Porsche to replace engine of recalled 911 (991) GT3 models

Article by Christian A., on March 19, 2014

Porsche AG will replace the engine of the EUR137,300 ($190,930) 911 GT3 as it recalled all 785 models and told owners to stop driving them due to fire risks. "We're not taking any risks when it comes to the safety of our customers," Porsche chief executive Matthias Mueller said. "We're acting fast and decisively to fix this."

Porsche has sent out details to customers and is offering replacement units like the 911 Turbo while their GT3s are being repaired, Mueller said. Porsche said in a statement that the engine damage was caused by a loosened fastener on the connecting rod. The loose connecting rod damaged the crankcase, which in both cases resulted to oil leakage that led to a fire.

Porsche issued the recall last month after two vehicles caught fire after engine failures. No accidents or injuries were related to the incidents, Porsche said at the time. "To replace the whole engine is quite a drastic measure," said Stefan Bratzel, director of the Center of Automotive Management at the University of Applied Sciences.

"It shows Porsche is very keen to solve this as fast as possible to allay concerns and keep any disgruntled customers." Recalls in recent months at major carmakers like VW, Chrysler Group and Toyota Motor Corp. undermines the challenges they face in adding increasingly complex technology to newer vehicles.

Porsche had the drive system and chassis of the new 911 GT3 undergo systematic development to ensure greater levels of performance, transverse dynamics and precision.

Interestingly, the new 911 GT3 will be the first time that Porsche is employing active rear-wheel steering. Depending on how fast the 911 GT3 is moving, the active rear-wheel steering system steers in the same or opposite as the front wheels, in the process improving agility and stability. Aside from the active rear-wheel steering system, the new 911 GT3 also comes with electronically controlled, fully variable rear differential lock as well as the dynamic engine mounts. Furthermore, height, toe and camber of its newly developed all-aluminum chassis remain adjustable. The new 911 GT3 rides on 20-inch forged alloy wheels with central locking to ensure optimal road contact.

The new 911 GT3 will be powered by an entirely new engine, employing a six-cylinder naturally aspirated engine with direct petrol injection, dry sump lubrication, forged pistons and titanium connecting rods. Employing a valve control by rocker lever, this six-cylinder engine could reach up to 9,000 rpm, a broader engine speed range that could offer decisive time advantages on the track.

Just like the first 911 GT3, the latest iteration has power sent to the wheels through the Porsche Doppelkupplung dual-clutch transmission (PDK), although it does employ the latest and perfected version that offers seamless gear changes sans any interruption in propulsive power. This PDK has been specially developed for the 911 GT3, boasting of characteristics inspired by sequential transmissions employed in motor racing.

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