Posted Feb 26th 2013 11:59AM
Porsche's all-new 911-based race car has been caught in the act - and it sounds awfully exciting to our ears. The new 911 race car is based on Porsche's all-new street car which holds an internal designation of "991" both at the factory and in Porsche owner and fan circles.
The new 911 will be served up in many different race specifications depending upon the series it will race in - the following video footage is grainy having been shot from a cell phone, but it appears to our eyes to be the new 911 RSR GTE race car which is set to supplant the 911 GT3 RSR and contend the World Endurance Championship as well as the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans.
There are three major design advantages to building a race car based upon the new (991) 911. The first is weight loss - while the race teams will build their cars from its naked chassis, the chassis itself is lighter and stronger, giving the race teams a better starting point.
Porsche 911s have characteristically had gobs of rear end grip thanks to the weight of the engine hanging off the rear wheels - but the trade off has always been a light front end which induces understeer on occasion. You'll hear 911 racers and track day junkies preach the rear-engine gospel, proclaiming atop their spare wheels that 911s must be driven differently to exploit the rear-engine layout; it's true that in order to maximize performance, 911's require a different approach to corners. The new 911 truly breaks into new handling territory and blurs the lines thanks to both a longer wheelbase that inches the engine closer to the rear wheels, and a wider front track which lessons the effect of the chassis rolling onto the rear wheels, thus offering increased front end grip and reduced understeer. In a nutshell, the second major design advantage to the new 911 is increased front end grip.
Finally, the new 911 has impressive aerodynamics. The car sits wider but also lower, so it punches a hole through the air with a similarly slippery drag coefficient to the car it replaces. The lower, wider car offers Porsche engineers a great starting point to develop an advanced aero package for their race cars.
All of the above culminates into a new 911 race car that is likely to keep its winning ways - but win or lose it's sure to sound great as evidenced by the following video. Turn up the volume to massage your tympanic membranes in a boxer-6 symphony.