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Porsche 911 RSR endurance racer blasts into 2016 LA show

The new 911 RSR is, controversially, mid-engined, and will make its racing debut in 2017

Porsche has taken to the 2016 LA Motor Show to unveil this: the new Porsche 911 RSR racecar. The new FIA World Endurance Championship racer will make its competitive debut at the 2017 Daytona 24-hour race in January. 

The body shape is still classic 911, but everything about the car has been done from scratch and has been kept in check by strict Le Mans GT car regulations. The enormous, top-mounted rear wing has been adopted from the 919 Hybrid Le Mans car and, when paired with the huge rear diffuser, create huge downforce when the car is on the move.

Arguably the biggest change over previous 911 GT racers, though, is the engine. It’s no longer rear-engined, which is enough to send Porsche purists into a fit of rage. The 4.0-litre naturally aspirated flat-six develops 503bhp, and is “positioned in front of the rear axle.”

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2016 Le Mans 24 Hours: interviews and gallery

There’s also some new tech on board, too. Porsche has introduced a collision avoidance system on the new RSR, which should mean that “the faster LMP prototypes are detected early enough, and misunderstandings can be avoided.” A new roll cage and the fact that the drivers seat is mounted directly to the chassis should help crash safety too, should the worst happen.

The 911 RSR is designed to compete in World Endurance Championship events including the iconic 24 Hours of Le Mans, along with the American IMSA Weathertech Championship in 2017.

Porsche is pretty confident its new race car will do well in its debut at Daytona, too. Head of GT Works Sport, Marco Ujhasi, said: “We’re very well prepared for this.

“We’ve covered 35,000 test kilometres on racetracks in Europe and North America – that’s more than in the development of any other Porsche GT racer.” 

What do you think of Porsche’s latest endurance racer? Leave us a comment below…

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