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Geneva show: Porsche serves up its GT3

In to the red: New 911 GT3 revs to a stratospheric 9000rpm.

Track-bred Porsche 911 drivers to tame 350kW through the rear wheels


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5 Mar 2013

PORSCHE has revealed the latest generation of its fire-breathing race car for the road – but it is still a shade behind a Nissan GT-R around the Nurburgring.

While the 911 GT3 includes a raft of enhancements that make it put the 350kW of power generated from the heavily modified 3.8-litre flat-six engine nestled between the rear wheels to the tarmac, Porsche says it will run the famed 22km Nordschleife circuit in about 7min 30sec.

That’s about 10 seconds slower than the controversial time that Nissan claims its 404kW twin-turbo 3.7-litre V6 supercar needs to lap the ’Ring a figure that sparked a bitter war of words between the German luxury marque and its cut-price Nissan rival.

Unveiled overnight at the Geneva motor show, the 911 Carrera-based sports coupe shares little with its more pedestrian sibling.

It also doesn’t share many of the numbers: the peak 350kW of power arrives at a dizzy 9000rpm, torque peaks at about 430Nm – pulling power has apparently dropped slightly for the new model, although like before there will be an extra 35Nm on tap at the push of a button – and down the back the wide tyres help to sprint the GT3 from 0-100km/h in 3.5 seconds, 200km/h in less than 12 seconds, and reach a top speed of 315km/h.

The latest generation also introduces a number of firsts: the new GT3 has a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox with paddle shifters as standard kit electronic fuel injection is fitted to the naturally aspirated engine the rear wheels help to turn the front ones and a clever torque-vectoring locking differential also calls in the brakes when needed to send drive to the wheel with the most grip.

The new GT3 also sits 30mm closer to the ground than the model it replaces, with many of the chassis components switching from steel to aluminium to save weight.

The completely redesigned multi-link rear axle shed 3.9 kilograms alone by switching to a hollow aluminium casting. More extensive use of aluminium body panels have also helped the GT3 to shed 13 per cent of its weight compared with the previous model.

A mix of aluminium and carbon-fibre has further cut weight on the hatch lid, which wears the now-traditional fixed wing.

The rear body section of the GT3 is 44mm wider than the standard Carrera S, while the larger 20-inch wheels with a central locking nut – the front ones are half an inch wider than the previous model’s – enhance mechanical grip via the rubber’s greater contact area.

Inside them, larger composite rear brakes, increased to 380mm in diameter, include redesigned ventilation holes that are cooled using special ducts mounted on the rear axle.

Up front, a newly redesigned face includes huge intakes that gulp in air to feed the engine and cooling system.

Porsche Australia says limited numbers of the GT3 will go on sale late in the year, with pricing not yet finalised.

With the last version costing almost $300,000, you’d better start saving now.

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