Porsche has revealed its new 911 RSR at the LA auto show, confirming that its 2017 World Endurance Championship (WEC) and Le Mans contender will be using a mid-engined layout.
Unlike the rear-engined road 911, the RSR’s 510hp 4.0-litre six-cylinder engine is located in front of its back axle to enable the fitment of a large rear diffuser. The use of this new part should help the car to produce significantly more downforce than the current one, which uses a much smaller item.
The mid-engine layout comes as part of a complete overhaul for the racer that includes an all-new structure, suspension and aerodynamic concept compared with the current RSR. It should also help improve he RSR's overall weight balance.
The car uses a six-speed sequential gearbox with steering wheel shift paddles, a multi-disc self-locking differential and a three-disc carbon race clutch. New for the 2017 racer is an automatic emergency braking system that uses radar control like road cars to help avoid major impacts during a race. There’s also a new multi-function steering wheel, LED headlights and tail-lights, and an air conditioning system – as per GT racing regulations.
The head of Porsche Motorsport, Frank-Steffen Walliser, said the new car’s engineering changes represent “the biggest evolution in the history of [Porsche’s] top GT model”.
The new RSR's first race will be in the US at the International Motor Sports Association championship season opener at Daytona on January 28-29, 2017. It'll then be used by the factory Porsche team for the WEC and Le Mans.