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2016 Porsche 911 GT3 RS surfaces at Pebble Beach during Monterey Car Week

One of the highlights of the rather broad Porsche 911 lineup is the outstanding GTR RS. Out of 25 trims for the 911, the track-ready Porsche 911 GT3 RS is one that can be used everyday on the street. Fans of the brand and track enthusiasts alike have been eagerly awaiting Porsche’s next GT3 RS that is built on the current 991 chassis, which has been out for over two years. Well, all of the speculation has been put to rest as we finally saw the new 2016 Porsche 911 GT3 RS in full US-spec trim at The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering 2015 held during 2015 Monterey Car Week events.

There was early speculation as to whether Porsche would develop a turbocharged engine for the GT3 RS or stay the course with naturally aspirated power. Porsche purists will insist the naturally aspirated motor is more responsive and rewarding to drive, but Porsche famously announced that all 911 trims would be turbocharged in the future. Despite this implication, the new 2016 Porsche 911 GT3 RS is in fact powered by a 4.0-liter flat-6 developed specifically for the car without use of turbochargers. According to Porsche specs, this engine produces 500 hp and 338 lb-ft of torque.  All 8,800 rpm of this screaming power is channeled solely through the 7-speed Porsche PDK dual-clutch transmission, meaning manual fans will be left to lament the loss. With a 0-60 mph time of only 3.1-seconds and a top speed of 193 mph, this track assassin will sell quickly and the hype surrounding this car is most definitely real.

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We were treated to a rare site during Monterey Car Week, which was a Porsche 911 GT3 RS driving around the streets of this quiet California coastal town. The white 2016 Porsche 911 GT3 RS seen was wearing Dubai plates and we later saw an imposing black GT3 RS wearing California plates to stir our interest. The vehicle on display at the Porsche booth during The Quail was slathered in a Lava Orange paint that made a strong contrast to the black accents found throughout the shell.

The most striking feature of the new GT3 RS is the wider appearance and the massive carbon fiber rear wing fitted to the carbon lid atop the rear-mounted engine. The GT3 RS is as wide as the 911 Turbo, but its massive rear wing promises to deliver far more downforce. Substantial air intakes on both sides of the wide rear fenders haul in huge gulps of air to feed the fiery 4.0-liter engine. Up front we find carbon fiber front fenders that are sculpted with an array of vents to relieve pressure. These work alongside a GT3 RS-specific front splitter, which reduces front-end lift at speeds. Lightweight considerations start with the use of carbon fiber and continues with the implementation of a magnesium roof and titanium muffler.

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We noted the stance of the GT3 RS is slightly raked forward due in part to massive 21-inch wheels in the rear. The 20-inch and 21-inch wheels are cloaked with highly capable Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires and feature an innovative center-lock mounting design born from racing. Want more race-inspired technology? Well, a lightweight lithium-ion battery, carbon ceramic brakes and a 4-point roll cage should fill the motorsports need.

Both lighter and faster than the outgoing 997 GT3 RS, it is interesting to note the two cars are nearly identical in power and torque. We’re thrilled to have an early glimpse at the 2016 Porsche 911 GT3 RS and look forward to a full test drive to share our review highlighting why this is a solid performance buy. The MSRP price of the GT3 RS starts at $175,900 and the vehicle is available now at Porsche retail centers.

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