The Porsche 911 started its run back in 1963 - and oh what a run it is -, but it wasn’t until 1999 that a GT3 version was offered up for our ravenous consumption. It came to complete the series of performance vehicles that started back in 1973 with the 911 RS, a model that was capable of sprinting from 0 to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds and to 100 mph in 13 seconds.
Why the short history lesson? Well, the new generation GT3 has just made its world debut at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show and would be nice to make a comparison between the things that were and the things to come.
The new GT3 is lighter and more powerful than the model it replaces, and it brings innovative features like the first active rear wheel steering in a production Porsche. There is a bad news too unfortunately: the new GT3 will only be offered with a PDK transmission - at least for now!
Update 05/20/2013: Porsche has unveiled a new video further detailing the GT3’s technical highlights. Enjoy!
Update 6/14/2013: Chris Harris was one of the first journalists to get his hands on the all-new 2014 911 GT3. As always, he released a video with his full review. Check it out, after the jump.
Hit the jump to read more about the next generation Porsche GT3.
Like with all the other models in the 911 lineup, the GT3 will get a new exterior design language, but Porsche’s main focus on the vehicle will be to reduce the car’s overall weight.
The new GT3 will be built on the same hybrid steel-aluminum construction used in the current generation 911 Carrera, but it adds a series of independent front and rear parts. When compared to a standard Carrera, the new GT3 version is about 44 mm (1.73 inches) wider and will add a sportier exterior look with the most striking addition being that large, fixed rear wing.
|Overall length||178.9 in.|
|Width||72.9 in. (without mirrors)|
|Front track||61 in.|
|Rear track||61.2 in.|
|Curb weight||3,152.6 lbs.|
|Perm. Total weight||3,792 lbs.|
|Luggage capacity||Front 4.41 cubic ft.; Rear 9.2 cubic ft.|
|Fuel tank capacity||16.9 gallons (optional 23.8 gallons)|
Porsche offered no details on the new 911 GT3’s interior, but the first image they have dropped reveals new Recaro sports seats, a three-spoke steering wheel and the intensive use of Alcantara. Porsche will also be offering an optional Clubsport package that adds a roll cage.
Under the new 911 GT3 Porsche’s hood, is a 3.8-liter boxer engine that delivers a total of 475 horsepower and sprints the car from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.3 seconds and up to a top speed of 195 mph.
The GT3’s engine is based on the engine used in the new 911 Carrera S, but it gets modified crankshaft and valve gear, plus titanium connecting rods and forged pistons. These updates allow the engine to seamlessly rev to 9,000 rpm.
The engine is mated to a Porsche dual-clutch transmission (PDK) that sends the engine’s power to the rear wheels through a new high-traction rear-wheel-drive system.
All these updates have helped the GT3 to already score new performance records: it ran the Nürburgring Nordschleife in under 7:30 minutes.
|Engine Concept||Water-cooled six-cylinder boxer engine|
|Construction||Aluminum engine block and cylinder heads|
|Valvetrain||Four overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder, variable valve timing (VarioCam), hydraulic valve clearance compensation, direct fuel injection, a three-way catalytic converter per cylinder bank, each with two oxygen sensors, electronic ignition with solid ignition distribution (six active ignition modules).|
|Intake System||Direct fuel injection|
|Electrical System||12 volt, three-phase generator; 2,100 W; battery 95 Ah, 520 A|
|Maximum Horsepower||475 horsepower at 8.250/min|
|Maximum Torque||324 pound-feet at 6.250/min|
|Engine redline||9000 rpm|
|Output per liter||125 horsepower|
|Transmission||Engine and transmission bolted together to form one drive unit, seven-speed dual clutch transmission (PDK) with controlled rear axle differential lock and PTV Plus.|
|0-60 mph||3.3 seconds|
|Top track speed||195 mph|
Suspensions and brakes
For the first time, the GT3 will be offered with active rear-wheel steering that will help it deliver higher precision and lateral dynamics. The GT3 will also be offered with electronically controlled, fully variable rear differential lock and an all-aluminum chassis that can be adjusted by height, toe and camber.
The GT3 will also be offered with new 20-inch forged alloy wheels with central locking and combined with high-performance ceramic brakes.
|Front Suspension||Front: strut suspension (McPherson type, Porsche optimized) with individually mounted on control arms, trailing arms and spring struts wheels, cylindrical coil springs with internal dampers, electromechanical power steering|
|Rear Suspension||Multi-arm axle with single wheels run on five arms; cylindrical coil springs with co-axial inner vibration, active rear. Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) with electronically controlled dampers and two manually selectable maps|
|Turning Circle||36.4 feet|
|Brakes||Dual circuit system with achsweiser division; Porsche Stability Management (PSM), vacuum brake booster; electrically operated duo-servo parking brake, auto-hold function. Front: six-piston aluminum monobloc brake calipers, perforated and internally ventilated brake discs with 380 mm diameter and 34 mm thickness. Rear: four-piston aluminum monobloc brake calipers, perforated and internally ventilated brake discs with 380 mm diameter and 30 mm thickness.|
|Wheels||9Jx20 front, 12Jx20 rear|
|Tires||245/35 ZR 20 front, 305/30 ZR 20 rear|
Chris Harris always tells it best when it comes to how a sports car, like the GT3, drives. Apparently, he is in love with the active four-wheel steering that Porsche added to the GT3. It keeps the car in control, but allows for that little bot of controlled oversteer that you need to get through those tight hairpin turns. Check out the above video for his full driving impression.
The 2014 911 GT3 will go on sale in the United States late in 2013 and will be priced from $130,400.
Despite the numerous updates announced for the next GT3, it will still have a very long list of competitors to defeat, all of them being serious competitors that should definitely be taken under consideration.
The SLS AMG GT is powered by a 6.3-liter V-8 engine that develops 591 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. The sprint from 0 to 60 mph is made in 3.7 seconds.
The Ferrari 458 Italia is powered by a 4.5 Liter V8 engine that produces 570 horsepower and a sprint from 0 to 60mph in just 3.4 seconds.
As you can see both models are considerably more powerful than the GT3, but in the same time both are much more expensive than the Porsche model: the SLS GT is priced at almost $200k and the Ferrari goes up to more than $250k.
The new Porsche 911 GT3 can offer a cheaper alternative for customers looking for a track machine. It looks great and with all the updates made to the current generation we can easily say it is our favorite Porsche model.
- More powerful than ever
- Lighter than predecessor
- PDK transmission
- Delivers less power than competition
Gallery Porsche 911 GT3
The sportiest 911 will have its world premiere at the Geneva International Motor Show: the new Porsche 911 GT3. In the 50th anniversary year of the 911, Porsche is now set to open a new chapter in race track performance sports cars. The fifth generation of the 911 GT3, a complete new development, will take the pole position among the thoroughbred Porsche sports cars with naturally aspirated engines. Boxer engine and transmission, as well as body and chassis are completely new and constitute a further development of the 911 GT3 concept with an impressive performance leap. Power: 475 hp. Power to weight ratio: 3.0 kg/hp. Acceleration from zero to 100 km/h: in 3.5 seconds. Top speed: 315 km/h. Lap time Nürburgring Nordschleife: under 7:30 minutes. As a technical highlight, it features the first active rear wheel steering in a production Porsche. As well as the optional full LED headlights. The new 911 GT3 keeps all the successful properties of a sports car suitable for racing, with even more driving dynamics, more sophisticated practicality - and a highly emotional fun factor.
The powertrain of the new 911 GT3 is composed of a 3.8-liter boxer engine yielding 475 hp (350 kW) at 8.250 rpm, a Porsche dual-clutch transmission (PDK) and a high-traction rear-wheel drive. The six-cylinder engine is based on the same engine as the 911 Carrera S, although they share only few common parts. All other components, particularly the crankshaft and valve gear, were specially adapted or designed for the GT3. For instance, Porsche designed titanium connecting rods and forged pistons. The basic modifications set the stage for an extremely high-speed engine that reaches up to 9.000 rpm. The Porsche dual-clutch transmission was also specially developed; the characteristics are directly based on a sequential gearbox from motor racing, thereby providing further performance and dynamics advantages to the driver.
For the first time, Porsche is using active rear wheel steering in order to achieve even higher precision and lateral dynamics. Depending on the speed, it steers in the same or opposite direction of the front wheels, improving stability and agility. Other new modules improving driving dynamics are the electronically controlled, fully variable rear differential lock, and the dynamic engine mounts. The newly developed all-aluminium chassis can still be adjusted by height, toe and camber. Contact with the road is made by the new 20-inch forged alloy wheels with central locking.
The 911 GT3 is based on the light, yet stuff body of the current generation 911 Carrera in hybrid steel-aluminium construction, however, it comes with independent front and rear parts. In addition, the 911 GT3 is 44 millimetres wider than a 911 Carrera S in the area of the rear axle. Another clear recognition feature is again the large, fixed rear wing. This makes a decisive contribution to the exemplary aerodynamics of the new 911 GT3, which combines low air resistance with even more power.
As a result, the new 911 GT3 sets new performance records. At full acceleration from standstill, the 100 km/h mark is breached after 3.5 seconds, and 200 km/h are reached in less than twelve seconds. The top speed is 315 km/h in the seventh, top gear of the completely newly adapted PDK transmission. The lap time on the Nürburgring Nordschleife, which the new 911 GT3 manages in under 7:30 minutes, is even more impressive.
The new Porsche 911 GT3 will be launched on the market from August 2013 on, and will cost in Germany 137,303 Euro including VAT and national specifications.