This is the Porsche 911 GT3 R, Zuffenhausen’s new GT3 series customer race car for 2019, based on the 911 GT3 RS production car that was revealed earlier this year. Porsche set out to achieve three main goals with the 911 GT3 R – efficient aerodynamics, further optimised safety as well as lowering the cost of servicing and spare parts.

The body design of the GT3 RS features aluminium-steel composite construction that has proven to be the ideal basis for the race car. But here, the roof, front hood and fairing, wheel arches, doors, side and tail sections as well as the rear lid and interior trim are made of carbon-fibre composite material (CFRP). All windows are polycarbonate pieces.

Powering the 911 GT3 R is a 4.0 litre naturally-aspirated flat-six that’s largely identical to the production car’s engine. Direct fuel injection, which operates at pressures up to 200 bar, as well as VVT adjustments of the intake and exhaust camshafts ensure efficient use of fuel. Compared to its predecessor, the water-cooled boxer (550 hp without restrictors) offers significantly better driveability and a broader usable rev range, Porsche says. Engine response is more precise due to six throttle butterflies.

Power from the rear-mounted engine is transferred to the 310 mm rear wheels via a sequential six-speed constant-mesh gearbox with an electronic shift actuator. As in GT road cars, the driver changes gears via steering shift paddles. The clutch is electro-hydraulically controlled, which eliminates the need for the clutch pedal and assists quick race starts.

In the aero department, the distinctive wheel arch air vents on the front fairings increase downforce at the front axle. Measuring 1,900 mm in width by 400 mm in depth, the giant rear wing lends aerodynamic balance. The tyre circumference at the front axle has grown from 650 to 680 mm. In tandem with the new double wishbone suspension, this improves braking performance and consistency over the duration of the race.

Speaking of brakes, the stoppers underwent further mods and now offer increased stiffness and more precise control of the ABS. In front, you’ll find six-piston aluminium monobloc racing brake callipers combined with ventilated and grooved steel 390 mm discs. At the back are four-piston callipers and 370 mm discs.

To improve pit stop performance, the 120 litre FT3 safety fuel cell can now be refilled from the left or right depending on the circuit layout.

For improved safety, the doors and side windows can be removed. The new racing seat – now bolted at six points – affords pilots even better protection in the event of a crash. In combination with the adjustable pedal box, the driver’s centre of gravity is optimised and that offers increased safety. In addition, the driver’s door gets carbon-fibre Kevlar aluminium construction with energy-absorbing plastic foam.

The racing 911’s cockpit has been redesigned, and for the first time, there’s air-conditioning. The AC has direct connection to the seat and driver’s helmet, which Porsche says will help pilots maintain concentration and constant performance. The new Porsche 911 GT3 R can be ordered now for 459,000 euros (RM2.17 million) before taxes, with deliveries starting from December 2018.

Want a racing 911 that’s road legal? That’s the new GT3 RS.