New Porsche 911 RSR: next GTE racer revealed at Goodwood

Published: 06 July 2019

► Based on the 991.2
► New 4.2-litre flat-six
► Still naturally-aspirated 

Porsche might be focusing its efforts on its forthcoming Taycan EV, but it seems that hasn’t stopped the German brand’s commitment to old-fashioned combustion engines. Alongside the UK debuts of the naturally-aspirated GT4 and Speedster, Porsche has also revealed its new GTE, the 2020 911 RSR at Goodwood.

So what’s new?

It’s based on the 991.2 this time – not the 992 – but 95% of the car is new, just not the headlights. Like the 2017 car it replaces, the new 2019 RSR features a naturally aspirated flat-six – but this time at 4.2-litre – and like the precious race car it’s more mid-engined than rear-engined like a traditional 911.

With the previous car, Porsche engineers moved away from the traditional 911 layout in order to squeeze more downforce-giving diffuser under the car – a must in the highly competitive GTE class. 

What’s more, the new RSR now has side-exiting exhausts which emerge just before the rear wheels – allowing for even more venturi-effect magic under the car. That change also brings a weigh saving. Whether or not they'll sound as incredibly/ear-piercing is another matter...

The most obvious difference here is the new RSR’s 991.2-body, weaponized here for performance. It’s undergone a similar transformation to the previous 991 race car, so it’s sprouted new splitters and winglets, while air-intakes and louvres have emerged. 

So it’s not a 992?

No it's not, and that’s because of homologation rules. Simply put, the new 992 GT3 needs to be on sale for Porsche to make a RSR version – and it doesn’t exist yet. What’s more, this car has taken around two years to develop which means we’ll now have to wait until at least 2021 to see an extreme-looking 992 GTE car. Never mind. 

The two-year gestation of the 991.2 RSR also includes a 33 hour test that took place at the Paul Ricard circuit this March. As you’d expect with a climate of competition and BoP rules, Porsche has been cagey with lap times, but says it’s significantly faster in ‘unBopped’ form. 

By Curtis Moldrich

CAR's online editor and racing-sim enthusiast