When you come across the word “road-legal” from an automaker's press release, it's almost a certain indication they've made a race car that can wear license plates; that's pretty much what the Porsche 911 GT3 RS is.
More than a year after the debut of the 992-generation 911 GT3, Porsche has finally revealed the motorsport-derived 2023 GT3 RS, featuring substantial upgrades to its engine, cooling system, and aerodynamics.
For starters, the new 911 GT3 RS draws its performance boost from, of all components, a radiator. But here's why - previous generations of the 911 GT3 RS used a three-radiator layout, but the new one only utilizes a large single radiator that's placed on an area where you'll usually see a luggage compartment for tamer 911 models. The result of that is more space on the sides to integrate active aerodynamic elements to make the 911 GT3 RS stick to the ground.
Winglets, extended sill panels on the lower bodywork, as well as additional aero gadgets underneath were all made to generate max downforce. But perhaps the most obvious aerodynamic feature of the GT3 RS lies in the back - a massive two-deck rear spoiler that's electronically adjustable. Just like an F1 car's drag reduction system or DRS.
All that aerodynamic trickery makes the 992 GT3 RS capable of producing 409 kg of downforce at 200 km/h – twice as much as its 991.2-gen predecessor, and a whopping 860 kg at 285 km/h. Those are indeed racecar levels of aerodynamic load.
Inside the GT3 RS has a pair of carbon-fiber bucket seats, and for some markets, a steel roll cage. It's not a complete departure from the GT3, but the RS gets additional gadgets like knobs for its three driving modes, plus settings for motorsport-borrowed stuff like rebound and compression damping for the suspension and rear differential tuning.
Porsche squeezed more horses in the RS by altering the cam profile of the GT3's naturally-aspirated 4.0-liter flat-six engine, which now puts out 525 PS. In addition, its single-throttle intake system and rigid valve drive were drawn heavily from Porsche's Le Mans class-winning 911 RSR and GT3 R race cars. Unlike the GT3 that's available with a 6-speed manual gearbox, the GT3 RS is only being offered with a 7-speed PDK transmission.
In terms of its straight-line performance, the 911 GT3 RS accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.2 seconds and tops out at 296 km/h. While there's not much to write about its top speed, where the GT3 RS would shine is at the corners of a race track. Keep in mind, that the (milder?) GT3 already did a sub-7-minute lap time at the Nurburgring-Nordschleife. So perhaps, a 6:45 for the GT3 RS? Who wants to bet?