Meet the 2017 Porsche 911 RSR

The biggest noise is not coming from the new Porsche’s exhaust; it’s coming from the hoo-ha after Porsche finally switched to a mid-engine.

The new model was announced in November 2016 and was to be released straight onto the race track at Le Mans, France. This ‘super’ 911 is a much needed weapons pulled out of Porsche to battle the Ford GT.

What has really caught everyone in a racket is the fact that the 4.0-liter flat-six engine powering the car now sits in front of the rear axle, not behind it. This breaks away from Porsche’s trademark rear-engine design.

But why the mid-engine?

Because it is now classified as a ‘mid-engine’ car, it will be grouped with the likes of the Ford GT and Ferrari 488 GTE in the LM-GTE class. But switching to the mid-engine layout was to improve weight distribution, additionally arming the engine with a more aggressive diffuser. This levels the playing field on the track.

When I took over Motorsport in 2014, there had already been some studies for, let me say, optimized weight distribution,” said Porsche Motorsport boss Frank Walliser. “In March 2015, we made the final decision with the board and everything–the concept was there, and we did the studies, then we started with the engineering.”

Despite that, this new RSR still has also the curves and features that made us fall in love with Porsche’s classic design in the first place. It’s just the insides that changed. Well, sort of.

So what else is new?

Porsche has ditched the steel armour and has instead been kitted with carbon body. It is easily attached to chassis and can be removed with minimal effort.

Then a new technology has also been installed in the RSR which is a radar-supported warning system that will help RSR avoid accidents. This will help the RSR on the track to avoid accidents with other speeders. This technology might even have a place somewhere in Porsche’s future as an autonomous driving system.

“While retaining the typical 911 design, this is the biggest evolution by now in the history of our top GT model,” says Head of Porsche Motorsport Dr Frank-Steffen Walliser.