Porsche’s New 911 Racer Is Not Rear-Engined

Porsche just removed the wraps from their all-new GT car at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Holy cow, it’s mid-engined!

Porsche will tackle the 2017 racing season with a newly developed GT racer. The new 911 RSR makes full use of the breadth of the Le Mans 24 Hours GT regulations, and in addition to lightweight design, features the ultra-modern, flat-six engine positioned in front of the rear axle.

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Matt B
Matt B SuperDork
11/16/16 2:30 p.m.

Well, they finally caved.

mazdeuce
mazdeuce UltimaDork
11/16/16 2:55 p.m.

Wasn't this a very poorly kept secret for a while now? I'm most curious about whether this will spawn a road car variant. Yes I know they build the Cayman, and it's not like I could afford one anyway, I just want to know if Porsche is nutty enough to do it.

Fitzauto
Fitzauto Dork
11/16/16 3:19 p.m.

Looks like they finally figured out how to do it the right way

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
11/16/16 3:23 p.m.

What's next?!? A mid-engined Corvette!?!?! At least the 'mericans' have the balls to hold on to tradition!!

Furious_E
Furious_E Dork
11/16/16 3:29 p.m.

BLASPHEMY!!!!

Devilsolsi
Devilsolsi Reader
11/16/16 3:59 p.m.
aircooled wrote: What's next?!? A mid-engined Corvette!?!?! At least the 'mericans' have the balls to hold on to tradition!!

Ummm....Corvette DP?

Devilsolsi
Devilsolsi Reader
11/16/16 4:03 p.m.

I have a bit of an issue with the direction GTLM/GTE is going. I don't think the Ford should have been able to run this year. I don't think Porsche should be able to run a mid engine car, unless they base it on the Cayman. The class is supposed to be production based. Ford wasn't in production, and the Porsche doesn't exist.

I guess if you go back to the Grand-Am days they ran tube chassis Mazda RX-8s with 3 rotor motors. Those had nothing to do with production cars. Guess it isn't that different.

kb58
kb58 Dork
11/16/16 4:14 p.m.

Sort of like NASCAR, where the total number of actual components from the cars they're pretending to be can be counted on one hand.

Huckleberry
Huckleberry MegaDork
11/16/16 4:17 p.m.
aircooled wrote: What's next?!? A mid-engined Corvette!?!?! At least the 'mericans' have the balls to hold on to tradition!!

Not sure if joking. The Corvette is already technically mid-engined. The whole thing is behind the front axle.

mazdeuce
mazdeuce UltimaDork
11/16/16 4:45 p.m.

They just need homologation rules again. Or more strict ones. Racing the Ford GT is one of those fuzzy areas that you let slip because it's good for the sport. The 911 is at least based on the same shell that they sell. I'd like to see what they had to modify to make it work and how that fits in with the rules. And there is always the thought that Porsche is about to announce their next special car which is why this was allowed. We'll see.

T.J.
T.J. UltimaDork
11/16/16 4:46 p.m.

This seems fairly irrelevant. Interesting, but irrelevant to me other than as a fan of racing. There is no tie to a real production car other than the model name. I guess they can't call it a Cayman and take any of the glory away from the 911. I'm going to go ahead and predict that it will be fast and win some races.

mainlandboy
mainlandboy Reader
11/16/16 4:53 p.m.
Huckleberry wrote:
aircooled wrote: What's next?!? A mid-engined Corvette!?!?! At least the 'mericans' have the balls to hold on to tradition!!

Not sure if joking. The Corvette is already technically mid-engined. The whole thing is behind the front axle.

Warning: rant ahead: I think the whole "front-mid engine" expression is more for marketing than anything else. For example, if the furthest forward point on the engine of your car are the heads of the water pump pulley bolts, and the front face of these bolts stick past the front axle centerline by 1mm, do you really think that you can say you've converted your car to a mid engine car just by shaving 2mm off the end faces of the bolt heads? I don't think so.

Rumors have been spreading around for a while that they might actually make a mid-engine Corvette:

http://www.roadandtrack.com/new-cars/a29781/mid-engine-corvette-2018-rumors/

http://www.caranddriver.com/news/2019-chevrolet-corvette-mid-engine-c8-spy-photos-news

http://www.autoblog.com/2016/09/12/2019-mid-engine-chevy-corvette-details/

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
11/16/16 5:12 p.m.

On a different tangent, it's interesting to see so many OEM's invest so heavily into this class of racing.

That seems like a very good thing.

Bobzilla
Bobzilla UltimaDork
11/16/16 5:22 p.m.
kb58 wrote: Sort of like NASCAR, where the total number of actual components from the cars they're pretending to be can be counted IN YOUR IMAGINATION.

Fixicated for accuracy.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
11/16/16 5:27 p.m.
kb58 wrote: Sort of like NASCAR, where the total number of actual components from the cars they're pretending to be can be counted on one hand.

Well, much of the engine in the Ford GT is pulled straight off the production line. It managed to find some flaws in the process.... And I would be stunned if the CF body isn't the same- there's no reason not to use the CF body that is already done.

Granted, the GT still isn't in production.

But the engine is. I'm still pretty geeked up by the engine used in the race car.

mazdeuce
mazdeuce UltimaDork
11/16/16 5:52 p.m.

These aren't tube frame clean sheet builds. They start with a tub off the line and then modify it and race with a motor that is based off what they put in their road cars. To me, as a fan, it's worlds different than NASCAR.

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
11/16/16 5:59 p.m.
Huckleberry wrote:
aircooled wrote: What's next?!? A mid-engined Corvette!?!?! At least the 'mericans' have the balls to hold on to tradition!!

Not sure if joking. The Corvette is already technically mid-engined. The whole thing is behind the front axle.

I was kind of hoping people would remember the mid-engined Corvette which might appear next year:

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
11/16/16 6:06 p.m.

Regarding the mid-engined 911: Honestly there were many advantages a rear-engined car had in the "old days". Add a radiatorless motor, and pick up a few more advantages.

Most all of those advantages have disappeared with modern improvements and requirement. (Heck, the packaging advantage is basically made worse when you add a radiator and 4 wheel drive driveshaft!)

I don't think there is any reason to make a rear-engined car these days other then tradition. I suspect most everyone here realizes that of course.

Ah, the good "old days"...

fireball123
fireball123 Reader
11/16/16 6:42 p.m.
Huckleberry wrote:
aircooled wrote: What's next?!? A mid-engined Corvette!?!?! At least the 'mericans' have the balls to hold on to tradition!!

Not sure if joking. The Corvette is already technically mid-engined. The whole thing is behind the front axle.

what does make a mid-engine car a mid-engine car because you make a good point but how far does it have to be to the back axle

Knurled
Knurled MegaDork
11/16/16 8:12 p.m.
Matt B wrote: Well, they finally caved.

It took them long enough to abandon the pretense of air cooling, and now this.

Maybe at some point they will put the ignition lock cylinder on the right side of the steering column? Although I suppose push button start/smart fobs render that moot.

Serious question: Do any newer Porschen have smart fobs and keyless start, and if so, is the button on the left?

Knurled
Knurled MegaDork
11/16/16 8:12 p.m.
fireball123 wrote: what does make a mid-engine car a mid-engine car because you make a good point but how far does it have to be to the back axle

A mid engined car has the engine between the passenger compartment and the rear axle.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH MegaDork
11/17/16 8:04 a.m.
kb58 wrote: Sort of like NASCAR, where the total number of actual components from the cars they're pretending to be can be counted on one hand.

I'm pretty sure in NASCAR you can count the number of production car parts on your fins!

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH MegaDork
11/17/16 8:06 a.m.
Knurled wrote:
fireball123 wrote: what does make a mid-engine car a mid-engine car because you make a good point but how far does it have to be to the back axle

A mid engined car has the engine between the passenger compartment and the rear axle.

That's a rear-mid engined car, a subset of mid-engined cars, which have the engine between the axle lines somewhere.

Robbie
Robbie UltraDork
11/17/16 8:56 a.m.

Let's all remember they DID make a mid engined corvette.

It was called the fiero.

Kreb
Kreb UltraDork
11/17/16 8:57 a.m.

It used to be:

Front-engined car

Rear-engined car

Mid-engined car

Then they threw in:

Front mid-engined car

Let's just call it 4 categories instead of taking the last one and trying to morph it with one of the first three.

Kinda like the whole relations thing. It used to be heteros and gays. Now you have trans and who knows what else.

What, Porsche? Cool car, huh?

Rusted_Busted_Spit
Rusted_Busted_Spit UberDork
11/17/16 9:14 a.m.

As far as I know all of the front engined cars have the motor pushed back as far as they can get away with so I just see Porsche doing the same thing. I did read that Porsche has said there will not be a road version of the RSR.

Matt B
Matt B SuperDork
11/17/16 10:36 a.m.

So guys, what makes a hatchback?

jstein77
jstein77 UltraDork
11/17/16 12:19 p.m.

Porsche really should make all 911s mid-engined. Maybe this race car is a portent of things to come.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH MegaDork
11/17/16 12:39 p.m.
jstein77 wrote: Porsche really should make all 911s mid-engined. Maybe this race car is a portent of things to come.

I hope they don't, then I might want a Porsche, and we all know that Porsche fandom is the flesh-eating variant of the gearhead disease

Driven5
Driven5 Dork
11/17/16 12:53 p.m.

In reply to jstein77:

Porsche sells more rear engined cars than mid engined cars, so I don't foresee them making the 911 mid engined any time soon...Nor would I want them to.

jstein77
jstein77 UltraDork
11/17/16 12:54 p.m.

Well, if you can resist buying a Cayman now, then your willpower should be strong enough.

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson MegaDork
11/17/16 1:08 p.m.

People keep harping on about the Ford GT. But the race version of the GT is the closest to production of any of its competition. It uses the same body, Chassis, engine, trans suspension geometry in the road car as the race car. The Porsche and Ferrari have been much further removed from the production cars for some time now.

I have no issue with the mid engined 911, you will be able to buy one. No, it's not going to be the same as a 'basic' $100K 911 daily driver, but if you want to race one Porsche will sell you one. I think the GTLM cars have sort of become what the Group C cars were in the 80's. If you're a rich privateer you can go buy a Porsche, Ferrari, Ford, Aston, whatever GTLM can and run it in GT racing and LeMans. Back in the 80's you could buy a production Porsche 962, March, Spice, Tiga whatever and run it. I've done it before, but today’s GTLM cars are similar (inflation adjusted) to what a Group C car was 30 years ago. It's the top echelons that have gone stratospheric on costs.

WildScotsRacing
WildScotsRacing Dork
11/17/16 1:18 p.m.
Kreb wrote: It used to be: Front-engined car Rear-engined car Mid-engined car Then they threw in: Front mid-engined car Let's just call it 4 categories instead of taking the last one and trying to morph it with one of the first three. Kinda like the whole relations thing. It used to be heteros and gays. Now you have trans and who knows what else. What, Porsche? Cool car, huh?

So, what yer sayin is, it goes: LGTBQCorvette

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson MegaDork
11/17/16 1:44 p.m.
WildScotsRacing wrote: So, what yer sayin is, it goes: LGTBQCorvette

Well, Corvettes have had identity issues for decades

Stefan
Stefan MegaDork
11/17/16 1:50 p.m.
jstein77 wrote: Porsche really should make all 911s mid-engined. Maybe this race car is a portent of things to come.

That would make keeping the rear seats nearly impossible, which was the real reason for the design of the 911:

Petrolicious Journal

At least according to Sam Livingstone, but logically it makes some sense.

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
11/17/16 2:00 p.m.
mazdeuce wrote: They just need homologation rules again. Or more strict ones.

The problem with strict homologation rules is some factory cars respond better to race prep than others. Then you end up with constantly changing "equalization" changes as they attempt to keep the cars relatively competitive with each other.

Besides... if you want to run a converted street car, there are lower classes to play in.

In a way, this sounds like GTLM has become a true "prototype" class. Cars that push the boundaries of existing street cars. If it works, the changes may trickle down to production cars. Isn't that what we all want?

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
11/17/16 2:06 p.m.
mazdeuce wrote: They just need homologation rules again. Or more strict ones.

The FIA has 4 classes of different levels. GT1 to GT4, and all of them have different degree of what's a allowed or not. It just happens that GT2 is basically what GTLM is. Not exactly, but close.

Besides, FOCA has a VERY large GT field with this rule set. Seems like it's a good thing right now.

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson MegaDork
11/17/16 2:13 p.m.

In reply to alfadriver: What org is FOCA, other than Formula One Constructors Association?

NickD
NickD Dork
11/17/16 2:16 p.m.
Stefan wrote:
jstein77 wrote: Porsche really should make all 911s mid-engined. Maybe this race car is a portent of things to come.

That would make keeping the rear seats nearly impossible, which was the real reason for the design of the 911:

Petrolicious Journal

At least according to Sam Livingstone, but logically it makes some sense.

Yes, but how many people really use the rear seats in a 911? I, in fact, did not realize a 911 even had rear seats. Admittedly, I am not really a Porsche guy

Stefan
Stefan MegaDork
11/17/16 2:18 p.m.
NickD wrote:
Stefan wrote:
jstein77 wrote: Porsche really should make all 911s mid-engined. Maybe this race car is a portent of things to come.

That would make keeping the rear seats nearly impossible, which was the real reason for the design of the 911:

Petrolicious Journal

At least according to Sam Livingstone, but logically it makes some sense.

Yes, but how many people really use the rear seats in a 911? I, in fact, did not realize a 911 even had rear seats. Admittedly, I am not really a Porsche guy

From what I've seen at some of the Porsche Club gatherings, more than you might initially think.

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson MegaDork
11/17/16 2:24 p.m.
Stefan wrote:
NickD wrote: Yes, but how many people really use the rear seats in a 911? I, in fact, did not realize a 911 even had rear seats. Admittedly, I am not really a Porsche guy

From what I've seen at some of the Porsche Club gatherings, more than you might initially think.

I see a lot of kids folded in half and inserted in the rear of 911's Also small kids in Porsche child seats too. There are a lot of short people in this world!!!

Driven5
Driven5 Dork
11/17/16 2:24 p.m.
NickD wrote: Yes, but how many people really use the rear seats in a 911?

For many Porsche owners with children (or grandchildren) it can be surprisingly often, and important to them.

NickD
NickD Dork
11/17/16 2:34 p.m.

Okay, I stand corrected. Like I said, not a fan of Porsches and don't pay attention to them. Just had never personally seen anyone use the rear seats

cmcgregor
cmcgregor HalfDork
11/17/16 2:37 p.m.
Adrian_Thompson wrote:
Stefan wrote:
NickD wrote: Yes, but how many people really use the rear seats in a 911? I, in fact, did not realize a 911 even had rear seats. Admittedly, I am not really a Porsche guy

From what I've seen at some of the Porsche Club gatherings, more than you might initially think.

I see a lot of kids folded in half and inserted in the rear of 911's Also small kids in Porsche child seats too. There are a lot of short people in this world!!!

Wait, there are Porsche child seats? Oh man. That'll make it so much easier to talk the wife into.

rslifkin
rslifkin Dork
11/17/16 2:39 p.m.

I've been folded into those back seats once... Being 5'9" and short-legged, it's downright painful. I was folded enough to keep my head off the roof (convertible, top up) that I had stomach cramps by the end of the 12 minute drive.

JAhmed
JAhmed Reader
11/17/16 2:43 p.m.
Knurled wrote:
Matt B wrote: Well, they finally caved.

It took them long enough to abandon the pretense of air cooling, and now this.

Maybe at some point they will put the ignition lock cylinder on the right side of the steering column? Although I suppose push button start/smart fobs render that moot.

Serious question: Do any newer Porschen have smart fobs and keyless start, and if so, is the button on the left?

New Porsche models with "comfort access" or whatever still have ignition on the left side, but it isn't a button...its a weird blob sticking out of the dash that you have to turn. Very bizarre choice on their part, IMO. Thankfully, my car doesn't have such frippery.

Driven5
Driven5 Dork
11/17/16 2:45 p.m.
rslifkin wrote: ...convertible, top up...

Well, there's your problem.

rslifkin
rslifkin Dork
11/17/16 2:52 p.m.
Driven5 wrote:
rslifkin wrote: ...convertible, top up...

Well, there's your problem.

That problem was caused by 35* weather and snow flurries

mazdeuce
mazdeuce UltimaDork
11/17/16 3:21 p.m.

My kids ride in back and extra seats are a big reason we own a 911 instead of a Corvette or a Cayman.

pushrod36
pushrod36 Reader
11/17/16 3:30 p.m.
JAhmed wrote:
Knurled wrote:
Matt B wrote: Well, they finally caved.

It took them long enough to abandon the pretense of air cooling, and now this.

Maybe at some point they will put the ignition lock cylinder on the right side of the steering column? Although I suppose push button start/smart fobs render that moot.

Serious question: Do any newer Porschen have smart fobs and keyless start, and if so, is the button on the left?

New Porsche models with "comfort access" or whatever still have ignition on the left side, but it isn't a button...its a weird blob sticking out of the dash that you have to turn. Very bizarre choice on their part, IMO. Thankfully, my car doesn't have such frippery.

I read once that the reason for the ignition on the left side is so that drivers could start the car with one hand and select 1st gear with the other at LeMans. I think it's a neat piece of heritage.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
11/17/16 3:44 p.m.
Adrian_Thompson wrote: In reply to alfadriver: What org is FOCA, other than Formula One Constructors Association?

Sorry, mixed up my acronyms- ACO.

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
11/17/16 3:52 p.m.

We know what kind of E36 M3 storm having kids in the back of a Corvette will cause.

Kreb
Kreb UltraDork
11/17/16 5:32 p.m.
mazdeuce wrote: My kids ride in back and extra seats are a big reason we own a 911 instead of a Corvette or a Cayman.

We went through this with the BRZ twins. The bottom line being the question of whether crappy seats were better than none at all. There's no objective answer, only subjective.

mainlandboy
mainlandboy Reader
11/17/16 10:23 p.m.
Stefan wrote:
jstein77 wrote: Porsche really should make all 911s mid-engined. Maybe this race car is a portent of things to come.

That would make keeping the rear seats nearly impossible, which was the real reason for the design of the 911:

Petrolicious Journal

At least according to Sam Livingstone, but logically it makes some sense.

Lotus managed to make the Evora mid engine with rear seats, but it does not look too comfortable:

Stefan
Stefan MegaDork
11/17/16 10:54 p.m.

In reply to mainlandboy:

Yes and Ferrari did it first with the 308GT4 and it was equally awkward looking.

Given how hard the 911 "purists" fought the potential that the 911 might go away in exchange for the 924/944/928, Porsche likely just accepted their fate and decided to focus on making the racing cars better and slowly making the 911 better.

red_stapler
red_stapler Dork
11/18/16 12:17 a.m.

I feel like this isn't the first time Porsche has done this:

Nathan JansenvanDoorn
Nathan JansenvanDoorn Dork
11/18/16 4:43 a.m.

That's kind of silly: there is nothing subjective about the fact that my young kids fit better in the back of my 964 than they would in a two seater. They've done multiple multi hour road trips and love it. They could not legally fit in a two seater along with my wife. That's pretty objective.

Kreb wrote:
mazdeuce wrote: My kids ride in back and extra seats are a big reason we own a 911 instead of a Corvette or a Cayman.

We went through this with the BRZ twins. The bottom line being the question of whether crappy seats were better than none at all. There's no objective answer, only subjective.

Devilsolsi
Devilsolsi Reader
11/18/16 10:31 a.m.
Kreb wrote:
mazdeuce wrote: My kids ride in back and extra seats are a big reason we own a 911 instead of a Corvette or a Cayman.

We went through this with the BRZ twins. The bottom line being the question of whether crappy seats were better than none at all. There's no objective answer, only subjective.

I looked at a BRZ with my son to see if it would work. He had enough leg room in the back, but the seats are mounted so low his feet couldn't get under the front seat.

WAKman
WAKman New Reader
11/18/16 11:32 p.m.
mainlandboy wrote: Lotus managed to make the Evora mid engine with rear seats, but it does not look too comfortable:

I could get comfortable back there. . .
Terry

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
11/19/16 7:03 a.m.
Robbie wrote: Let's all remember they DID make a mid engined corvette. It was called the fiero.

Yeah, except they intentionally berkeleyed it up so it wouldn't out perform the Corvette

jstein77
jstein77 UltraDork
11/21/16 9:33 a.m.
WAKman wrote: I could get comfortable back there. . . Terry

Plenty of pillows...

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