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Porsche 911 GT3 RS preview: News, photos & info

Porsche's latest and greatest track-focused model has got more of what matters -- NACA ducts, mostly.

Porsche

The current Porsche 911 GT3 RS has a problem -- namely, it's exactly as powerful as the recently refreshed GT3, which is supposed to slot in underneath the RS model. Thankfully, Porsche is heading to the 2018 Geneva Motor Show with a refresh that'll address this little issue.

The 2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS is once again the most powerful naturally aspirated 911 in the lineup, and also the most capable. Its 4.0-liter flat-six now puts out 520 horsepower and 346 pound-feet of torque, improvements of 20 and 7, respectively. It's 0.1 second quicker to 60 mph, which now arrives in 3.0 seconds. With a long enough straight, it'll top out at 193 mph. As before, Porsche's dual-clutch PDK transmission is the only one available on the GT3 RS.

You have my permission to slap whoever tells you that NACA ducts aren't cool. Well, maybe not your grandmother.

Porsche

When it comes to the chassis, rear-axle steering has returned to the GT3 RS with slight tweaks for better performance. There's also a new set of helper springs on the front axle to go along with the ones already out back. Active dampers, torque vectoring and adjustable suspension components are all present, as well. Cast iron brakes are standard, but you can opt for carbon-ceramic stoppers if you'll be doing a bunch of track driving -- and you will be in this car, won't you? Won't you?

Porsche didn't change too much when it moved from the 991 generation to the 991.2 refresh, but those changes do appear on the new GT3 RS. Keen eyes will spot the 991.2's notched taillights, but it doesn't take a set of quality peepers to notice one big adjustment up front -- Porsche slapped a set of NACA ducts onto the hood, borrowed from the GT2 RS, to help improve brake cooling. The front and rear bumpers are made of polyurethane, but lightweight carbon fiber makes an appearance in the front trunk lid and fenders. There's still a honkin' wing out back, fear not.

As for the interior... well, it's there, and it's not much different than before. You get a set of proper racing bucket seats with carbon fiber in the backrests. The rear and side windows are made of a lightweight glass, while the door panel features ultra-light vinyl loops instead of regular handles. There's less sound insulation, zero rear seats and a 12-o'-clock stripe on the steering wheel.

The counter-height rear wing is perfect for on-track performance and off-track posing.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

If all of this is somehow not enough for you, Porsche's got your back. An optional Weissach Package replaces the front and rear sway bars, roof, steering wheel trim and shift paddles with carbon fiber copies, shedding 13 pounds in the process and taking another $18,000 of your hard-earned money. Magnesium wheels drop another 25 pounds, but you have to shell out $13,000 for that, too.

(It bears noting that the Clubsport Package, which includes a roll cage and is shown in these images, will not be available in the US. What you see here is a Euro-spec GT3 RS.)

It's not like the GT3 RS is any sort of affordable if you're not into the Weissach Package, though. The 2019 GT3 RS will run you a cool $187,500 (plus $1,050 for delivery) when it hits dealers this fall, but you can order it starting right now. We'll see it in Geneva in early March.