Porsche unveils mid-engined 911 RSR for WEC and IMSA next year

WPPROD

Porsche has formally unveiled its next-generation 911 RSR, which will compete in both the FIA World Endurance Championship and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship next year as factory entries.

The presentation was made Wednesday at the LA Auto Show, marking the first GTE-spec Porsche to debut on U.S. soil in recent memory.

While bearing the same name as its predecessor, the all-new GTE-spec contender features a radical mid-engined design, powered by a four-liter flat-six engine mounted in front of the rear axle.

The boxer engine is estimated to produce 510 horsepower, depending on the size of the air restrictor.

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

“For the 911 RSR, we deliberately focused on a particularly modern and light normally-aspirated engine, as this gave our engineers immense latitude in developing the vehicle.

“Apart from that, in principle, the GTE and GT Le Mans class regulations stipulate the absolute equality of various drive concepts, as the torque characteristics of turbo and normally aspirated engines are aligned.”

The 2017-spec 911 RSR also features an all-new transmission, suspension, body structure and aerodynamics, with the revised engine placement allowing for a larger rear diffuser.

It also has a top-mounted rear wing, a concept taken from the German manufacturer's World Championship-winning LMP1 car.

The car is equipped with a radar collision warning system, similar to a system run on the Corvette C7.Rs, while serviceability has also been improved, with quick-release bodywork components.

Two cars will be entered in January's Rolex 24 at Daytona, under the Porsche North America banner, and for the entire WeatherTech Championship, with Porsche Team Manthey returning to WEC competition, also with an expected two-car effort.

No word has been given on customer cars, although it would be expected for 2018.