Porsche debuts 2016 911 GT3 R at N24

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Making its World debut at the Nürburgring this past weekend, was Porsche’s all-new 911 GT3 R. Based on the new 911 GT3 RS production sports car, the customer sport race car is suitable for GT3 category racing globally.

As with its production sibling, the 911 GT3 R features a wheelbase that has been lengthened by 8.3cm in comparison to the previous generation. Porsche states that this ensures a more balanced weight distribution for the rear-engined car, ultimately resulting in ‘more predictable handling particularly in fast corners in comparison to the previous GT3 R’.

Porsche also states that it applied ‘systematic lightweight solutions for the body, add-on parts, and suspension’. This has resulted in a ‘significantly’ improved center of gravity, again in comparison to the previous generation car.

As the car is based on the 911 GT3 RS, it retains the production car’s ‘intelligent’ aluminum-steel composite construction with the roof, front cover and fairing, wheel arches, doors, side and tail sections as well as the rear cover being made of carbon-fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP). In a first for the 911, the windscreen is made of the same lightweight polycarbonate as the side and rear windows.

The 911 GT3 R also retains the front wheel arch air outlets, cut in to the lightweight carbon wings. With 12 slats per side, they provide an exit for the air drawn into the front wheel arches. This reduces the overpressure created by the turning wheels and thereby counters lift. The racecar also gains a two-meter by 40cm rear wing. Taking influence from its 911 RSR stable mate, the GT3 R has adopted the concept of the centrally positioned radiator. By eliminating the side radiators, the car’s center of gravity was further improved. A further by product of this is that the radiator is better protected against collision damage, and the venting of hot air through louvers in the front cover is enhanced.

Largely production specification, the 911 GT3 R’s 4.0-litre flat-six unit is claimed to offer increased performance and efficiency through the use of direct-injection operating at 200-bar pressure and variable valve timing technology. This is transferred through a paddle-operated, Porsche sequential six-speed constant-mesh gearbox.

One area that the GT3 R differs from the road car is in its brake system. Designed with a focus on surviving endurance racing, the 911 GT3 R makes use of 380mm grooved and ventilated steel front discs, clamped by six-piston aluminum monobloc calipers. At the rear, four-piston calipers operate on discs, which measure in at 372mm.

Another development focus for Porsche was on the safety aspect of the GT3 R. The capacity of the further-reinforced FT3 safety fuel cell was increased by 12-liters to now hold 120-liters, with the tank now featuring a fuel cut-off safety valve. From a driver’s perspective, the car’s doors and the side windows can be removed, and the escape hatch in the roof is now larger. In the event of an accident, the new racing bucket seat offers pilots even better protection (above).

The new Porsche 911 GT3 R can be ordered immediately for €429,000 plus country-specific VAT and will be delivered from December 2015.

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John joined UKi Media & Events in 2012 and has worked across a range of B2B titles within the company's automotive portfolio. Prior to joining the company, John worked for leading automotive design website, Car Design News. Currently editor of Engine Technology International, Professional MotorSport World, Professional MotorSport Circuit, and Transmission Technology International, John co-ordinates the day-the-day operations of each magazine, from commissioning and writing to editing and signing-off, as well managing web and social media content. Aside from the magazines, John also serves as chairman of the annual Professional MotorSport World Awards.

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