The star of the Porsche press conference at the 2016 Paris Motor Show was supposed to be the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid; however, it was upstaged by something nearer and dearer to racing fans’ hearts: the latest generation of the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
The 1200-kilogram (2,600-lb.) one-seater is powered by a four-liter flat engine delivering 357 kW (485 hp) and variable inlet and outlet camshaft control. A range of enhancements improve engine performance while reducing 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 optimize oil de-foaming in the engine. A crankshaft with significantly increased rigidity has also been installed.
Front apron and rear end improve the downforce of the new 911 GT3 Cup
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-centimeter 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-millimeter Michelin racing slicks on the front axle, and a massive 310-millimeter tread on the rear axle. The intelligent aluminium-steel composite construction ensures maximum rigidity and a lightweight body.
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 molded 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 center, where vehicles are also thoroughly tested by a professional race driver prior to delivery to the customer.
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.
Some 3031 units of the 911 GT3 Cup have been built in the 996, 997 and 991 model lines since 1998. This, the company says, makes the cup racing car from Stuttgart the most-produced and most-sold GT racing car in the world.