The next generation Porsche 911 (Type 991) GT3 R has been caught while snarling its way around a remote enclave of the automaker's test facility in Germany. The 2013 GT3 R is being readied to compete in next year's FIA GT3 championship, where it will take on the likes of everything from the Ferrari 458 Italia, to the Audi R8 LMS, Chevrolet Camaro GT3 and McLaren MP4-12C GT3. Last year's championship was won by drivers Dominik Bauman and Maximilian Buhk, who piloted a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 to victory. The series is set to enter its eighth season next year, and competition looks to be fiercer than ever.
Faster, Wider, Meaner.
Unless you've been hiding in a cave for the past few decades, you'll know that Porsche kind of has a knack for this road racing game. The rear-engine 911 is one of the most decorated racings cars ever built and this, the Type 991 model, looks ready to carry the torch forward. This black prototype GT3 R definitely looks like it'll get the job done, thanks to its massively wide stance, giant rear wing, and a front end absolutely riddled with air intakes and aero elements. Compared to the aggressiveness of the bodywork, the two modestly sized (relatively speaking) central exhaust outlets might come as a surprise. Blame racing regulations, and the need to keep a very wide range of racing cars on a level playing field.
This means that the Porsche's 4.0-liter flat-6 engine should still produce somewhere in the region of 500 bhp. That's about what the championship winning Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG produced last year, more or less, despite having a significantly larger 6.2-liter V-8 engine under its hood. Weight and ballast rules should pin the Porsche 911 GT3 R's curb weight around last year's 2,600 lb. limit. Once again, this is subject to modification as the season progresses. For comparison's sake, that championship winning SLS AMG tipped the scales at roughly 2,900 lbs. The Porsche will route its power to the rear wheels, via a 6-speed sequential shift gearbox.
If you have your helmet and racing license ready, the GT3 R should go on sale very early in 2013. According to the website, the outgoing model cost approximately $390,000 (excluding taxes). The new and improved variant is likely going to cost plenty extra, however. Though be honest, what price can you put on spanking the competition once the green flag drops?