One-make race car updated to 991.2 design and larger engine

The current-generation Porsche 911, known as the 991, was introduced in 2011. Penned by Michael Mauer, it features an evolutionary design and rides on an entirely new platform, only the third since the nameplate’s introduction back in 1963. In 2016, Porsche launched the so-called second-generation 991 (dubbed 991.2), essentially a facelift with revised exterior features and new drivetrains.

Along with the facelift, Porsche has developed a revised version of the current 911 GT3 Cup. Based on the RS, the GT3 Cup is a track-only vehicle that’s available to privateers competing in the one-make series that Porsche organizes globally. The new race car received exterior updates similar to the road-going 991.2 911, new safety features, and a brand-new engine under the hood.

Set to make its debut in the 2017 racing season, initially exclusively in the Porsche Mobile 1 Supercup and the Porsche Carrera Cup (in both Germany and North America), the revised 911 GT3 Cup will be built on the same production line as the standard road car. The basic race tuning will be performed at the Weissach motorsport centre, where vehicles are also thoroughly tested by professional race drivers prior to delivery to the customer. Keep on reading to find out what updates the new GT3 Cup has in store.

Continue reading to learn more about the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.

Exterior

2017 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup High Resolution Exterior
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Essentially an updated version of the 991-based GT3 Cup model, the new race car sports a handful of updates in the front and rear. The front fascia is essentially identical to the previous car above the nose, with only the bumper showcasing revised elements. The side vents are significantly larger and feature new aero elements, while the center opening is now wider at the bottom and narrower toward the upper section. The splitter also appears to have been redesigned, but changes are rather mild.

Essentially an updated version of the 991-based GT3 Cup model, the new race car sports a handful of updates in the front and rear.

Similar changes are visible around back, where the GT3 Cup received some of the updates that came with the road-going 991.2 facelift. Highlights include revised taillights, new bumper lights, and a redesigned diffuser. Unlike its predecessor, the new GT3 Cup also gained an LED rain light just above the license plate recess. The massive rear wing, which is 72.4 inches wide, has been retained from the previous model.

Wheel dimensions also remained unchanged. The rims measure 18 inches and come in the same central-locking design front and rear. They are wrapped in 10.6-inch wide Michelin slicks at the front and 12.2-inch wide rubber to the rear. Although the update might not seem very extensive, the revised bumpers improve the car’s aerodynamics, which should make the new 911 GT3 Cup quicker around the track.

Interior

2017 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup High Resolution Interior
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The sole picture of the interior reveals that the steering wheel, instrument cluster, and center stack remained unchanged. The race car features the same configuration as far as buttons and switches go, a sign that privateers were pretty happy with the previous configuration. But Porsche did make a few improvements, starting with the new bucket-style racing seat molded heavily around the head and shoulder area for enhanced support and safety. The 911 GT3 Cup also gained a redesigned safety cage, as well as an enlarged rescue hatch in the roof. The latter is in line with the latest FIA standard, making it easier to provide initial treatment and recovery following a crash.

Drivetrain

2017 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup High Resolution Exterior
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A new 4.0-liter flat-six replaces the previous 3.8-liter unit.

It’s under the rear lid that the 911 GT3 Cup received its most important update, with a new 4.0-liter flat-six replacing the previous 3.8-liter unit. The naturally aspirated engine features direct fuel injection and cranks out 485 horsepower, a 25-horsepower improvement over the previous model. For the first time, the GT3 Cup also uses a valve drive with rigidly mounted rocker arms and a central oil feed. Other drivetrain upgrades include an integrated oil centrifuge, which optimizes oil defoaming in the engine, and a crankshaft with significantly increased rigidity.

Porsche had nothing to say about the car’s suspension and braking systems, which means it’s safe to assume it’s largely based on the previous model. Stopping power should come from 14.96-inch slotted and inner-vented steel brake rotors with six-piston aluminum calipers at the front axle and the same rotors but with four-piston clamps at the rear.

Competition

The 911 GT3 Cup’s main competitor is itself, because the race car was developed mainly for one-make racing series such as the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, which is held alongside the Formula One events, and the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland and North America. From 2018, the car will also be available for other GT3 Cup-exclusive series events. In total, the German brand will be organizing around 20 race series for customer teams around the world.

Conclusion

2017 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup High Resolution Exterior
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With more than 3,000 examples built since 1998, the 911 GT3 Cup is one of the most popular customer race cars out there. And even though it would have remained popular without this update, the upgrades are more than welcome now that the 991.2-generation 911 is already in showrooms. The engine is arguably the Cup’s most important update, bringing not only more power, but also fresh technology to its future owners.

  • Leave it
    • * You can’t drive it on the street
    • * Limited to certain racing series

Press Release

Photo Credit: Porsche

Boasting a completely redeveloped drive, the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup will take to the starting line on the world’s race tracks from 2017. The rear of the world’s most-produced GT racing car now houses a 4-litre, six-cylinder flat engine for even more drive. Thanks to thoroughbred motorsport technology, the compact engine with direct fuel injection delivers peak performance of 357 kW (485 hp).

2017 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup High Resolution Exterior
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A range of innovative details also improve efficiency in addition to engine performance, ensuring even better durability of the naturally aspirated engine in racing mode and reduced maintenance costs. A valve drive with rigidly mounted rocker arms and a central oil feed is being used for the very first time. What’s more, an integrated oil centrifuge is used to optimise oil defoaming in the engine. A crankshaft with significantly increased rigidity has also been installed.

A new front apron and a new rear end improve the downforce of the new 911 GT3 Cup and therefore enhance traction and performance. The prominent 184-centimetre wide rear wing has been retained from the predecessor model. The wheel dimensions are also unchanged: One-piece 18-inch racing rims with a central locking mechanism are used – with 270-millimetre Michelin racing slicks on the front axle, and a massive 310-millimetre tread on the rear axle. The intelligent aluminium-steel composite construction ensures maximum rigidity and a lightweight body. The new 911 GT3 Cup is ready to race weighing in at just 1200 kilograms.

2017 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup High Resolution Exterior
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The engineers have also once again focused specifically on driver safety during development. The driver is protected by a solid safety cage and an innovative, bucket-style racing seat that is moulded particularly heavily around the head and shoulder area. The enlarged rescue hatch in the roof, in line with the latest FIA standard, makes it easier to provide initial treatment and recovery following an accident.

Porsche manufactures the 911 GT3 Cup on the same production line as the 911 road car in its main plant in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen. The basic race tuning is performed at the Weissach motorsport centre, where vehicles are also thoroughly tested by a professional race driver prior to delivery to the customer. Some 3031 units of the 911 GT3 Cup have been built in the 996, 997 and 991 model lines since 1998. This makes the brand cup racing car from Stuttgart the most-produced and most-sold GT racing car in the world.

2017 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup High Resolution Exterior
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The new 911 GT3 Cup will be used in the 2017 race season, initially exclusively in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, which is held alongside the Formula 1 races, and in the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland, as well as in North America. As of 2018, the car will also be available for the other brand cups. In total, Porsche is organising 20 of these race series for customer teams around the world, with the 911 GT3 Cup being used exclusively.

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