2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS: Less weight, more power, more money

By Christopher A. Sawyer
The Virtual Driver

(March 13 2018) The first thing you notice about the 2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS is the way that it looks. This wide-body racer shares the 911 GT3’s polyurethane front and rear fascias, and the 911 GT2 RS’s front trunk NACA ducts that optimize brake cooling.

However, the front and rear decklids, front fenders, and wing struts are made from carbon fiber, while the roof is stamped from magnesium The aerodynamics also are usefully different. A larger front splitter feeds into fender arch extensions, and joins with larger side skirts, while the fixed rear wing works in conjunction with a revised rear diffuser to double the downforce at 124 mph, when compared to its GT3 brother.

Propulsion comes from a 4.0-liter naturally aspirated flat-six producing 520 horsepower and 346 lb.-ft. of torque. This is the most powerful non-turbocharged motor ever fitted to a road-legal 911, and 20 hp more than in the current 911 GT3. The plasma-coated cylinder liners, central oil supply through the crankshaft, larger crank bearing diameters, larger connecting rod bearings, and the stiffer valvetrain with valve clearance shims are all carried over from the GT3 motor.

Air is ingested through openings in the rear quarter panels, and spent gasses are exhausted through the titanium muffler and exhaust tips. A seven-speed PDK gearbox is used and, like all GT-tuned PDK transmissions, is geared so that V-max is reached in top gear. Top speed for the GT3 RS is 193 mph, and 0-60 acceleration is said to take just three seconds.

The goodies don’t stop there. The 911 GT3 RS features Porsche Active Suspension Management, active engine mounts, rear wheel steering, fully variable electronic locking of the Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus rear differential, ball joints on all suspension links, front and rear helper springs, and fully adjustable ride height, toe, caster, camber, and anti-roll bar settings. In addition, forged lightweight wheels are used front and rear, with the 9.5 x 20-in. front wheels shod in 265/35R-20 ultra-high performance tires, and the 12.5 x 21-in. rear wheels wearing 325/30R-21 rubber.

Cross-drilled grey cast iron front and rear brake rotors measuring 14.96 in. front and rear are standard. Or buyers can order carbon ceramic brakes measuring 16.14 in. in front and 14.96 in. in back that are 50% lighter than the standard units.

Of course, this would not be a specialty Porsche if there weren’t options to be had. Adding the $18,000 Weissach Package adds carbon fiber front and rear anti-roll bars and coupling rods, as well as a carbon fiber roof, steering wheel trim and shift paddles. Together they drop vehicle weight by 13 lb. Add the optional forged magnesium wheels (available only with the Weissach Package) and you drop a total of 25 lb., and $13,000.

But then this is chump change on a car that starts at $188,550. Ordering begins immediately, but deliveries won’t take place until the third quarter of 2018.

The Virtual Driver