2016 Porsche 911 GT3 RS -- 493 hp and a seriously bad attitude

By Bob Nagy on March 2, 2015 12:09 PM

Race inspired but fully street legal, the 2016 Porsche 911 GT3 RS made its grand debut in Geneva as the most intensely focused naturally aspirated 911 model to date. A series of functional upgrades to the bodywork, chassis, powertrain and aerodynamics expand the performance envelope a smart step beyond the already impressive 911 GT3 model in virtually every measurable way. That includes being a full five seconds quicker around the benchmark Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit in Germany.

Wider, leaner and meaner 

Based on a modified 911 Turbo "widebody," the new 911 GT3 RS boasts a lightweight magnesium roof that helps lower the car's center of gravity as well as carbon fiber hood and decklid plus a number of lesser mass-reducing components that make the new RS variant some 22 pounds lighter than a standard GT3. A deeper, more aggressive front splitter is counterpointed by the car's large, manually-adjustable rear wing, both of which work in concert with unique underbody fairings and vents in the front wheel arches to increase high-speed downforce. 

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At 4.0 liters, the newly revised flat-six in the 911 GT3 RS is the largest and most technically sophisticated naturally aspirated engine in any 911. It makes 493 horsepower -- 25 more than the 3.8-liter in a GT3 - and also develops 339 lb-ft of peak torque, which is 15 more of those critical twist units. Paired with a specially-modified paddle-shiftable version of the automaker's 7-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic and a different final-drive ratio, it can send this super coupe from 0-60 mph in 3.1 seconds and on to a top end near 200 mph. Like the GT3, the PDK in the GT3 RS features a racing style "paddle neutral" declutching capability but the RS also adds a dedicated Pit Speed limiter button. 

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To enable full use of that motive might, the GT3 RS complements bespoke tuning of its Porsche Active Suspension Management chassis that also includes GT3-style rear-axle steering, Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus and a fully variable rear axle differential lock with wider front/rear track dimensions and the most aggressive wheel/tire fitment of any 911 model. Collectively, they endow the rear-drive RS with even better body control, sharper steering response, more agile turn-in characteristics and faster cornering speeds. 

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Inside, the new RS shares much of its basic look and Alcantara trimout with the current GT3 but does feature one significant upgrade in the form of carbon fiber bucket seats. Culled from the 918 Spyder, they provide even more support but weigh less. Like the GT3, the new RS can be upgraded with the Sport Chrono Package that brings the Porsche Track Precision app. It integrates with a smartphone and uses GPS to calculate and log a variety of vehicle performance characteristics from lateral acceleration to lap times that can be downloaded and shared with others. Order books have now opened for the 2016 Porsche 911 GT3 RS. Pricing starts at $176,895 and deliveries are set to commence in early July. 

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