Hardest ever 911 to be shown at the Geneva motor show
29 January 2009

The hardest ever 911, the new Porsche 911 GT3, has been unveiled.

Due to make its debut at the Geneva motor show in March, the new Porsche 911 GT3 has more power, a bigger engine and a suite of new electronic driver aids (all of which, Porsche says, can be properly switched off).

The capacity of Porsche’s six-cylinder boxer engine has been increased from 3.6- to 3.8-litres, so it’s now producing 435bhp. That’s 20bhp more than the outgoing GT3.

Importantly, Porsche claims that it’s boosted the engine’s mid-range torque, improving its characteristics at real-world speeds. This has been achieved by improving the cylinder head gas flow.

For the first time, the exhaust camshafts as well as the intake are controlled by Porsche’s VarioCam system. It’s one of a number of alterations aimed at making the GT3 slightly more useable day-to-day.

The bottom line, though, is that the new GT3 is faster than the old one. It will sprint from 0-62mph in 4.1 seconds, pass 99mph at 8.2seconds and top out at 194mph, says Porsche.

For the first time, the GT3 comes with a specially programmed version of Porsche Stability Management. This helps it comply with new EU rules that will make electronic driver aids mandatory in the future. Traction control and stability control can be turned off individually, in separate steps.

Porsche Active Suspension Management is also fitted, with the company claiming that it has delivered improved comfort in ‘normal’ mode and greater high-speed stability in ‘sport’ mode. Subtle aerodynamic tweaks also help keep the GT3 pointing in the right direction at speed.

The new GT3 rides on new lightweight race-inspired wheels, which features a quick-release centre locking nut. Carbon ceramic brakes are on the options list.

To make it even more suitable for the track, Porsche is introducing an Active Drivetrain Mount system which recognises enthusiastic driving and stiffens up the engine mounts in response.

This reduces the effect of the engine’s weight shifting at the back, but when it’s not in use retains suppleness for the road. It can also improve traction when accelerating hard from standstill.

An optional electronic ‘lift’ on the front axle has been fitted too, offering 1.2 inches more ground clearance if required.

The Porsche 911 GT3 goes on sale in the autumn, starting at £81,914.

Will Powell

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