Porsche's latest customer-focused racecar has a larger, more powerful engine, and the body produces additional downforce.
Most of the new vehicles we see debut at the Paris Motor Show are for the street, but Porsche is using this year’s event for a public premiere its latest track-only racecar for customers – the 911 GT3 Cup. The coupe has a bounty of new tech that should result in lower lap times at circuits around the world in 2017.
The GT3 Cup now boasts a 4.0-liter flat-six with direct injection that produces 479 horsepower (357 kilowatts) versus a 3.8-liter engine with 453 hp (338 kilowatts) previously. Beyond the extra displacement, Porsche claims the new powerplant is more reliable due to upgrades like tougher rocker arms and an integrated centrifuge for defoaming the oil. The company adds a more rigid crankshaft, too. The transmission is still a six-speed sequential gearbox.
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The new GT3 Cup also looks a little different because of small styling tweaks at the front and rear. Porsche claims the adjustments are completely functional and increase downforce, which should help lap times. If the worst happens, racers also benefit from a larger safety hatch in the roof. Despite the changes, the racecar’s total weight stays at 2,646 pounds (1,200 kilograms).
The upgraded 911 GT3 Cup will premiere during the 2017 racing season in the Carrera Cup Deutschland, Carrera Cup North America, and Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, which travels with Formula One. It’ll begin competing in the brand’s one-makes series elsewhere around the world during the 2018 season.
The GT3 Cup is Porsche’s entry-level model for people who want to race a track-dedicated 911, and it’s a rung above the recently released Cayman GT4 Clubsport. These competition vehicles start life as regular 911s on the assembly line in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, and the firm's motorsport center in Weissach then installs the necessary upgrades. The company has built 3,031 of them since 1998 for racers around the world.
Gallery: 2016 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Paris Motor Show
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Stuttgart. 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).
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.
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.
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.GO