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These Porsche GT3 RS Wheel Covers are Rad and Functional

Road & Track logo Road & Track 8/7/2020 Chris Perkins
a green car parked on the side of a road: Modern turbofans? Not quite, but still ultra cool. © Manthey Racing Modern turbofans? Not quite, but still ultra cool.

Manthey Racing is a German company based at the Nürburgring, that supports Porsche's World Endurance Championship program, and has its own sports-car team. The company also modifies and develops aftermarket parts for Porsche street cars, and the results are spectacular. Its upgrade kit for the 911 GT3 RS just hit the market in Europe, and we're caught up on the rear wheels.

First introduced for the GT2 RS, these carbon fiber covers evoke the iconic BBS turbofans used on various Porsche race cars of the Seventies and Eighties. But while turbofans were designed for air extraction and brake cooling, these Manthey pieces have a different function. Manthey sales manager Michael Grassl tells R&T that these wheel covers actually help generate downforce at the rear axle, which allows the rear wing to be set to a lower angle of attack. In short, this gives the 911 GT3 RS MR tons of rear-end stability without sacrificing top speed. At the Nürburgring, where you need downforce and top speed to set a fast lap time, this sort of thing makes a big difference.

These carbon-fiber covers cost €3990 ($4700), and they only work with Manthey's magnesium BBS wheels, which themselves cost about €15,000 ($17,800). The complete MR kit for the GT3 RS is €54,911 ($64,671) and that doesn't include the wheel covers. Add 16-percent tax if you live in Germany. If that seems like a ton of money, it is, but Manthey's upgrades are comprehensive.

There are new dive planes at the front, and a new rear decklid to support a massive wing with custom endplates and mounting brackets. Brakes are upgraded, too, with stainless steel lines and new pads, but really, the highlight is the suspension. The fully adjustable setup is largely similar to what you get on a 911 GT3 R race car, and fundamentally transforms the way the car performs on track. A similar upgrade kit for the 911 GT2 RS shaved seven seconds off that car's Nürburgring lap time.

Around the tight and technical Bilster Berg circuit, Porsche factory driver Lars Kern set a 1:43.1 in the new GT3 RS MR—only a half-second off what a GT2 RS MR can do there. The laptime difference at the 'Ring would be greater, as the GT2 RS could better take advantage of its extra 180 horsepower, but still, the GT3 RS MR is a very quick car. It's the closest thing to a GT3 R for the street.

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