Porsche has officially unveiled its new 911 RSR GT racecar for 2017, which features a normally-aspirated flat-six engine mounted ahead of the rear axle for the first time.
Unveiled today at the LA Auto Show, the 911 RSR's four-litre, flat-six motor features direct fuel injection as well as a rigid valve drive. Its positioning ahead of the rear axle marks an end to Porsche's tradition of rear-engined GT challengers, but there will be no mid-engined road car equivalent.
The new car will make its debut at the Rolex 24 Hours in January 2017 before contesting the full IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, and will make an official return as a factory presence to the FIA World Endurance Championship with the Manthey team.
“While retaining the typical 911 design, this is the biggest evolution by now in the history of our top GT model,” said Porsche's head of 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 LM-GTE regulations stipulate the absolute equality of various drive concepts, as the torque characteristics of turbo and normally aspirated engines are aligned.”
Depending on the size of the air restrictor, the new normally-aspirated engine will produce about 500bhp.
The car also features a radar-supported collision warning system, to avoid misunderstandings with faster prototypes.
Porsche’s Marco Ujhasi, who heads up the GT programme, added: “We’re very well prepared for this.
“Since its first rollout in Weissach in March this year, we’ve covered 35,000 test kilometres on racetracks in Europe and North America – that’s more than in the development of any other Porsche GT racer.”