Those leaked photos and Internet rumors turned out to be pretty accurate: Porsche today launched the 2011 911 GT3 RS 4.0, a limited-run halo performance machine limited to just 600 units worldwide. It is a step up from the 911 GT3 RS and was somewhat inspired by the 911 GT3 RSR race car.
To set the stage for this car, Porsche notes that the engine packed into this car is the largest, most powerful normally aspirated design to ever come in a factory-baked 911. It reportedly lapped Germany’s Nürburgring in 7:27, a time which will doubtless ignite debate in Internet forums for the next six months.
As the name suggests, power is derived from a 4.0-liter version of Porsche’s flat-six engine, with forged pistons, titanium connecting rods, and the same crankshaft as found in the GT3 RSR racer. The engine produces500 horsepower at a screaming 8250 rpm (that’s 125 horses per liter), with 339 pound-feet of torque available at 5750 rpm.
The RS 4.0 is offered only with a six-speed manual transmission, which has gear ratios specifically designed for track work. Porsche says the car can hit 60 mph in 3.8 seconds and 124 mph in 12.0 seconds, with a maximum velocity of 193 mph. Of course, those are the exact same benchmarks as Porsche specifies for the standard GT3 RS, which offers 450 horsepower from its 3.8-liter flat-six. Are the estimates conservative? We’ll have to wait until we’re offered some track time of our own to find out.
With flared fenders to accommodate the wide rear track, a massive rear wing, and gray racing stripes, the RS 4.0 has a commanding stance. It comes only in Carrera White paint, with red and gray accents and white center-locking wheels.The aggressive wide-body appearance and big rear wing are deliberately reminiscent of the GT3 RSR race car.
Porsche says the car has a drag coefficient of just 0.34, withthe wing and aerodynamic “flics” on the front bumper producing 426 pounds of downforce at 193 mph. Dietary components include carbon-fiber front fenders and front trunk lid, lighter carpeting, and carbon-fiber bucket seats, which help achieve a curb weight of just 2998 pounds. As in the regular GT3 RS, a roll cage is standard for the European version (the U.S. model won’t get the cage due to governmental regulations), and a blend of Alcantara and leather helps spruce up the stripped-down interior.
The performance figures and the visual amplitude are sure to make the 911 GT3 RS 4.0 one of the most desirable factory-issued Porsches to debut in years. With just 600 to be divided among Porschephiles worldwide, you’d better hurry if you want to order one. It goes on sale in the U.S. later this year for a cool $185,950, including destination.