Porsche is stepping up development of its all-new 911 GT3, the most focused version of the ‘991’ generation of the iconic sports car yet. The new model is set to be unveiled at the Geneva motor show and the order books will open soon after that.
The new GT3 looks set to be powered by the latest evolution of Porsche’s motorsport-derived normally aspirated 3.8-litre flat six, rather than adopting the larger 4.0-litre powerplant used in the 997-generation GT3 RS 4.0.
Porsche insiders have hinted that the power output will be in the region of 450bhp in the new GT3 — some 15bhp more than in the outgoing model. That should translate to a 0-62mph time of less than 4.0sec and a top speed approaching 200mph.
The new GT3 is likely to have just the one transmission option: a PDK seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic. The lack of a manual option in the GT3 is sure to cause controversy among 911 purists, especially after the 911 switched to electric steering. The PDK transmission is also heavier than the manual, something at odds with the GT3’s lightweight approach.
Nevertheless, insiders claim that about 40kg has been shed from the GT3 compared with its immediate predecessor, which had a kerb weight of 1395kg.
Although the choice of gearbox is heavier, Porsche has shaved off weight in the new GT3 by increasing the use of lightweight materials for the bodywork. Interior trim and equipment levels will also be reduced compared with standard 991 models and the rear seats will be deleted.
Visually, the GT3 will be easy to distinguish from the base Carrera and Carrera S models. The spy pictures reveal that the GT3’s bodywork has been totally overhauled compared with the standard models.
At the front, a new splitter has been added, as has a new, more sculpted front bumper. Wider air ducts also feature at the front of the car to improve cooling to the more powerful rear-mounted engine. There is an extra air intake between the bonnet and the top of the front bumper, too.
Wider sills and flared wheel arches also feature. Housed within the arches are larger, 20-inch alloy wheels, which are centre locking.
The most distinctive element of the rear is a large, fixed wing. The rear bumper has been reprofiled and twin rear exhausts sit in the car’s centre.
Insiders have confirmed that the even more hardcore GT3 RS will return in 991 guise, but not before 2015. Its power is said to be about 480bhp.
Greg Kable/ Mark Tisshaw