Porsche has decided to build a mid-engined racecar.
This shouldn’t be anything more than a simple press release to that effect. They have, in fact, built many mid-engined racecars. Porsche however, has named this mid-engined purpose built racer, the 911 RSR and this has caused a deluge of digital ink to be spilled. This isn’t even the first time they have called a mid-engined racecar 911. For reasons my feeble mind cannot understand, Porsche enthusiasts will lose their collective minds anytime something on their beloved 911 is changed. They will then promptly call their auto broker and attempt to order one, which they can’t as they’ve all sold out. For Porsche to make a change as wild and outlandish as moving the powerplant of a 911 to the optimal spot in their racecar, which cannot be bought, nor will be made available on their standard 911, has caused quite a stir.
This should not be something that leads to 250,000 articles over the course of one day. If Ferrari or Ford had decided to place their engines the wrong way round and behind the rear drive wheels, that would be a big deal. This change is not that big of a deal, they even moved the engine in the most Porsche way possible; they just slid it forward a bit. They didn’t relocate the gearbox to a cool place, like the cockpit or the moon. They didn’t turn the engine upside down. They nudged it forward a bit to make room for their aero kit. Like every other successful racing team ever. It doesn’t even look different from the current spec car. The front end is missing some foglights, and the diffuser is bigger but other than that not much else has changed.
Perhaps the reaction to this new car is one born out of an underlying fear of change. Maybe Porsche enthusiasts are worried that the mothership has just admitted there is a better way to make a car go around a track. On paper, though, this change could be devastating to the other competitors in the endurance field. The massive rear diffuser mixed with Porsche reliability and now proper balance should make the 911 RSR a real force to contend with. Even though I’m not much of a Porsche fan, if this makes for tighter races or even better, massive Porsche blowouts, I will be forever grateful to this one particular vehicle. It really could be one of those special racing cars that change the landscape of how motorsport gets on. It could also just be that Porsche has finally decided to use physics instead of fight it.
Photo Cred: Porsche