We’re likely still weeks away from the unveiling of the new Porsche 911 GT3, but a few select European media have already been invited for a ride in a prototype. These publications, such as Autocar, have released the first details of the track-biased sports car, revealing some impressive race car tech.
First things first – even though it uses the latest 992 as its base, the GT3 carries over the current car‘s engine. Despite early rumours of a turbocharged mill, the new car is powered by the same 4.0 litre naturally-aspirated flat-six as before, albeit with some tweaking. Zuffenhausen’s GT boss Andreas Preuninger quoted a power figure of 510 PS, which is the same as the runout Speedster model and 10 PS up on the old GT3.
It’s not quite the same engine as the Speedster, however, as the GT3 has to pass tighter noise and emissions regulations, so a lot of work has gone into making sure the outputs remain untouched. The good news is that the fettled engine is still capable of revving up to a stratospheric 9,000 rpm.
Drive continues to be sent to the rear wheels through either a six-speed manual gearbox (yay for purists!) or a seven-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission. The latter has one fewer cog than the standard 992 and comes with a proper mechanical lever instead of a stubby electronic toggle.
And despite the larger 992 body, the new GT3 will weigh the same as before, thanks to a new carbon fibre bonnet that joins the usual weight-saving features. This includes lighter materials, thinner glass and the removal of the rear seats and some noise insulation. “I didn’t want the car to be heavier. That was critical. It has to be bigger because I’ve got the 992 body now, but I don’t want to carry more weight,” said Preuninger.
The list of GT-specific components extends into the chassis, where the multilink rear suspension and rear-wheel steering have been lifted from the 991.2 GT3. The front end, however, is new and uses a double-wishbone setup (instead of MacPherson struts) with components taken from the Cup and RSR race cars. The car has been stripped of its rubber bushings and has springs that are 25 to 30% stiffer than before.
The wheels are also taller and wider than before, now measuring 20 inches in diameter at the front (with 255/35-section Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres at the front) and 21 inches at the back (with 315/30-section rubber). The new Y-spoke centre-lock rollers hide larger 408 mm front and 380 mm rear brake discs, which feature a race car-style pitted surface instead of being cross-drilled.
All the thorough reengineering has been concealed beneath a revised aerodynamic package that takes the GT3 even further into the realm of motorsports. At the front, you’ve got a much wider centre air intake that feeds air into the radiator, venting air through ducts that have moved from the bumper to the bonnet.
But it’s the rear of the car where the new GT3 looks its most extreme. It’s here where you’ll find a dramatically different swan-neck wing, which is mounted at the top rather than the bottom. This new design cleans up the airflow underneath the airfoil, improving its efficiency and increasing the downforce produced. A large diffuser continues to feature underneath, framing the centre-exit exhausts.
Overall, Porsche claims that the new car produces 50% more downforce compared to the outgoing model, without a corresponding increase in drag. Of course, you will still be able to get the GT3 as a Touring, which will continue to come with a retractable spoiler instead of the gigantic wing for a more subdued look. This particular model will also no longer be manual-only, being available with a PDK option for the first time.
GALLERY: 992 Porsche 911 GT3 spyshots