Opinion: 2017 911 GTE will be homologated by new GT2 RS
As regular visitors to Total911.com will know, we’ve seen a host of spy shots surface of late of both the 2017 911 GTE racer and what some are touting as the next generation GT3 RS. The latter, we think, is wide of the mark.
Firstly, the 2017 GTE. When Porsche first released its official images of the car, there was an obvious omission: we could only see the front of the car. Despite works driver Kévin Estre calling it ‘the new 911 RSR’ via social social media (oops!), the pictures – or lack of – fuelled growing rumours that Porsche’s next GTE race car may in fact be mid engined.
The spy shots from testing at Monza two weeks ago appears to support this. As you can see from the pictures in this link, the rear screen of the ‘911’ is punctuated by louvres at the top, suggesting heat dissipation is now required fore of the rear axle. The spy shots also show side air intakes, which are usually plated over on the body of naturally aspirated GTEs and RSRs currently in competition.
Having the air intakes exposed á la the 911 Turbo’s styling cues is an obvious nod to how the next Porsche GTE race car will breathe. So, we can therefore deduce that the 2017 GTE is likely to be both turbocharged and rear-mid engined, in something of a sizeable shakeup for Weissach.
So what, then, of this ‘GT3 RS’ we’ve seen in testing? Well, at Total 911 we’re sure it’s a GT2 RS (and therefore turbocharged) thanks to a host of subtle styling references to that of the previous 997 GT2 RS, particularly evidenced on the front and rear bumpers as our pictures show.
But we’ve not had a GT2 RS since 2010, so where does that leave us, we hear you ask. Well, there’s one thesis I believe has real substance, that being the GT2 RS is about to replace the naturally aspirated GT3 RS as the homologated, road-legal Rennsport. Do I think the GT2 RS is therefore going to be rear-mid engined? No, more likely that Porsche has asked the FIA and ACO for a waiver to race a GTE that is similar if not identical to the homologated GT2 RS road car in terms of engine positioning. It’s likely this waiver has been accepted, particularly after Porsche gave the green light for Ford to compete (read: dominate) at Le Mans this year with a GT car that ultimately hadn’t been homologated at the time.
Only time will tell of course – and I don’t exactly have form when it comes to predictions, proclaiming in 2013 the 996 Turbo will never climb above £35,000 – but for now I think this could have legs. The new 2017 GTE race car is likely to be revealed around the time of the annual Porsche Night of Champions in mid-December, so until then we’re all left guessing, though you can bet on the release of more spy shots in the coming weeks to give us additional clues.
What do you think? Tell us your predictions below and, if you’re right, we’ll send you a Porsche-related prize when appropriate (in exchange for your crystal ball).