A wild aero package helps the new Porsche 911 GT3 RS develop more downforce than any production car ever before it, 1895 pounds at 177 mph. That’s well into GT3 race-car territory, so it’s no surprise that the new RS is fast. Real fast. Today, Porsche announced the 992 GT3 RS set at 6.44.848 around the Nürburgring Nordschleife.
Note that the 6: 44.848 is on the 12.8-mile version of the Nordschleife, which eliminates the short “T13” straight. Historically, lap times were measured on this, the unofficially named Sport Auto configuration, named for the German magazine that began publishing Nordschleife lap times as part of its tests in the late Nineties. The Nürburgring began officially sanctioning lap times itself a few years ago, and it includes the T13 straight, which adds a few seconds to the lap time. On the longer configuration, the GT3 RS set a 6: 49.328, but the 6.44: 848 us more useful in comparing its performance to other cars.
The GT3 RS is just over 1.2 seconds off the 6: 43.616 set by the Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series, the current production-car record holder. Not bad, considering the Porsche is about 200 horsepower down on the AMG. (Porsche holds the street-car record with the 911 GT2 RS MR, though that car was fit with a number of aftermarket components from tuner Manthey Racing. This new GT3 RS is a couple seconds quicker than a standard GT2 RS.) RS is also a little over a tenth quicker than the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ — which has 759 hp — and around 10.6 seconds quicker than the standard GT3.
The GT3 RS’s aero system is active, with two flaps just ahead of the front wheels working with a huge bi-plane rear wing to constantly adjust the level of downforce generated. That wing also works as an air brake, and there’s even a DRS button at the steering wheel, which a la F1, opens a slot gap between the two wing sections to reduce drag. Increasing downforce increases drag, which reduces top speed. With the DRS system, that’s less of a problem, and consequently, the GT3 RS hits 173 mph on the long Döttinger Höhe straight. In video of the lap, you can see that driver Jorg Bergmeister uses the DRS system a number of times throughout the lap. There’s also a helpful graphic showing the positions of the front flaps and the rear wing.
“Considering the far from ideal conditions, with a strong headwind on the long straight of the Döttinger Höhe and cool asphalt temperatures, we are satisfied with this time,” said Andreas Preuninger, head of GT cars at Porsche, in a statement. Strong gusts around the track meant a reduction in downforce. The GT3 RS driven was equipped with optional Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R tires wrapping magnesium wheels, and the weight-saving Weissach Pack. As is standard practice for Porsche vehicles running Nürburgring hot laps, a racing seat was fit for the driver.
This lap time is a very good marker of progress. It was not 10 years ago that Porsche’s 918 Spyder became the first production car to break the 7-minute barrier on the Nordschleife. The new GT3 RS is 12.152 seconds faster. Of course, one imagines Porsche wants to take back the production-car record. Let’s see what the next GT2 RS can do.