It’s a familiar shape, from the outside at least; the new Porsche 911 RSR has been overhauled and now adopts a mid-engined layout, superseding the previous racer’s rear-engined configuration for GT racing applications.

The new car’s engineering changes represent “the biggest evolution in the history of Porsche’s top GT model”, said Porsche Motorsport head Frank-Steffen Walliser. The company says that everything was designed from scratch: the suspension, body structure, aerodynamic concept, engine and transmission.

The switch to a mid-engined layout was made to improve the car’s competitiveness on circuit; while the traditional rear-engined layout was very effective in putting power down to the road or track surface, the pronounced rear weight bias created pendulum effects on the chassis and was harsh on its rear tyres.

In addition to revised weight distribution, the new mid-engined layout also offers packaging advantages for a new, larger and more aggressive rear diffuser. This, combined with the a top-mounted rear wing adopted from the 919 Hybrid LMP1 race car, provides the 2017 911 RSR with more downforce for improved stability while cornering and braking.


Powering the 911 RSR is a 4.0 litre, direct-injected, naturally aspirated flat-six engine producing 510 hp. Drive goes to the rear wheels via a six-speed sequential gearbox with a three-disc clutch, housed in a magnesium gearbox casing. Within the cabin, the driver’s seat is now rigidly mounted to the chassis, while an adjustable pedal box which moves fore and aft takes over for adapting to drivers of different heights.

Here’s something interesting. The new RSR is equipped with a radar-supported collision warning system, the so-called “Collision Avoid System”. Even in the dark, the faster LMP prototypes are detected early enough and misunderstandings with the frontrunners can be avoided. Serviceability has also been significantly improved, Weissach says. Entire elements of the carbon fibre body can be exchanged completely in a very short time thanks to clever quick-release fasteners, ditto the suspension setup.

The 911 RSR will be contesting in the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship, as well as the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship, where it will face off against other mid-engined rivals such as the Ferrari 488 and the Ford GT.