Porsche reveals a mid-engined 911 (race car)

► Porsche unveils new 911 RSR race car in Los Angeles
► Eschews rear-engined configuration for mid-engined set-up
► Naturally aspirated flat-six develops 503bhp – with restrictors!

A new Porsche 911 RSR racer is always a big deal, but the latest RSR is a bigger deal than most – sacrilegiously, it’s mid-engined.

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To allow for an optimized weight distribution (which in turn allows for more efficient use of the car’s tires over the length of a racing stint) and more efficient aerodynamics, Porsche has taken a long hard look at the rulebook and, with a little ingenuity, pushed the 911’s flat-six into the middle of the car – ahead of the rear axle, for the first time since 1995’s 911 GT1 prototype.

The wheelbase, too, is increased over that of the production car – but both developments are legal within the regulations and key to a next-generation racer tasked with humbling LM-GTE rivals Ferrari, Ford, Lamborghini and Corvette.

‘This is the biggest evolution in the history of our top GT model,’ says Porsche Motorsport boss Dr Frank-Steffen Walliser. ‘The new 911 RSR is a completely new development: the suspension, body structure, aerodynamic concept, engine and transmission have all been designed from scratch.

‘Honestly, it is a pretty fundamental change, and the car is completely different to the GT1 – that was a prototype. With the RSR we have stayed on the 911 platform and changed what was necessary. It was an important step for us, to come back and have a competitive car.

“Joking, I would say the ideas has been around since 2005! But we had some interruptions, some protests. I took over this role in October 2014 and this was the most important task. We made a decision in March 2015, and then the engineering started.”

While Walliser refuses to rule out a mid-engined GT road car, it’s unlikely – the established 2+2, rear-engined configuration works nicely in Porsche’s production 911s.

The RSR’s engine is the 4.0-liter motorsport naturally-aspirated flat-six: the old Mezger unit, which featured in the 991 RSR, is now fully retired. Breathing through restrictors to ensure parity withPorsche rival engines of all shapes and sizes, from turbocharged Ferrari V8s to the Ford’s twin-turbo EcoBoost V6, the RSR engine develops some 503bhp, transmitted to the rear slicks via a six-speed sequential gearbox (in a magnesium casing, naturally) and a three-plate carbon clutch.

Turbocharging was considered but discounted for its weight penalty and the adverse effect it would have had on weight distribution, the primary reason for the shift in engine location.

The revised engine layout has radically altered the RSR’s aerodynamics. Pushing the engine forward has allowed for a far bigger diffuser, while ‘swan-neck’ rear wing mounts, inspired by Porsche’s LMP1 prototype, confer a slight efficiency advantage since the more critical under-wing airflow is left free of strut-derived turbulence.

‘When you shift the engine you have the space in the rear for a bigger diffuser and there’s an aero advantage to that,’ explains Walliser. ‘That’s the second step that makes the concept stronger. It’s a significant advantage over the old car, though direct comparisons are difficult because of the different tyres.’

The RSR’s debut will be the US IMSA WeatherTech series opener at Daytona, the 24-hour heartbreaker that taught Ford valuable lessons about its then-new GT in January 2016. Like Ford, Porsche makes no bones about the RSR’s primary objective. ‘Reliability is the most important thing at the start, then we go after performance – everything must be sorted out for Le Mans,’ says Walliser.


Watch the Corvette Gand Sport Take On the 911 Carrera S… may the best car win!

The Corvette Grand Sport essentially combines the Stingray’s naturally aspirated 460-hp V-8 with the Corvette Z06’s handling bits, including the fancy magnetorheological shocks. Meanwhile, the big news with the 911 Carrera S is its new turbocharged six-cylinder. Is the Chevy a better car than the Porsche? Watch the video below to find out and let us know which car you would pick in the comments section.

Porsche 718 Boxster Annihilates Mercedes-AMG GT & BMW M2


There’s no doubt that Porsche’s new superstar is a feisty little monster. With aggressive looks, a powerful engine, and enough technology to power a spaceship, the Boxster 718 S is a proper sports car through-and-through.

This video by Motorsport Magazine is proof of that. The magazine’s staff headed out for a few hot laps at none other than France’s Magny-Cours world-class race track, which was home to the now defunct French Grand-Prix for decades. In case you’re wondering, Magny-Cours means “royal track.”

Among the fleet of cars being tested was a 718 Boxster S, as well as a Mercedes AMG GT, a new BMW M2, and a 911 (997) GT3. While you’d think that the baby Boxster is out of its league in this roster, you may rethink that once you see the lap times it put down.

Both the Mercedes, BMW, and obviously the GT3 are much more capable and powerful cars, which would lead one to believe they’re much faster. But as we know, all of those advantages may mean nothing on a twisty race track.

Which Porsche would you choose?

Decisions Decisions… Which supercar would you choose from Porsche?  Its the 959 for our money. A classic that set the stage for the next 20 years of Porsche technology all while being 911 based!


Check out this 1987 review from Car & Driver:

We hesitate to call any car perfect. The absence of flaws in any product of human endeavor is extraordinarily rare. But we have just returned from West Germany, where we finally got a chance to drive a Porsche 959 on the street, and the word “perfect” is difficult to avoid. What single word more accurately describes a car that combines race-car performance with luxury-sedan comfort, that is equally adept at commuting through rush-hour traffic, profiling in jet-set locales, negotiating blizzard-swept mountain passes, and outrunning light airplanes? The Porsche 959 can accomplish almost any automotive mission so well that to call it perfect is the mildest of overstatements.

Power and speed are the core of the 959’s excellence. With rocket-sled acceleration and the highest top end we’ve ever measured, the 959 stands alone at the pinnacle of production-car performance. If that sounds like hyperbole, how does a 0-to-60-mph time of 3.6 seconds strike you? Or 100 mph from rest in a mere 8.8 seconds, 120 mph in 12.4 seconds, and 140 mph in a tick less than 20 seconds? The 959 devours the standing quarter-mile in twelve seconds flat, with a terminal speed of 116 mph.

We recorded these figures at the Hockenheim-Ring, the site of this year’s German Grand Prix, employing a starting procedure recommended by Manfred Bantle, the project director of the 959 program. The drill was to switch the 959’s programmable four-wheel-drive system into its locked setting, engage low gear, wind the engine to 7000 rpm, and drop the clutch. The result was a cloud of rubber dust from four spinning Bridgestone RE71 gumballs, and a car that disappeared as if shot from a cannon.

As remarkable as these acceleration runs were, the 959 was just as impressive when accelerated in a more normal fashion. In tests with no wheelspin and minimal clutch slip, it sprinted from rest to 60 mph in only 4.9 seconds.

Unlike most ultraperformance cars, the 959 is astonishingly easy to drive. This is especially true if one starts in the lowest of the transmission’s six ratios—though Porsche, inexplicably, discourages this practice in on-road driving by labeling the bottom gear with a “G,” for Gellinde (terrain). When starting off in “G,” minimal clutch slip is needed to help the engine onto its power band. The clutch action is on the heavy side but very progressive, and stirring the shifter is a delight. The lever has been moved about three inches rearward from the usual 911 location, and the linkage has none of the rubbery feel we’ve come to expect in rear-engined cars. Instead, the 959 shifts with a wonderfully slick and fluid action. And with six ratios to choose from, the driver can run the engine either mild or wild.

These two personalities are clearly defined by the transition from single- to twin-turbo operation. The 959’s engine—all 24 valves, four overhead camshafts, twin turbochargers and intercoolers, two water-cooled heads, and six titanium connecting rods of it—is essentially a domesticated version of the 962’s racing powerhouse. Such engines thrive at high rpm but generally are weak at low engine speeds. The solution in the 959 is a staged turbocharger system. At low rpm, all of the exhaust flow is directed through just one turbocharger, bringing it quickly up to speed. Boost starts to build at 1500 rpm; by about 3000 rpm, the peak pressure of 14.5 psi is available. The second turbocharger cuts in at about 4300 rpm, uncorking the engine’s high-speed breathing abilities. The 959, in turn, surges forward as if a second set of cylinders were activated.


Developing 444 hp at 6500 rpm, the 959’s 2.8-liter flat six-cylinder produces more than 156 hp per liter. To put that into perspective, the Callaway Corvette’s twin-turbo V-8 has twice the displacement of the 959 engine but produces about 100 hp less, for a specific output of only 60 hp per liter.

In spite of its heroic output, the 959’s all-aluminum powerplant is always smooth and refined. It idles evenly at 800 rpm, it can be driven away at 1000 rpm in top gear without a shudder or a lurch, and it’s quieter than a production 911 powerplant. When it climbs into the boost mode, its power surge feels like a strong push rather than a hard punch. This softness around the edges of the awesome power curve lets the driver use the 959’s tremendous thrust with confidence.

Project director Bantle believes strongly that speed without security and stability is senseless, and we were eager to see whether his car would deliver both elements of the equation. The 959 was in our hands for only 24 hours, so we had no time to find a track where we could measure its top speed. We had to do it the German way—on the autobahn. We chose to run at night, when traffic was minimal, but the conditions were less than ideal: our test stretch was only two lanes wide, and it wasn’t perfectly straight. Nevertheless, we clocked a two-way average of 190 mph, without ever feeling as though we were driving on the hairy edge. According to the factory, the 959 will do 195 if given enough room.


Porsche 911 Evolved!



The Porsche 911, perhaps more than any other modern car, is clearly a lineal descendant of its original forebear. While today’s Porsche 991 is both bigger and exponentially more sophisticated than the original 901 that bowed at the 1963 Frankfurt motor show, the newest 911 is simply the latest evolution of an enduring era.

The first 911 was an evolution of the Volkswagen-derived Porsche 356. Conceived as a bigger four-seat 356, the 911 became an all-new car featuring a new chassis with MacPherson struts, semi-trailing arms and torsion bar springs, and a brand-new air-cooled, OHC flat-six, initially making 128 hp from 1,991cc. The styling was the work of Ferdinand Alexander “Butzi” Porsche. It echoed the 356’s familiar fastback silhouette, but it turned out to be a timeless design. Central to its character was the fact that the 911 demanded an expert touch from its driver. The short wheelbase, rear-weight bias and semi-trailing arm rear suspension made it easy to break the tail loose. Porsche made various attempts to mitigate that behavior, including an inelegant set of front “bumper reinforcement” weights and a modest wheelbase stretch. But the 911’s defiant tail was not fully tamed until the ’90s.

964 generation

The 911’s wheelbase grew from 87.1 to 89.4 inches in 1969, and its overall length increased about 4.5 inches in 1974 with the addition of bigger 5-mph bumpers. But it remained a very compact car. Mechanical fuel injection was introduced in 1969, became standard in 1974 and gave way to Bosch digital engine management in 1984. Lower compression ratios kept a lid on peak horsepower throughout the ’70s, but performance remained fairly consistent thanks to a series of displacement increases. Starting in 1975, there was also the fearsome 930 Turbo, initially making 260 hp DIN from 2,994cc. The Turbo disappeared from the U.S. in 1980, and by mid-decade, normally aspirated cars could be ordered with the 930’s wide-fendered body and “whale-tail” spoiler. The 930 returned to the U.S. in 1986 with 282 hp.

993 generation

In 1989, Porsche introduced the much-revised 964-generation car, with tidied-up aerodynamics, a retractable rear wing, ABS, power steering, a new suspension with coil springs instead of torsion bars and an updated 3,600cc engine with 247 hp. After decades of styling stasis, the 964 brought a more minimalist silhouette and a somewhat more modern interior layout to Porsche’s signature model. It was also the beginning of the end for the mechanically dead-simple 911. The first 964 was the Carrera 4, with an all-wheel-drive system that decisively addressed the 911’s tail-out antics, though at some cost in sharpness. A rear-wheel-drive Carrera 2 followed in 1990, adding an optional four-speed Tiptronic automatic. The 964 Turbo arrived for 1991, initially with a 315-hp 3,299cc engine; a 355-hp Turbo 3.6 followed in 1993.


996 generation

In 1994, the 964 was replaced by the 993, the final air-cooled 911, sporting an extensive facelift, more power and a choice of six-speed manual or Tiptronic. The biggest change was a new multilink rear suspension that finally laid to rest most of the RWD 911’s nasty habits. The Carrera 4 also returned with a simplified, lighter AWD system. The 993 Turbo arrived in 1995, featuring AWD and 400 hp. The new Turbo was shatteringly quick. But while the Turbo was a little insane, the first 911 GT2 was positively bonkers. Fifty-seven were built as homologation specials so that 993-generation cars could compete in GT2-class racing. The earliest GT2s carried air-cooled, 3.6 liter twin-turbo flat-sixes making 430 hp, though after ’98 the motor made 450 hp. The GT2 was capable of sub-four-second 0-60 sprints.


997 generation

In September 1997, Porsche introduced the first water-cooled 911, the 996. It was still a rear-engined 2+2, but it had close ties to the mid-engined Boxster, using a 3,387cc derivative of its 24-valve “Wasserboxer” with 296 hp. The 996 was the first 911 to have been totally redesigned. In addition to the water-cooled engine, the body and interior were almost entirely new. The “fried-egg” headlights of the early 996 were deemed too similar to those of the lower-priced Boxster and were changed for the 2002 model year. The 996-generation spawned 16 variants, with the Turbo S, GT3, GT3 RS and GT2 taking the performance of street-going 911s to new heights. The AWD Turbo S and RWD GT2 laid claim to the gaudiest numbers, but the naturally aspirated GT3 and GT3 RS took over the track-focused mantle.

991 generation

The evolutionary 997 followed for 2005 and went on to become the best-selling generation of 911 yet. Porsche traditionalists lauded the return to round headlights, and a better interior brought the 911 more in line with the other high-priced sports cars. Performance for the 997 was staggering: The 911 Turbo S was capable of 0-60 runs of less than three seconds. The 997-generation cars were the first 911s to make use of the new PDK semiautomatic transmission. As the Nürburgring Nord-schleife production car lap-time record became a source of bragging rights, Porsche watched Dodge and Nissan set unbelievable times with their GT-R and Viper ACR. So, Porsche began development of the 911 GT2 RS, which set a time of 7:18, taking the record, if only momentarily.

The 991 arrived in 2012 with a sleeker profile, a longer wheelbase and the choice of rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, and normally aspirated or twin-turbo engines. It is larger and more refined than the outgoing 997, but it’s also lighter and more powerful. There are some who insist the water-cooled models are not real 911s. However, the 911 has survived because it evolves. Porsche has considered replacing the 911, but each time it has recognized that doing so would be foolhardy. If you say “Porsche,” people still assume you mean the 911. The car represents tangible reassurance that Porsche hasn’t lost touch with its roots even as the company expands into new arenas. For that reason alone, the 911 is likely to continue for as long as Porsche does.