Think you’ve heard it all? The new 911 RSR has some news for you. Officially alive and well at last week’s 24 Hours of Daytona race, it finished an incredible 6th in its first outing ever. The car in question was operated by Porsche’s own GT team and driven by D. Werner and F. Makowiecki. The second car finished 10th. Both are amazing results, considering this was the first time the car saw actual competition.
The mid-engine change is happening with the 2017 Porsche 911 RSR
Wondering what makes this car so special? It’s the engine. Well, not the actual engine, but its position relative to the chassis. See, 911s have always been rear-engined, i.e. the engine has been located behind the rear axle. The old 911 GT3 R featured this configuration, as did all other road and racing 911s before it. The new 911 RSR places the transmission at the rearmost point of the car, effectively pushing the engine forward,closer to the center of the vehicle.
Although it still isn’t technically a mid-engined car, the engine is the closest to the center it’s ever been. It seems Porsche is slowly realizing that a mid-engine layout might offer more advantages in racing – not that they needed it, of course. History is a witness to hundreds of 911 podiums, but the new configuration might make them completely unbeatable.
What’s the best thing about this for us mere mortals? FIA regulations dictate that if the engine configuration is changed, the manufacturer must produce at least 2,500 units of a road-going version over a 12-month period. Excited about the prospect of a (nearly) mid-engined 911? You should be.
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