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Porsche 911 GT3 RS facelift for 2018: more power, more pedals

Published: 29 March 2017

► Facelift for 911 GT3 RS
► Spied testing in Germany
► Power increase to c. 525bhp

One of the stars of the 2017 Geneva motor show was the updated Porsche 911 GT3, with a minor facelift and a host of cumulative tweaks to performance, handling and refinement.

Now it’s the turn of the faster-still RS model to get an upgrade patch of its own.

Click here for CAR's review of the existing Porsche 911 GT3 RS

What do the pictures tell us?

Like the regular GT3, there’s a new front bumper treatment. This test car appears to be fitted with the tail-lights and rear bumper from the current RS, but they’re likely to change for production too.

Gigantic Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres are still crammed beneath the arches, and the hallmark vents above the front wheels return – Porsche GT boss Andreas Preuninger says they practically double front-end downforce.

The 4.0-litre naturally aspirated flat-six’s power output is expected to climb to around 525bhp. The current GT3 RS is conservatively rated at 500bhp, a figure estimated at homologation. Preuninger says in reality it develops something closer to 510-515bhp – ‘we always find something else in the [development] process.’   

Will the GT3 RS get a manual gearbox option, like the updated 911 GT3?

Pre-facelift, both the GT3 and the GT3RS were equipped with dual-clutch PDK paddleshift only, in-keeping with their remit as the fastest, most track-focused GT3 variant. That’s changed for 2017, with the GT3 being offered with a manual gearbox as an extra-cost option for those who want it – and the latest whispers from Weissach suggest the GT3 RS too will be offered with three pedals and a lever if you tick the right boxes on the order form.

Our sources suggest the new 911 GT3 RS will launch in March 2018, but we’re likely to see the car in full before the end of 2017.

Meanwhile, work continues on the 911’s next generation of models, due in 2019 – click here for our scoop dossier on the Porsche 992.

By James Taylor

CAR's online editor, news-gatherer, fast-lapper, Radical champ