Porsche announces 911 GT3 RS 4.0

Porsche announces 911 GT3 RS 4.0 1
Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0. Photo courtesy Porsche
Porsche announces 911 GT3 RS 4.0 2
Air deflection vanes on either side of the front bumper make their first appearance on a production Porsche. Photo courtesy Porsche
Porsche announces 911 GT3 RS 4.0 3
The GT3 RS 4.0 has lapped the Nürburgring faster than the V10-powered Carrera GT. Photo courtesy Porsche
Porsche announces 911 GT3 RS 4.0 5
Front fenders are made of carbon fiber. Photo courtesy Porsche
Porsche announces 911 GT3 RS 4.0 4
Photo courtesy Porsche

Porsche announced today that it will offer a limited edition GT3 RS with a 500-horsepower, 4.0-liter flat six, a 50 hp increase courtesy a 0.2-liter bump in displacement over the “regular” GT3 RS. Only 600 examples of the $185,000 car will be produced.

Peak horsepower is reached at 8250 rpm, but perhaps the real improvement is more torque at lower rpm. The 4.0-liter makes 339 lb-ft at a relatively low 5750 rpm, up from the 3.8 RS’s 317 lb-ft at 6750 rpm.

Taking a cue from the GT2 RS, the front fenders are now carbon fiber, which contributes to its even lighter weight: This 911 weighs 2,998 pounds with a full tank of gas.

Porsche has already performed timed runs around the Nürburgring-Nordschleife with the 4.0-liter RS, and recorded a quick lap of 7 minutes and 27 seconds, making it faster around the course than the 2004-2006 Carrera GT, which achieved a 7:32.

Porsche lists top speed at 193 mph, the same as the 450-hp, 3.8-liter GT3 RS, and claims a zero to 60 run of 3.8 seconds, also the same as the regular GT3 RS. We suspect the zero to 60 time is conservative.

Update: 4/29/2011:

Official Porsche Press Release

ATLANTA – April 28, 2011 - The 911 GT3 RS, one of Porsche’s most popular, coveted and successful track-inspired production cars, has been given a final, thrilling injection of thoroughbred motorsport technology resulting in the 2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0. Limited to 600 vehicles worldwide, the 911 GT3 RS 4.0 brings together in a sports car the attributes that have made the Porsche 911 GT3 a consistent winner on the race track.

The motorsport-derived 4.0-liter engine, already the highest displacement 911 engine ever, also features the highest per-liter output — 125 horsepower (hp) per liter — from a naturally aspirated Porsche flat-six engine. The engine uses forged pistons, the connecting rods are fashioned from titanium, and the crankshaft has been lifted unchanged from the 911 GT3 RSR race car. It achieves its maximum power of 500 hp at 8,250 rpm. Maximum torque of 339 ft/lbs is reached at 5,750 rpm.

The 911 GT3 RS 4.0 offers truly impressive performance, lapping the famed Nürburgring-Nordschleife in 7 minutes and 27 seconds. Available exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission, the 911 GT3 RS 4.0 sprints from 0 to 60 mph in only 3.8 seconds, and with its gearing designed for the race circuit it reaches the 124 mph mark on the race track in under 12 seconds.

The 911 GT3 RS 4.0’s outstanding driving dynamics come from numerous, meticulously coordinated details. In addition to using suspension components typically encountered in motor racing, weight reduction is also of supreme importance. Equipped as standard with lightweight components such as light but strong carbon fiber sport bucket seats, carbon fiber front fenders and luggage compartment lid, and weight-optimized carpets, the two-seater’s ready-for-action weight is just 2,998 lbs with a full fuel tank. The 911 GT3 RS 4.0’s power-to-weight ratio is 5.99 lbs/hp.

This limited edition 911 is painted Carrara White as standard and emphasizes its proximity to motor racing by its dynamic appearance. Signature characteristics are the wide track, the low vehicle position, the large rear wing with side plates, central twin tailpipe, and the aerodynamically optimized body. Air deflection vanes mounted on either side of the front bumper – called ‘flics’ or dive planes – make their first appearance on a production Porsche. They create increased downforce on the front axle, and together with the steeply inclined rear wing, provide aerodynamics on par with its performance capabilities. As a result, at the 193 mph top track speed, aerodynamic forces exert an additional 426 lbs of downforce, thus pushing the 911 GT3 RS 4.0 onto the road.

With a manufacturer’s suggested retail price starting at $185,000 (excluding destination), the new Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0 goes on sale in the United States in late 2011.

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