Porsche is to endurance racing what the Yankee’s are to Major League Baseball. For many years, Porsche has used it’s 911 racecars to compete in endurance races, most famously the 24 hours of Le Mans. Up until now, pretty much every 911 raced has been rear engine, with the exception of the GT1.
Porsche just took the covers off their latest Le Mans racer, and boy does it have people stirred. The new Porsche racecar is called the 911 RSR, and it is the first mid-engine 911…ever. Sure, the 911 GT1 is technically the first mid-engine 911, by name, but it doesn’t really resemble a 911. The RSR, however, looks like a 911!
You may (probably not) be asking why Porsche moved the engine placement in RSR. Well, this all has to do with weight and distribution. Pretty much every other successful racecar has the engine mounted in the middle because physics. With most of the weight concentration in the middle of the chassis, the car has a nice balance. This means a car can be flung around a track harder and faster, with less risk of losing control. Porsche have reached the max of what they can do with a rear engine configuration, hence why they shifted to the more “mainstream” mid-engine setup.
Luckily, Porsche hasn’t gone full Lulu Lemon (or whatever the hip clothing brand is). Powering the RSR is a new 4.0L flat-6, which makes a lofty 510hp. Combine that with the 6-speed sequential gearbox, the 2740lb weight, and the radar collision avoidance system (yea, I’m surprised as well) and you have super sweet racecar.