The New Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Is Faster, Better, and (Kind Of) Cheaper
The world’s most common GT racer scores an upgrade.
If you’re still waking up depressed every day over Porsche’s decision to strap turbochargers to nearly every 911 in the lineup, well, do we have a dose of automotive Zoloft for you. It’s the newest Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car, and as you’d expect from a company that prides itself on perpetual improvement, it’s faster and better than ever.
There’s no forced induction to be found in this engine bay. The new 911 GT3 Cup makes 485 horsepower thanks to a sonorous 4.0-liter direct-injected flat six, 15 more ponies than the previous GT3 cup car. That may not sound like a huge bump, but considering this track car weighs in at just 2,640 pounds, even a few ponies can make a difference. Low-end torque is also up compared with the old GT3 Cup, according to Car and Driver’s interview with Porsche motorsports chief Frank-Steffen Walliser. A six-speed sequential manual gearbox handles sending the power to the aft wheels.
And blessedly, the 911 GT3 Cup should be cheaper to run than its predecessors. Porsche has cranked up the durability along with the power, adding in a more rigid crankshaft, a valve drive equipped with rigidly mounted rocker arms, and an oil centrifuge designed to defoam the engine’s lifeblood, among other changes. All the tweaks mean the new GT3 Cup should be able to run for 80 to 100 hours before the motor needs a tune-up, according to C/D—twice as long as the outgoing car.
The wheels are unchanged over the previous car, but that’s no slight against it; the 18-inch monoblock center-lock wheels both look great and hold the sticky Michelin rubber—10.6-inch-wide racing slicks up front, 12.2-inch-wide ones out back—just fine, thank you very much.
The new GT3 Cup, which is built on the same Zuffenhausen assembly line as every other 911 Porsche builds, also comes with the full complement of safety features you’d expect from a modern race car. There’s a solid roll cage, a sculpted racing seat, and a rescue hatch in the roof that’s been enlarged in accordance with FIA rules.
Should you like to pick one of these track puppies up, Porsche Motorsport will happily sell you one for €189,900 ($about $213,000 at current exchange rates). You’ll be in good company; with more than 3,000 examples sold across the previous three generations of 911 in the last 18 years, Porsche claims the GT3 Cup is the most-prevalent GT racing car on the planet. And if you choose to participate in Porsche’s exclusive customer racing events during the 2017 race season, you’ll probably see quite a few of them.