Porsche returns to the 24 Hours of Le Mans with a wild new 911 RSR racecar

Porsche is coming back to the 24 Hours of Le Mans this year, which marks the brand’s first entry since 1998. The new 911 RSR race car will be on the track, proudly embracing the 911’s 50th anniversary as you can see from the overhead photo.

The new 911 RSR racecar is something special. The lightweight, no-frills racer is powered by normally aspirated 4.0-liter flat six-cylinder engine, producing 460 horsepower. Porsche says the new 4.0 has been optimized for endurance racing. Mated to the flat six is a lightweight sequential gearbox, controlled by steering wheel-mounted paddles.

Interestingly, for the new race season, Porsche has replaced the MacPherson struts in the front and replaced them with a wishbone setup.

The new 911 RSR has a longer wheelbase than last year’s model and has been constructed of mostly carbon fiber body panels, including the front and rear mudguards, hood and trunk lid, doors, underbody, wheel arches, rear wing, dashboard and center console.

The new carbon fiber body bits can be easily swapped out, too, in just a matter of seconds, according to Porsche. This drops repair times significantly, allowing the driver to get back out onto the circuit.

We usually don’t find ourselves too enamored with factory German racecars. All too often with precision engineering, lunacy is the first thing to go – but not with the 911 RSR. It seems the Germans allowed themselves to be a bit crazy with this one, and for that, we’re thankful.