GT3 RS: sound check.
Part 1 of 4: 4.0L NA flat six with 520bhp at 8,400rpm, also did you notice it's green?
From a modified Beetle engine to a 560kw battery, Porsches have been powered by quite a few different power plants over the years, yet each one has been molded to fit the glamour the Porsche badge brings. Yesterday I was fortunate enough to go and visit Porsche GB HQ to record some of those engines. Thanks again to Mr Durrant and Porsche GB for this opportunity.
My two favourite things about this car? 1) it's green and 2) in case you forgot what colour it was whilst driving, everything that could be green inside was green - as you may of guessed I like green!
If you're going to have a bright green, big wing wearing, wide arched race car with number plates attached it needs to sound as good as it looks. Thankfully it does. Start it up and it barks into life, settling to a throaty growl as the engine warms. Inches behind that rear diffuser a naturally aspirated, 4 litre flat six lurks, ready to send a staggering 520bhp via 315 profile rear tyres to chew up tarmac of your choice. Since it's a track focused naturally aspirated Porsche, these 520 mildly deranged horses are delivered at 8,400rpm and exit though a titanium exhaust. This car doesn't roar, it howls like a wolf.
The exhaust system is particularly clever. Due to the engines performance and its rather inefficient way of producing 520bhp the Porsche engineers had quite a challenge to face; How to make the car sound good whilst meeting all the relevant emissions laws? To do this they first added "resonance flaps", these are positioned in the intake and open and close varying amounts in order to change the air/fuel mix and thus the size of explosion in the combustion process. The flaps can be controlled by a button on the centre console but also open due to load (electronic magic.) When the flaps are open, more air into combustion equals bigger explosion equals more sound coming out of the exhaust. Between the explosion happening and the sound waves meeting your ear drums, they pass though a silencer, a catalytic converter, another central silencer and then exit though the two tail pipes.
Job well done Acoustic team, it sounds as good as it looks.
The business end.
I particularly like how mechanical it sounds. No artificial pops and snaps as you rev, just the true sound of petrol burning, fans spinning and an orchestra of components working in perfect harmony. Due to the cars lightweight construction there is significantly less sound proofing than a standard 911, and with the exhaust only about 1.5 metres behind you, the soundtrack isn't just the outside world! All part of the motorsport experience.
I think Herbert von Karajan would be quite pleased to see how his custom ordered 930 (1975) has partially been responsible for the creation of the GT line of Porsche's. Yes, that was a turbo, but it was modelled on the Porsche race car of the day the RSR Turbo 2.1. Nowadays the current RSR uses a similar 4 litre NA flat six to the GT3 RS. Back in '75 Karajan specified that his car had to have less than 4kg per hp, so Porsche replaced the standard interior with a steel roll cage, leather bucket seats, fabric interior door handles and even removed the radio. The GT3 RS still has a roll cage (also bright green), but carbon fibre bucket seats trimmed in leather and Alcantara cover almost everything else provide more creature comfort. The fabric door handles remain, they produce a very reassuring clunk as you open the door to get out, the biggest difference is that the radio remains. If Karajan was still around I'm sure he wouldn't mind, after all the current GT3 RS has 2.74kg per hp and will catapult you to 62mph in just 3.2secs, continuing unto a rather speedy 193mph. At that speed I'm sure he'd approve of the radio to accompany the journey towards his local race track at the weekend.
Perfect blend of performance and creature comfort?
7-speed uber fast PDK. Think the racing stripes make up for no manual option...
Thanks for reading! Stayed tuned for part 2 - 992 Carrera 4S!
Video coming soon too.