The next generation of Porsche's 911 GT3 R race car has been spotted for the first time.

The heavily disguised prototype was spotted during a secret test at the Nürburgring's grand prix track, with engineers from Porsche motorsport partner Manthey Racing handling the development.

You'll easily spot its flared wheel arches, vented hood, chunky side skirts, massive rear wing, and equally massive rear diffuser. The car also rides on center-lock wheels wrapped in Michelin racing slicks.

The 911 GT3 R represents the middle tier of 911 race cars, sandwiched between the 911 GT3 Cup and 911 RSR. Crucially, the GT3 R is the 911 racer most closely aligned with the 911 GT3 RS road car, whose 992 generation is likely to feature some of the design traits seen on the prototype here.

2022 Porsche 911 GT3 R race car spy shots - Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

2022 Porsche 911 GT3 R race car spy shots - Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

The GT3 R was last updated for the 2019 motorsport season, still using the previous 991-generation 911 platform. In Porsche tradition, we should see the new 992-generation GT3 R introduced for the 2022 motorsport season. A reveal is likely to take place a year from now.

The last GT3 R developed 550 horsepower from its naturally aspirated 4.0-liter flat-6. The latest version should have a similar setup, possibility with improvements in efficiency. We can also expect a 6-speed sequential gearbox, a mechanical limited-slip differential, and a mixture of aluminum, steel and composite materials for the construction.

The GT3 R tends to be priced a bit over half a million dollars, and events you'll typically see it in include North America's IMSA series, the global Intercontinental GT Challenge, and endurance races like those held at the Nürburgring.

As for the next GT3 RS road car, it's likely a couple of years out still as Porsche is yet to even introduce the new 911 GT3 based on the 992-generation 911. The new GT3 is due out later this year.