OFFICIAL: Porsche unveils 911 RSR’s 2017 GTE/GTLM successor
After announcing on social media yesterday that a new racing Porsche would be unveiled today, Porsche Motorsport has taken the wraps off its new 2017 GTE/GTLM class challenger this morning.
The successor to the current Porsche 911 RSR, the new top class GT racer has recently completed its roll out at the Weissach test track with most of the factory’s GT drivers having a brief stint behind the wheel.
It is now ready for an extensive testing over the second half of 2016 before the car is due to make its competitive debut at next year’s 24 Hours of Daytona, the traditional IMSA season opener.
The launch has however raised more questions that it answers, especially as Porsche seems to be particularly secretive about the new car’s rear end. You’ll not that all of the shots released this morning are all pretty much dead front-on photos.
For months, rumours have abounded that the RSR’s successor would be mid-engined and, with Porsche not yet referring to this new car as the 2017 911 RSR, the lack of rear end detail shots would certainly suggest that this car could shift away from the Neunelfer’s traditional layout.
However, in separate columns for Total 911 both factory driver, Nick Tandy and Porsche Motorsport boss, Dr Frank-Steffen Walliser have confirmed that the new GTE contender will be based on the Porsche 911 we know and love.
This would appear to be backed up by Tandy’s works teammate, Kévin Estre who – after the launch – was the first official Porsche factory figure to refer to the car as “the 2017 911 RSR”. Porsche Motorsport even endorsed his tweet.
So that suggests on of two rear end secrets: either the new 2017 GTE/GTLM Porsche features some radical aerodynamic design that it doesn’t want its competitors seeing too much of before Daytona next year, or the new engine is, like the current 991.2 Carreras, turbocharged.
In his Total 911 column – out next week – Walliser explains that he can’t give too much away about the new engine but all that confirms the current Porsche 991 RSR’s 4.0-litre Mezger is all but ready for retirement. Whatever the new car’s secret is, we can’t wait to see it out on track battling for Porsche’s GT honour.
What do you think of the new 2017 Porsche 911 RSR? Is it mid-engined? Is it turbocharged? Join the debate in the comments below or head to our Facebook and Twitter pages now.