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Porsche 911 GT3 RS: the whole history of the track racer since 1973

In almost 50 years of history, in one form or another, the GT3 RS has established itself as the ultimate 911, pure track attack tool. A look back at each of the generations of this legend, on the occasion of the release of the 992 GT3 RS!

If the 911 is undoubtedly, in the collective imagination, THE Porsche. But among the different versions of a legend that has now almost 60 years oldone of them is even more iconic: the GT3RS. And while Porsche has just unveiled the new generation of this radical tracker, it’s time to come back to the long career of Carrera RennSport !

Porsche 911 “Classic” Carrera RS (1973)

To see the origin of the 911 GT3 RS lineage, you have to go back to 1973. And if the name of GT3 does not yet exist, at Porsche or elsewhere, the spirit of the track racer is alive and well. A bit like Ferrari with its GTO, Porsche is looking for a homologated for racing innovations and a more radical model. The Porsche 911 Carrera RS was born. At the time, the normal 911 was powered by a 2.4-litre flat-six, with a maximum of 190 hp for the 911 S. But in the Carrera RS, it went to 210 hp and 2.7 L ! The body is widened, especially at the rear, and now accommodates a spoiler that has become iconic. The weight is maintained around a tonand about 1,600 cars are produced.

In 1974, a Carrera RS 3.0 was produced, offering even better performance (230 hp), and is getting closer to the world of racing. The Carrera RS 2.7 and 3.0 are among the most sought after by collectors today.

Porsche 911 (964) Carrera RS (1992)

It took wait almost 20 years to see the RS badge reappear on a 911! Again, no question of GT3. But the spirit is the same: a maximum sportiness and a link to racing. The 911 generation 964 then received many modifications. Power goes to 264 hp against 250 hp for the normal Carrera. But the main thing is elsewhere. With a stripped interior (no electric windows, air conditioning, power steering, rear seats, etc.), the Carrera RS saves about 150 kg ! Other changes aim to optimize use on the track, with for example a limited slip differentialadjustable anti-roll bars, and revised running gear.

An even more powerful version, the Carrera RS 3.8, is limited to 55 copies and produced using all the know-how of the competition. It then has the wide chassis of the 911 Turbo, and now reaches 300 hp. Ultra collector!

Porsche 911 (993) Carrera RS (1995-1996)

The 993 generation is the last Porsche 911 to havean air-cooled engine, a must for purists. The Carrera RS version is based on the achievements of the 964 Carrera RS 3.8, since it takes up a good part of the engine, which also develops 300 hp. The interior is again stripped down to a weight of 1,280 kg, i.e. a hundred kilos saved compared to the Carrera 2. On the outside, a fixed spoiler and specific rims make the show, coupled with a reduced ground clearance. The Carrera RS does not pretend!

On the other hand, compared to the previous generation, this 993 Carrera RS shows a little more livable. But to satisfy the most demanding customers, an ultra-radical version is planned: the Carrera RS Clubsport. It’s a real racing car, which won’t allow it to be registered in France.

Porsche 911 (996) GT3 RS (2003-2004)

The 996 generation Porsche 911 is the first to use the name “GT3”, which symbolizes its link with the race and the category of the same name. This generation also inaugurates water cooling, which, together with the look close to the newly launched Boxster, makes the 996 most unloved 911. But that does not prevent the GT3 from proving itself. With a contained weight and above all 381 hp drawn from its flat-six, it throws a stone into the water. And as that is never enough for enthusiasts, Porsche gave it a layer in 2003 with the very first 911 GT3 RS.

This more radical version stalks the kilos, which it eliminates via plastic glazing, carbon body panels, and even carbon-ceramic brakes, ultra-rare at the time. The look evokes the first 2.7 RS with painted rims and large “GT3 RS” stickers on the flanks.

Porsche 911 (997) GT3 RS (2006-2011)

The 997 generation of the Porsche 911 GT3 RS is the one that has undergone the most changes over the years. Launched in 2006, it is based, as is now the tradition, the classic 911 GT3. She loses 20 kg compared to the latter, to reach 1370kg. The engine is pushed to 435 hp. Above all, it inherits the wide chassis of the Carrera 4, which is not the case with the GT3. What better way to seat it, thanks to widened running gear and a more worked aero.

After the restyling (generation 997.2), the GT3 RS goes to 450 hp, and its aero kit becomes even more aggressive, especially at the level of the rear wing. But the real highlight will come in 2011, with the GT3 RS 4.0. As its name suggests, its engine increases to 4 liters, for a total of 500 hp! The GT3 RS 4.0 is a celebration of the “Metzger” engine, legendary at Porsche, and which lives here its last iteration. The chassis is pushed to its limits, with still a little less weight (1,360 kg), and aero appendages at the front.

Porsche 911 (991) GT3 RS (2015-2029)

It is anchored, the GT3 RS is based on the 911 GT3 of this new generation. We recognize it by its openings on the top of the wingsto increase aero downforce at the front, and at its air intakes on the rear fenders, until then a distinctive feature of the Turbo models. The gearbox is now in dual-clutch only : it’s the end of mechanical gearboxes on RS models. The engine, as on the old generation 4.0, is 4 liters for 500 hp, but this is aa new block. To further boost dynamism, the 991 GT3 RS is equipped with steering rear wheels for the first time.

The restyled 991.2 GT3 RS version gains 20 hp to reach 520 hp, and can be recognized by its air intakes on the front bonnet. She remains memorable for two things. First, it reassures fans, who see the entry-level 911 adopting turbos but not the GT3 and GT3 RS models. Above all, she passes below 7 minutes on the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit. This is a minute full of won compared to the 996 GT3 RS!

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Porsche 911 (992) GT3 RS (2022-…)

And here we are at the current generation of the Porsche 911 GT3 RS, barely presented. Visually, it stands out from its predecessor by enormous aerodynamic work. The bodywork is open everywhere: behind the front wheels, front bonnet, diffuser under the nose… As a result, downforce exceeds 800 kg, impressive ! The shock absorbers are adjustable directly from the steering wheel, and the aero is active according to the driving modes. Admittedly, it gains little in pure performance (525 hp for 1,450 kg), but its ultra-sharp chassis should allow it to greatly exceed track records of the 991. Case to follow!