For thirty years, the Porsche Development Center in Weissach has been perfecting the very best in sports car engineering. Today, that continuous process of evolution has culminated in the new 911 GT2. A remarkable example of how Porsche motorsport technology can be adapted for the road. And the ultimate embodiment of the Porsche 911.
Throughout its 50-year history, Porsche has remained true to the principles of motorsport engineering. Unlike many other manufacturers, Porsche has never taken a road car and simply modified it for the track. At Porsche, the philosophy has always been to develop dedicated racing machines for competition use, and then apply the knowledge and experience gained to produce genuine sports cars for the road. As a result, only those technologies that have proved their worth in full race conditions have found their way into production cars.
As early as the 1950s the first car to bear the Porsche name - the legendary 356 - was writing motorsport history in both road and rally competition. In the mid-60s, Porsche began using the newly launched 911 in more and more events, where its enhanced performance, precision handling and, above all, reliability were crucial to its on-track success.
When the 911 Carrera RS 2.7 was launched in 1973, Porsche customers were now able to buy a road-going sports car that was also purpose-built for the track. Then as now, the key to success in competition was to combine minimum weight with maximum power to achieve the best possible performance from the available technology. This simple concept soon became a fundamental principle in the design of all subsequent Porsche cars.
In the early 1990s, the Porsche motorsport tradition culminated in a series of race cars that enjoyed considerable success in the American Supercup. The experience gathered there was then applied to develop the forerunner to the GT2, the GT’93, a car that raced successfully in the endurance classics at Daytona Beach and Sebring in the United States, as well as at Suzuka in Japan.
In 1994, the 993-model 911 GT2 was produced in a limited run of around 100 examples. Derived from the 993-bodied 911 Turbo, and equally at home on racetrack and road, this powerful new sports car developed 330 kW (450 bhp) of power, covered 0-100 km/h in just 4.2 seconds, and offered a top speed of around 300 km/h. Among its many competitive achievements, one of the most important was clinching victory at the Daytona 24 Hours.
Its successor, the new Porsche 911 GT2 996, is an uncompromising racing machine that is set to redefine the benchmarks of street-legal race engineering. Based on the 996 model range, the new GT2 is a reinterpretation of the original GT2 concept that is more than ready to continue its tradition of racing success. To do that, the weight of the car has been reduced to a minimum and combined with a level of performance in excess of that offered by the already highly successful new 911 Turbo.
The new GT2 also benefits from an uncompromising, race-oriented approach to chassis, aerodynamics and design to create a sports car that exudes equal measures of Porsche racing heritage and almost limitless performance.
The new 911 GT2 engine is an evolution of the race-proven unit that powered the 911 GT1 to a famous one-two at Le Mans in 1998. The water-cooled, twin-turbo flat six develops 340 kW (462 bhp) from a displacement of 3,600 cm3, as well as maximum torque of 620 Nm from 3,500 to 4,500 rpm. In addition to optimized cylinder charging, the engine is characterized by its outstanding balance and refinement.
The light-alloy crankcase is split vertically with the crankshaft running in eight main bearings. The crankshaft is linked to the light-alloy pistons via forged connecting rods. This configuration reduces the weight of the moving masses within the engine to produce an eager throttle response. The light-alloy pistons reciprocate in Nikasil-coated, light-alloy bores designed to reduce friction and thus increase longevity. Each combustion chamber has two inlet and two outlet valves arranged in a V configuration that are actuated by twin overhead camshafts per bank of cylinders. All valves feature dual springs to ensure proper closing at high revolutions, while the use of hydraulic tappets means there’s no need to adjust valve clearances.
VarioCam Plus, the latest evolution of the Porsche VarioCam variable valve timing system, now features variable valve lift to deliver maximum torque and power at all engine speeds. It also helps improve fuel economy. Dry sump lubrication ensures a reliable supply of oil to the engine - even under extreme lateral and longitudinal g-forces. Two scavenge pumps in each of the cylinder heads combine with a central return pump with twin extraction points in the crankcase to return the oil quickly and efficiently to a separate oil tank. A further pump supplies the lubrication points in the engine directly. Oil is defoamed by means of an oil separator integrated into the oil tank.
The Motronic ME 7.8 electronic engine management system ensures optimum engine performance under all driving conditions. As well as managing intake air pressure, the system controls the electronic throttle across the entire rev range. The Motronic unit also helps control the VarioCam Plus and cylinder-selective knock control systems.
The race-proven cable-operated gearshift mechanism provides smooth and precise gear changes while eliminating the transfer of vibration from the engine and gearbox to the passenger compartment. The GT2 clutch is designed for fast, fluid gearshifts and is paired with a dual-mass flywheel for an even smoother ride. For racing use, all gear ratios can be replaced to suit individual circuit characteristics.
Another motorsport-derived innovation is the transmission lubrication system and oil/coolant heat exchanger. This configuration is designed to maintain optimum temperatures in the gearbox even during the toughest competition use.
The driving sensation in the rear-powered 911 GT2 is pure Porsche, combining remarkable agility with precision control. An asymmetric differential lock helps maximize performance by delivering 40% lock under power to improve traction, and 60% lock when coasting in order to stabilize the car. The results are maximum grip under acceleration as well as optimum driving dynamics and safety.
The 911 GT2 not only delivers maximum sports car performance, it is designed to do so in safety. No matter what the road conditions. With a range of active and passive safety features developed for the rigors of the track, the 911 GT2 sets new benchmarks in safety for the road.
The 911 GT2 chassis delivers one of the most dynamic driving experiences ever featured on a production Porsche - without compromising on comfort. Race-ready handling combines with outstanding agility and safety to offer the perfect ride in all road conditions. To achieve that performance, we’ve lowered the center of gravity of the 911 GT2 by around 20 mm compared with the 911 Turbo, and added a revised spring and damper system.
Lightweight construction throughout has kept both total weight and unsprung weight to a minimum. Reducing the weight of the unsprung masses automatically improves spring and damper response, making for better road-holding as well as more reliable feedback for the driver.
The tried-and-tested McPherson-strut front suspension and race-proven, subframe-mounted multi-link rear suspension feature a special spring and damper configuration to ensure optimum traction on variable road surfaces. For track use, the adjustment range of the front and rear suspension has been increased so that the new 911 GT2 can be fitted with racing tires. Set-up options include ride height, camber and track, as well as five-stage (front) and four-stage (rear) anti-roll bars. The dampers can also be used in conjunction with racing springs.
At road level, the GT2 runs on lightweight 18 inch Turbo Look II monobloc alloys. The front wheels (8.5J x 18) run on 235/40 ZR 18 tires, while the rears (12J x 18) come with 315/30 ZR 18s. This configuration ensures optimum road holding in even the longest of high-speed bends.
The racing origins of the GT2 cockpit are tempered with a range of high-quality materials and intelligent design solutions. Interior features include black leather upholstery, climate control with integrated active carbon filter, electric windows with one-touch control and seal protection facility, as well as electrically adjustable and heated exterior mirrors.