The rear engine layout is considerably Porsche 911’s ultimate selling point. Over the years, the arrangement of the engine has proven to be more capable for racing. But then, Porsche apparently gave its 911 a rather unusual overhaul. The latest Porsche 911 RSR (yes, the same car that would take part in the “24 Hours of Le Mans”) now has a new mid-engine.
But that’s not all. There are 19 other racing events in the GTE category where the 2017 Porsche 911 RSR will be part of. So this must be something really big.
According to Porsche, the much larger diffuser at the rear was in place after they positioned the 4.0 Litre horizontally arranged 6-cylinder engine at the middle. Porsche realised this new layout significantly improves handling and provides better balance as compared with the rear engine layout.
Since this is something unusual, designing the RSR has brought them back to square one. The 911 RSR only weighs 1,243 kg, which basically means the body; powertrain and the suspension have undergone significant changes. Porsche’s racer boasts 510 hp from the naturally aspirated engine and is paired to a 6-speed sequential transmission with differential lock.
Aside from the larger diffuser, the improved downforce, according to Porsche, is actually due to the “919 Hybrid racer-inspired” roof-mounted spoilers. Porsche has also equipped the 911 RSR with the latest Collision Avoid System. This unit works like a radar that delivers a warning whenever there are vehicles up ahead.
This will be very useful especially in the Grand Touring Endurance competitions. Perhaps all the components of the 911 RSR are enhanced for racing. The carbon fibre bodywork for instance now comes with fasteners that quickly unlocks for faster servicing. The same goes for its braking system with 6-piston calipers and 12.2 inches rear tyres for the centre lock wheels.
Instead of the standard cabin, the new Porsche 911 RSR’s interior is decked with racing specific features such as harnesses, bucket seat and steering wheel. While the seat is permanent, the pedals can be adjusted forward or backward to adapt to the driver’s size.
The 24 Hours Le Mans is probably the most celebrated racing event of the season. This explains why Porsche went beyond the traditional placement of the engine and installed the engine ahead of the rear axle. Although they still managed to keep the 911’s original design, the necessary changes were made in order for them to remain in the lead.