The 992-generation 911 GT3 Cup race car is the most powerful of its kind

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The 2021 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup is the latest iteration of the company’s one-make series race car. Based on the latest, 992-generation 911, the GT3 Cup is essentially an FIA-compliant version of the road-legal GT3. The latest in a long line of GT3 Cup models that goes back to the early 1990s, the 2021 911 GT3 Cup retains the naturally aspirated flat-six layout of its predecessors, but it comes with more power than before. Rated at more than 500 horsepower, the 992 GT3 Cup is the most powerful of its kind. What sets it apart from the outgoing model and what racing series is it eligible for? Find out in the review below.

  • 2021 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup
  • Year:
    2021
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    flat-6
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    510
  • Torque @ RPM:
    346
  • Displacement:
    4.0 L
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • Purpose:
  • body style:

Exterior

  • wider Turbo body
  • still familiar
  • wide front bumper vent
  • vented front hood
  • based on the 911 GT3
  • big rear wing
  • aggressive rear diffuser
  • 70-percent aluminum body
left right

The 2021 911 GT3 Cup is a significant departure from its predecessor, mostly because it features a Turbo-style body.

While older Cup cars were fitted with Carrera bodies, the 992-gen Cup model features the wider bodywork of the 911 Turbo.

The rear end is now 1.1 inches wider, while the rear fenders also incorporate vents that provide more cooling power to the drivetrain. The front end is also broader thanks to the wider front axle, which in turn requires flared front fenders. As a result, the 911 GT3 Cup boasts a more aggressive stance, but these changes also improve aerodynamics, which enhance the handling of the car.

The GT3 Cup remains familiar beyond the wider body. The headlamps and front LED lights are still based on the regular 911, but the lights feature X-shaped marks as a tribute to race cars from the past. The front fender vent is a bit wider than usual and features a fine mesh grille, but the layout is pretty common. The front hood is notably different thanks to the central intake flanked by horizontal nostrils. The latter seem similar to those that Porsche previewed for the upcoming 911 GT3 road car.

2021 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 959433

Similarities to the road-going 911 GT3 continue around back through the red lightbar, the big spoiler and the race-spec diffuser (which also features blue detailing). The wing also features swan-shaped posts, even they’re not exactly identical to the 911 GT3.

The GT3 Cup car may look cool, but these changes have an actual purpose. The rear spoiler, the large wing, and the front apron all work together to increase aerodynamic downforce. The rear wing features eleven-stage adjustability, which helps improve aero efficiency for improved handling in fast corners.

2021 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Exterior
- image 959430

Underneath the paint job lies a new body made mostly of aluminum. That’s a big change from the outgoing model, which was mostly made of steel. Specifically, the 991.2 GT3 Cup was made up of 70 percent steel and 30 percent aluminum, while the 992 GT3 Cup is made of 70 percent aluminum and 30 percent steel. These figures do not include the doors, hood, and rear wing, which are made from carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic. Porsche did not release curb weight information, but the 992 GT3 Cup should be notably lighter than its predecessor.

Interior

  • stripped-off 911
  • race-spec seats
  • simple dashboard
  • digital instrument cluster
  • switch panel from 919 Hybrid
  • loads of carbon-fiber
2021 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Interior
- image 959437

The cabin of the GT3 Cup model is very similar to the other 911-based race cars that compete in various FIA series.

The cockpit retains only the dashboard of the stock 911, with everything else removed or heavily altered in the interest of weight reduction.

The GT3 Cup is also a bit more comfortable now thanks to a new racing seat that can be adjusted in two height settings, a new adjustable steering column, and available padding thicknesses that enable customization to individual needs. The open-top, carbon-fiber steering wheel is based on the 911 GT3 R and features a more ergonomic (and illuminated) button layout.

2021 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Interior
- image 959443
Porsche also borrowed elements from the incredibly fast 919 Hybrid race car.

I’m talking about the small button console placed to the right of the instrument cluster. Porsche calls it the Rubber Switch Panel (RSP) and it includes 10 large buttons that control features like lighting, ventilation, tire settings, and brake balance.

The GT3 Cup is fitted with a big, color 10.3-inch display, just like the road car. However, the screen projects racing-style information centered around revs, speed, water and oil temperatures, and the gear engaged. The display is connected to the team’s computer monitors, enabling the race engineers to follow the car’s information in real time.

Drivetrain and chassis

  • 4.0-liter flat-six engine
  • 510 horsepower
  • 346 pound-feet of torque
  • redline at 8,750 rpm
  • upgraded six-speed gearbox
  • suspension components from 911 RSR
  • free accessory kit
2021 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Exterior
- image 959445

The 992-generation GT3 Cup retains the naturally aspirated, 4.0-liter flat-six of its predecessor. However, the dry-sump lubricated engine is now more powerful than before at 510 horsepower and 346 pound-feet of torque. That’s an extra 31 horses over the previous GT3 Cup model. The flat-six also revs higher now, achieving maximum performance at 8,400 rpm (up from the previous 7,500 rpm). The car redlines at 8,750 rpm. Power goes to the rear wheels through an upgraded sequential six-speed transmission with paddle shifters, a single-mass flywheel and a three-plate sintered metal racing clutch. Three different exhaust systems are available depending on the racing series you want to compete in.

2021 Porsche 911 GT3 specifications
Engine 4.0-liter flat-six
Horsepower 510 HP @ 8,400 RPM
Torque 346 LB-FT @ 6,150 RPM
Max rpm 8,750 RPM
Transmission six-speed sequential dog-type gearbox
2021 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Exterior
- image 959431

Just like its predecessor, the boxer engine needs a maintenance check after 100 hours of track time. Depending on the series, this could mean several races or even more than a year. The gearbox needs a "minor inspection" after 60 hours of racing and a full overhaul after 120 hours on the track.

The 911 GT3 Cup rides on the same rear axle as the production model (with minor changes, of course), but the front wheels are now controlled by double wishbones and uniball bearings, a layout borrowed from the 911 RSR. In this configuration, the dampers are no longer exposed to lateral forces, which ensures more precise turn-in behavior and provides a better feeling for the front axle. The 911 GT3 Cup now features shock absorbers with valve technology from the 919 Hybrid and 911 RSR and, for the first time, fully electro-mechanical power steering.

2021 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Exterior
- image 959429

Every Cup car is now delivered with a complete accessory kit, which includes all the tools and wishbone spacers required for track adjustment. This eliminates the need for customer teams to order these parts individually.

As before, the 911 GT3 Cup is eligible for the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, a one-make series created by Porsche specifically for this model. It can also be entered in national Porsche Carrera Cup series in countries like Germany and France, but also in areas like Benelux and across Asia. For the first time ever, the 911 GT3 Cup will also be featured in a Carrera Cup series in North America.

What else can you buy?

2021 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Exterior
- image 959430

Since it’s built for one-make series only, the 911 GT3 Cup doesn’t compete against race cars from other brands. However, if you’re not a big fan of the 911, you can opt for one-make series for race cars from other companies. Similar options are available from Lamborghini and Ferrari.

Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo Evo

2018 Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo Evo High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 733341

The Huracan Super Trofeo Evo is the latest version of Lambo’s Super Trofeo race car. Developed specifically for this one-make series, it’s a more aggressive and aerodynamic take on the road-going Huracan. It features the same 5.2-liter V-10 engine, but it’s rated at 612 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. The recipe is very similar to the 911 GT3 Cup, as Lambo also uses its entries for international racing series, like the Huracan GT3, to develop the Super Trofeo model. The Super Trofeo series includes races at Misano (Italy), Nurburgring (Germany), Catalunya (Spain), Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium), and Circuit Paul Ricard (France). In 2020, no fewer than 20 teams contested the series.

Read our full review on the Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo Evo

Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo

2020 Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo Exterior
- image 868568

The Ferrari Challenge is Maranello’s take on this type of series. Ran since 1993, the Ferrari Challenge series is now center around the 488 Challenge Evo, a race-spec version of the 488 GTB road car inspired by the company’s GTE and GT3 racers. The 488 Challenge also shares underpinnings with the rest of the 488 lineup, including the twin-turbo, 3.9-liter V-8 engine. The 488 Challenge Evo is the only turbocharged race car in this comparison. The mill cranks out 661 horsepower. The Ferrari Challenge series usually includes races at Imola, Catalunya, Algarve, Mugello, Spa-Francorchamps, Misano, Brno, Hockenheim and Yas Marina. Ferrari also runs Challenge events in North America and Asia.

Read our full review on the Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo

Conclusion

2021 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 959433

The 992-generation 911 GT3 Cup is one of the best looking Cup cars created so far, as the styling of the latest 911 works extremely well with the aerodynamic package. Sure, looks don’t matter that much when it comes to racing, but the 2021 GT3 Cup has what it takes to replace its highly popular predecessor. It’s the most powerful Cup car yet at 510 horsepower and it also integrates new technology that makes it quicker, more aerodynamic, and more nimble on the race track.

  • Leave it
    • probably expensive
    • expensive to run
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read More
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