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The 2023 Porsche 911 GT3 RS has 518 HP and insane aero stuff

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Porsche has unveiled the hardcore GT3 RS variant of the 2023 911. That’s 518 hp, slightly more than the standard GT3, but with far more aggressive aerodynamics.

Think of the Porsche 911 GT3 variant as a wild goose. Wild geese breathe freely and fly high, while the rest of the herd relies on a forced induction diet to fatten up on the ground. Wild and free his GT3 may be, but there is a limit to how much air an engine can move on its own. That means the 2023 911 GT3 RS can’t rely on a significant power increase to outperform its turbocharged rivals.

Producing 518 horsepower, the latest GT3 RS is the most powerful of the naturally aspirated 911s, but slightly more than the GT3 503. So raw power is not the focus here. Instead, Porsche engineers were more concerned with manipulating the airflow outside the engine. The result is a flagship whose performance is measured by how efficiently the body moves through the air, rather than how quickly the engine draws in air.

Charlie McGee car and driver

All body panels on the RS are special, even the door skins are in carbon fibre, for maximum aerodynamic performance. All over the body, air is scooped up, diverted, split and spoiled. As a result, many of the aero upgrades include all the subtleties of the work of an unlicensed plastic surgeon. Hey, if you want subtlety, get a GT3 Touring.

down to earth

Charlie McGee car and driver

A huge wing towering over the rear of the car provides ample surface area for the entire Spaetzle Buffet. This active unit contributes 902 pounds of downforce at 124 mph and 1896 pounds of downforce at 177 mph.

More downforce means more drag at high speeds, but Porsche has one trick from Formula 1. Drag Reduction System (DRS). As long as the car is pointing straight ahead, driver-initiated DRS stalls the wing, reducing drag at high speeds. It also has a shorter final drive ratio instead of the GT3 to maintain top-end punch. The transmission is only a 7-speed PDK automatic. Both drag and gearing conspire to invalidate his autobahn card in the GT3 RS, but top speed drops from his 198 mph in his GT3 and remains respectable at 184.

suspension

The aero theme continues under teardrop-shaped control arms on the front axle that improve airflow in the wheel wells. A wider front tread (1.1 inches above the GT3) spreads the load over a wider axle thanks to longer control arms and wider tires. The lower control arm ball joint is repositioned lower to reduce dive under braking. There is also the ability to individually adjust the compression and rebound stages of the front and rear dampers via the steering wheel control.

Charlie McGee car and driver

To make room for the active aerodynamic elements in the front end, Porsche combined three radiators into a single diagonally mounted heat exchanger in the front cargo area.

Powertrain + Performance

A new camshaft profile specific to the GT3 RS has allowed Porsche to fine-tune the character of the existing 4.0-liter flat six and add 15 horsepower. Horsepower may have flattened out, but he still projects zero to 60 mph in under three seconds.

Charlie McGee car and driver

Brakes are shared with the GT3, but the 16.1 x 1.4 inch steel front disc is 0.1 inch thicker. Carbon ceramic is optional. Forged aluminum wheels are standard, up front he has 275/35-20 rubber and at the rear he has steamrollers 335/30-21. The Weissach package unlocks the option of magnesium wheels.

Pricing for this package and other options is not yet known, but Porsche will soon release a configurator for the 911 GT3 RS. But we know the initial cost. All these enhancements bring the price to $225,250 (excl. gas tax), about $63,000 more than the GT3.

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