The new Porsche 911 GT3 R will be ready to take part in the 2023 Le Mans 24 Hours race
Porsche North America today unveiled the latest generation 911 GT3 R GT racing car. With a larger engine, improved aerodynamics and optimized vehicle balance, the new car promises to be the brand’s most operational 911 racing car to date.
The car will compete in the GT3 category, which is the top GT category in North America with the IMSA WeatherTech SportCar Championship and in Europe with the FIA World Endurance Championship. This means the car will be able to participate in the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the first time, and this played an important role in shaping the car’s design.
“Driveability is particularly important for the different drivers who participate in this competition, and this was a key consideration for the 992 911 GT3 R,” said Volker Holzmeyer, general manager of Porsche Motorsport North America. “We have already seen tremendous interest in the car and look forward to seeing it race here for the first time soon.”
At the heart of the car’s performance is, of course, the naturally aspirated six-cylinder engine. It is based on the 911 992 engine and has been increased, especially in displacement, by five percent, from 3,997 to 4,194 cubic centimeters. The increase in displacement leads to a maximum output of 558 hp (416 kW/565 hp). However, the main reason for the increase was to make the power and torque band more usable to appeal to a wider range of riders with different levels of experience.
The engine is housed in the rear of the 911 GT3 R, as would be expected, but has been angled forward 5.5 degrees to create more room for the rear diffuser. The auxiliary units have been moved forward and down into the space in front of the engine, which has a positive effect on weight distribution.
Transmission is via a six-speed sequential gearbox derived from the 911 GT3 Cup racing car. The driver selects gears with paddles behind the steering wheel, which control an electronic shift drum for quick and precise gear changes.
The suspension has also been modified, with a modern double wishbone at the front and a multi-link design at the rear. The shock absorbers are from KW and are easily adjustable. Adjustments to the setup can be made with shims, so that the suspension does not have to be realigned after each adjustment. All this was done to make the race car easier to handle.
The placement of the center pivot points on the front axle leaves more room for the aerodynamic concept. Like the 911 RSR, the 911 GT3 R has a raised underbody that allows clean air to reach the diffuser and reduces the car’s pitch sensitivity. The wheelbase has been lengthened to reduce the load on the rear tires and improve their durability in longer races.
The aluminum monoblock brake calipers and discs are from AP. The 390 mm front discs are grooved and made of steel and are clamped by six-piston calipers. The rear discs are 370 mm in diameter and are fitted with four-piston calipers. Almost all body panels are made of carbon fiber to keep weight down, while the wheel arches are made of aramid fiber.
Like the auxiliary units, the driver has also been moved closer to the center of the 911 GT3 R. This allowed Porsche to incorporate an ergonomic seat and an improved roll cage for the new FIA side-impact regulations. The cockpit has features that have already proven themselves in other motorsports, such as the 911 GT3 Cup’s 10.3-inch display and the multi-switch concept.
“Our task was not so much to make the new 911 GT3 R even faster: putting it in the performance window set by the BoP quickly nullifies this advantage,” says Sebastian Golz, Project Manager for the 911 GT3 R. “For us, it was primarily about enabling our customers to drive the race car faster and longer. That’s why we mainly focused on improving drivability.”
Porsche says it has also worked to make the car more accessible to race teams. The car will be ready for the 2023 racing season and can be purchased by North American customer teams through Porsche Motorsports North America for $567,210.