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Porsche GT3 boss confirms RS for 2014

By Ben Pulman

Spy shots

18 March 2013 12:30

Porsche unveiled the new 991-generation 911 GT3 only weeks ago, but the man behind it, head of GT series production Andreas Preuninger, has confirmed to CAR that work is already well underway on a more extreme and more powerful 911 GT3 RS variant. Read on for the full scoop on the new 2014 Porsche 911 GT3 RS…

A new Porsche 911 GT3 RS is imminent for 2014?

That’s right. Preuninger told CAR: ‘The RS is always three-quarters of a year behind the GT3, so we’ve already begun.’ A new 911 Turbo will be unveiled in the next few months, and the new 918 Spyder supercar is penciled to debut at the 2013 Frankfurt motor show in the autumn, so expect the RS to appear early in 2014.

What do we know about the new Porsche 911 GT3 RS?

For a start, the RS model will retain the latest GT3’s dual-clutch PDK gearbox and electric steering. Hardcore fans might think that a travesty, but Preuninger told CAR that the PDK ‘box now offers more involvement than the manual option, and that the steering is at least as good as the legendary GT3 RS 4.0’s.

We’ll decide on that when we drive the new GT3, but regardless Preuninger and his Porsche Motorsport team can’t make the change to a stick shift: ‘There’s no chance of a manual. We don’t want to offer too many options on our GT cars. And if you’ve got a manual and a PDK you’ve got to have different set-ups for the suspension, the aero, the tyres, everything. We are a small team and can only concentrate on one car.’

However, the PDK might ‘box might be tuned for quicker shifts (the new GT3 already changes gear in less than 100ms) and the steering may have some specific tuning to match the more focused RS-specific suspension.

What’s the philosophy behind the new 911 GT3 RS?

Preuninger says that the new GT3’s increased usability as a daily driver and its more rounded abilities opens up the possibility for the RS model to be even more extreme: ‘We’ve opened up a wider field of usability with the new GT3, so maybe that gives us more reason to push the RS towards a more extreme side. The differentiations between the two models has always been increasing, and it’s going to be like that in the future.’

How wild will the new GT3 RS be?

‘The outer shape is frozen,’ revealed Preuninger. ‘It’s pretty spectacular. It’s beautiful.’ Expect the new RS to have an even bigger wing than the last 997-generation GT3 RS, no doubt inspired by the enormous spoiler on the back of the latest 991 Cup race car (pictured right with the new GT3). And to counter the extra rear downforce, there could be front aero tweaks too, and perhaps the GT3 RS 4.0’s aero ‘flics’ on the front bumper.

What about some RS-specific weight saving measures?

The new GT3 doesn’t yet have the option of a lightweight lithium ion battery like its 997-gen predecessors, because the rear-wheel steering system draws a considerable amount of current. However, Preuninger’s team is engineering a lightweight battery than can handle the extra demands of the rear axle system. ‘We are developing something like that,' Preuninger said. 'We hope it will be available for when the RS comes next year…’

What else?

The new 911’s aluminium-intensive construction means it already has the aluminium doors that were previously the reserve of the Turbo and GT cars, so any additional weight savings will be more complex and costly. ‘A carbonfibre roof would only save us about 200g because it’s already made of very thin aluminium,’ Preuninger revealed to CAR. ‘We could get another 5-7kg out of the GT3 with expensive exterior parts, but the car would be another £20k more expensive. And we have to leave room for the RS version…’

The wings, boot and bonnet in the new GT3 are already aluminium too, but Preuninger did confirm that the RS would have a titanium exhaust in place of the new GT3’s steel system. With all those pricey lightweight materials, expect the new GT3 RS to cost over £120,000.

What about more power?

Preuninger was cagey about the exact power outputs of the new GT3 RS, but he told CAR that although the latest GT3’s all-new 3.8-litre flat-six is officially rated at 469bhp, it’s got nearer to the 493bhp produced by the 997-gen GT3 RS 4.0. Expect the new RS to officially have just as much power as this illustrious predecessor. Which means over 500bhp in reality…