naming system requires us to first explain where the new car fits in. This is the fourth racing version in as many years since the unveiling of the current Type 991 generation of the 911. Starting first with the 991 RSR, then the 991 GT3 Cup, the 991 GT America and now the 991 GT3 R. But all of this looks more complicated than it is; the RSR is a racing version of the regular car, the GT3 Cup and GT America are both based on the GT3 road car, and were simply made for different racing series. And finally we have the GT3 R, which is based on the GT3 RS road car.

To put it more simply still: this is the current ultimate track-focused 911. And since Porsche worked hard to make the GT3 RS as close to a race car as possible while still being street legal, not all that much has really been changed. And the GT3 R is likely to share some race tracks with impatient GT3 RS owners who couldn’t wait and performed the modifications themselves.

Updated 05/25/2016: Porsche dropped a new video in which shows the 911 GT3 R getting ready for the 24 Hours at the Nürburgring. Hit "play" to watch it!

Continue reading to learn more about the Porsche 911 GT3 R.

  • 2016 Porsche 911 GT3 R
  • Year:
    2016
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    flat-6
  • Transmission:
    sequential six-speed constant-mesh
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    500
  • Displacement:
    4000 L
  • 0-60 time:
    4.4 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    186 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    € 429000
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2016 Porsche 911 GT3 R High Resolution Exterior
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2016 Porsche 911 GT3 R High Resolution Exterior
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2016 Porsche 911 GT3 R High Resolution Exterior
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This is actually where the most significant differences exist between the GT3 RS and the GT3 R. The suspension has been lowered, changing it from something merely impractical to drive on the street to something which is impossible to take to the grocery store. Lightweight materials are used throughout, with much of the bodywork being made of carbon fiber, and the parts that aren’t are made of a lightweight aluminum-steel composite.

The carbon-fiber roof replaces the magnesium one found on the road car, possibly for safety reasons, although Porsche doesn’t specify. The use of plastic windows is hardly a first for a GT3, but the this GT3 R marks the first use of a plastic windshield as well. The brakes have been upgraded as well, with an emphasis on durability. This makes sense for a car which will be used extensively in endurance racing. The car is shown here with a full racing livery, but it certainly won’t be sold with one, as customers will be adding their own.

Exterior Dimensions

Overall length 4,604 MM (181.25 Inches)
Overall width front axle 1,975 MM (77.75 Inches)
Overall width rear axle 2,002 MM (78.81 Inches)
Wheelbase 2,463 MM (96.96 Inches)

Interior

2016 Porsche 911 GT3 R Interior
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The notable part about the interior is that there isn’t one to speak of. Being a race car, it is stripped of anything nonessential, the same treatment given to all road cars that are converted to racing. The passenger seat has been removed, and the roll cage has been changed from a half cage behind the seats to a regular FIA-regulation full cage. There is a regulation fuel cell as well, and the roof escape hatch and driver’s seat have been improved from those of the Type 997 version of the GT3 R.

Drivetrain

2016 Porsche 911 GT3 R High Resolution Exterior
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Even Porsche is saying that the racing version of the drivetrain is essentially the same as that of the road car. But that is a supremely good thing to have. The 4.0-liter water-cool flat-six produces 500 horsepower. The flat engine has always given the 911 an advantage in terms of a low center of gravity, and Porsche claims that this has been used to a greater effect than ever in the GT3 R. The transmission remains unchanged as well, and is a paddle-shifted six-speed sequential unit. It’s the kind of thing that purists complain about on the road-going version but which is difficult to find fault with on a race track.

Drivetrain Specifications

Type Water-cooled six-cylinder boxer engine (rear mounted)
Displacement 4,000 cm3
Bore & Stroke 102 x 81.5 mm
Output 500 HP
Transmission Porsche sequential six-speed constant-mesh gearbox

Competition

2015 Audi R8 LMS

2015 Audi R8 LMS High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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The road-going version of the R8 is already the biggest competition for the 911 as the world’s most usable daily driver supercar, and now it’s cutting into the 911’s customer race car sales. The new LMS uses a V10 engine that is slightly more powerful than the Porsche’s. It’s related to the Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo and Huracan GT3, just like its predecessor was somewhat related to the Gallardo GT3.

Read our full review here.

Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3

2012 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 Exterior
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Aston Martin’s list of customer race cars is lengthy and confusing enough to make Porsche enthusiasts feel at home. There are several different racing Vantages, as well as a couple of different GT3 options, but it the V12 Vantage GT3 that is the closest competitor to the GT3 R. It is slightly heavier than the Porsche, but also more powerful, to the tune of an extra 100 horses. Aston knows a thing or two about GT racing too, and this car makes for a very attractive alternative.

Read our full review here.

Conclusion

2016 Porsche 911 GT3 R High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Porsche has been building racing versions of the 911 for decades, since just after the nameplate was introduced. Hardcore street-legal versions meant for easy transitions to track use came in the ’70s, and we’ve had the GT3 for 16 years now. The car has been such a huge success for Porsche that when you say “GT3,” you can usually rely on those around you knowing that you mean a 911 GT3. This being the third generation of the GT3 and the GT3 R, it followed a pretty predictable formula, but one which we can get excited about every single time Porsche does it. But the best part about Porsche’s race cars is that they’re really not any different from the road cars. It’s a testament to the faith which Porsche has in the initial product.

  • Leave it
    • half of the other cars in any race you enter will be the exact same thing
    • price jump from the GT3 RS is genuinely absurd
    • trying to explain what makes this different from other 911s will get tiresome

Press Release

Based on the 911 GT3 RS production sports car, Porsche has designed a customer sport race car for GT3 series around the world: The 911 GT3 R. In developing the more than 368 kW (500 hp) racing nine-eleven, special attention was paid to lightweight design, better aerodynamic efficiency, reducing consumption, improved handling, further optimised safety as well as lowering service and spare parts costs.

2016 Porsche 911 GT3 R High Resolution Exterior
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Adopted from its production sibling, the 911 GT3 R features the distinctive double-bubble roof, and the wheelbase which had been lengthened by 8.3 centimetres compared to the previous generation. This ensures a more balanced weight distribution and more predictable handling particularly in fast corners corners in comparison to the previous GT3 R. By applying systematic lightweight solutions for the body, add-on parts, and suspension, the engineers significantly optimised the centre of gravity position of the GT3 R compared to the predecessor model. The lightweight body design of the 911 GT3 RS production sports car featuring intelligent aluminium-steel composite construction has proven to be the ideal basis for the race car. The roof, front cover and fairing, wheel arches, doors, side and tail sections as well as the rear cover are made of particularly light carbon-fibre composite material (CFRP). All windows – and for the first time even the windscreen – consist of polycarbonate.

2016 Porsche 911 GT3 R High Resolution Exterior
- image 630337

Powering the new 911 GT3 R is a cutting-edge four-litre flat-six unit which is largely identical to the high-performance production engine of the road-legal 911 GT3 RS. Direct petrol injection, which operates at pressures up to 200 bar, as well as variable valve timing technology ensure a particularly efficient use of fuel. Moreover, the normally-aspirated engine offers significantly better driveability and a broader usable rev range. Power from the rear engine is transferred to the 310 mm rear wheels via a Porsche sequential six-speed constant-mesh gearbox. As in the GT road-going models of the 911, the driver changes gears via shift paddles conveniently positioned on the steering wheel.

The aerodynamics of the 911 GT3 R also follows the example of the road car. The distinctive wheel arch air vents on the front fairings increase downforce at the front axle. Measuring two metres in width by 40-centimetres in depth, the rear wing lends aerodynamic balance. From its 911 RSR big brother, the GT3 R has adopted the concept of the centrally-positioned radiator. By eliminating the side radiators, the position of the centre of gravity was improved, the radiator is better protected against collision damage, and the venting of hot air through louvers in the front cover was enhanced.

The brake system of the 911 GT3 R also underwent further modifications and, thanks to increased stiffness and more precise control of the ABS, is even better suited to long distance racing. At the front axle, six-piston aluminium monobloc racing brake callipers combined with ventilated and grooved steel brake discs with a diameter of 380 millimetres ensure outstanding braking performances. Fitted at the rear axle are four-piston callipers and discs measuring 372 millimetres.

Another development focus was on the safety features of the GT3 R. The capacity of the further-reinforced FT3 safety fuel cell was increased by twelve litres to now hold 120 litres, with the tank now featuring a fuel cut-off safety valve. The doors and the side windows can be removed, and the escape hatch in the roof is now larger. In the event of an accident, the new racing bucket seat offers pilots even better protection.

2016 Porsche 911 GT3 R Exterior
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The new Porsche 911 GT3 R can be ordered immediately for 429,000 Euro plus country-specific VAT and will be delivered from December 2015.

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