2013 Porsche 918 RSR rendering
2013 Porsche 918 RSR renderings – Click above for high-res image gallery

Some automakers are in it for the racing. Others make cars to preserve some sort of legacy. But most are in the business, like any other company, to make money. And Porsche is certainly no exception. But while its road car division rakes in the dough hand over fist, the German automaker has made a science out of making its racing division profitable.

How is that, you ask? Because unlike some of its rivals, Porsche first and foremost provides factory-built racing machines to privateer customers. That's how the 911 dominates GT racing grids around the world with such variants as the recently unveiled GT3 RSR. And if the latest reports from Germany are anything to go on, Porsche could be preparing a new racer at the rapidly approaching Detroit Auto Show.

Now we already knew that Porsche was planning something big for its return to the NAIAS after a four-year absence. And the signs seemed to point towards a new variant of the 918 Spyder concept we saw in Geneva last year. But the latest word from Auto Bild suggests that instead of a roadgoing production coupe version as some had suspected, Stuttgart will instead unveil a racing version of the new mid-engine flagship supercar in Cobo Hall.

The reports further suggest that the race-spec 918 will carry a more conventional V8 powertrain than the hybrid setup of the previous concept, and that the car will – like the rest of Porsche's aforementioned customer racing paddock – be available to privateer teams to purchase and campaign on the world's racing circuits. Sounds tempting – and profitable – and fortunately we won't have long to wait before we find out one way or another.

[Source: AutoBild via Motor Authority | Images: TeamSpeed]