Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0 (2011) first pictures and video | CAR Magazine

Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0 (2011) first pictures and video

Published: 28 April 2011 Updated: 26 January 2015

This is the new Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0, a 493bhp race car for the road. Think of it as the ultimate 911 – it brings together the brilliant chassis of the GT3 RS, the lightweight secrets learnt on the GT2 RS, and the stonking 4.0-litre six cylinder engine that powers the GT3 RSR racer.

This Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0 sounds like quite a package…

It is, and topping the list of impressive highlights is a new 4.0-litre flat-six engine. The 102.7mm bore remains the same as the GT3 RS’s 3.8-litre engine, but to create the new 4.0 it’s been stroked out from 3797cc to 3996cc. Essentially it’s the horizontally opposed engine you’ll find in the 911 GT3 RSR racer, and this new RS 4.0 uses exactly the same crankshaft that you’ll find in Porsche’s customer race car. The pistons are forged too, and the conrods are made from titanium. 

The result is the biggest ever engine found in a factory-approved 911, and one the most powerful naturally aspirated engines on sale today: total power is 493bhp at 8250rpm, up from the 444bhp at 7900rpm you get in the GT3 RS. Maximum torque is 339lb ft at 5750rpm, a useful increase over the 3.8’s 317lb ft at 6750rpm. And the 123bhp/litre output is just a whisker behind a Ferrari 458 Italia.

What else is new on the new RS 4.0?

Despite fitting a bigger engine into the arse, the GT3 RS 4.0 tips the scales at 1360kg, ten kilos less than the 3.8. Thank the carbonfibre bonnet from the GT2 RS, plus the standard-fit carbon front wings (an option on the GT2 RS), plus the plastic rear windows and aluminium doors skins carried over from the GT3 RS.

Mix the lot and you get 362bhp/tonne (GT3 RS: 324bhp/tonne , 458 Italia: 407bhp/tonne). The 0-62mph sprint is dispatched in 3.9 seconds (4.0sec for the 3.8 GT3 RS) but without PDK (only a six-speed manual is available) and only two driven rear wheels (no four-wheel drive) there’s a limit to how quickly even the most powerful cars will launch off the line.

Porsche also says the GT3 RS 4.0 will crack 0-124mph in under twelve seconds, and get around the Nürburgring-Nordschleife in 7 minutes and 27 seconds – the 119bhp more powerful GT2 RS can only managed 7:18. Give thanks to the huge rear wing with revised side plates, new sills and those nose-mounted winglets, which Porsche claims combine to give the RS 4.0 an extra 190kg of downforce when it’s running flat out. Here’s hoping the garish new graphics peel off at speed. 

What about inside and under the skin of the GT3 RS 4.0?

The RS 4.0 uses the same wider front and rear tracks as the RS 3.8, but Porsche has tweaked the chassis, adjusting the Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) electronic damper system to cope with the new weight distribution and extra power, and the rear axle now features additional ball-joints as well. Porsche’s active engine mount system also features.

Inside you’ll find lightweight carbonfibre bucket seats trimmed in black leather and red Alcantara, a very bright red Alcantara roof, more red grippy stuff on the gearstick, armrests and door handles, and a black Alcantara steering wheel. The fabric door pulls from Porsche’s other RS cars remain, there are carbonfibre sill strips, a strip of carbon across the dash, and ‘RS 4.0’ logos. And finally, Porsche’s Clubsport package is standard too, squeezing a roll cage in behind the seats, and also adding harnesses, a fire extinguisher and a battery cut-off switch. Ceramic brakes remain on the options list, along with a nose-lift system; Carrara White paint is standard, black is your only other choice.

Porsche will only build just 600 units of the 911 GT3 RS 4.0. UK sales commence in July 2011, and prices start at £128,466, £19,343 more than (now redundant) GT3 RS.

911 GT3 RS 4.0 911 GT3 RS 3.8 911 GT2 RS
Price £128,466 £109,123 £161,478
Engine 3996cc 24v flat six 3797cc 24v flat six 3600 24v twin-turbo flat six
Power 493bhp @ 8250rpm 444bhp @ 7900rpm 612bhp @ 6500rpm
Torque 339lb ft @ 5750rpm 317lb ft @ 6750rpm 516lb ft 2250-5500rpm
Fuel economy 20.5mpg 21.4mpg 23.7mpg
Emissions 326g/km CO2 314g/km CO2 284g/km
Weight 1360kg 1370kg 1370kg
Power-to-weight 362bhp/tonne 324bhp/tonne 447bhp/tonne
0-62mph 3.9sec 4.0sec 3.5sec
0-124mph 11.9sec 12.2sec 9.8sec
Top speed 193mph 192mph 205mph


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By Ben Pulman

Ex-CAR editor-at-large