2017 Geneva Motor Show: Porsche 911 GT3 gets new 500 hp engine and six-speed manual gearbox

Article by Christian A., on March 10, 2017

Porsche never ceases to amaze us as each of its new vehicle offerings is incredibly sexy and high-performing – just like the new Porsche 911 GT3, which has been updated for the 2018 model year.

Now on display at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, the Porsche 911 GT3 gets new mechanical features that would leave purists drooling.

Porsche will commence sales of the 2018 Porsche 911 GT3 in the United States this fall at a manufacturer suggested retail price of $143,600, which excludes $1,050 in delivery and handling fees.

Exterior Design

For the 2018 model year, Porsche 911 GT3 represents a facelift for one of the sports carmaker’s more dynamic models. But visual tweaks are quite subtle, so the eyes of the automotive world are rather focused on what lies underneath the Porsche 911 GT3 facelift – its engine and its transmission – as recently revealed by German sports maker.

Aerodynamic aids include a rear wing made from lightweight carbon fiber, lightweight front fascia and the front spoiler as well as exhaust air openings and a new diffuser on the rear end of the new Porsche 911 GT3.

Powertrain

As expected of Porsche, the sports carmaker is known for adopting or borrowing technologies, elements and features from the wealth of its motorsports experience and expertise. Thus, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the carmaker decides to employ a high-revving engine that is derived from the powerplant that serves as the core of all 911 race cars.

Taking charge of powering up the 2018 Porsche 911 GT3 is a new naturally aspirated 4.0 liter flat-six engine that is well-tuned to deliver up to 500 hp of output and at most 339 lb.-ft. of torque. This amount of power is already enough to make the 911 GT3 very quick on the sprint and very fast on the road.

Sending power to the wheels is any of the two available transmissions. As standard, the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission (PDK) -- constructed and tuned specially for the 911 GT3, is mated to the 4.0-liter flat-six engine. With this transmission, the new 911 GT3 weighs 3,153 pounds and is able to sprint front zero to 60 mph in just 3.2 seconds and achieve top track speed of 197 mph.

However, Porsche is now offering six-speed manual transmission for the new 911 GT3 – a development that could make purists jump for joy. With this manual gearbox, the new Porsche 911 GT3 tips the scale at 3,116 pounds, and is now able to accelerate from a standstill to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds and reach a top track speed of 198 mph.

Rear Axle Steering

As it is, the new 911 GT3 is underpinned by a revised chassis with Rear Axle Steering as well as systematic lightweight construction.

Rear Axle Steering -- depending upon the speed of the 911 GT3 – allows the rear wheels to be steered either in the same or opposite direction as the front wheels, a format that could vastly boost the sports car’s agility and stability.

Press Release

A matter of choice - the new 2018 Porsche 911 GT3

Porsche motorsport technology continues to be incorporated into street-legal sports cars. The new 911 GT3 was developed in Weissach,and will be manufactured on the same production line as all other 911 street and 911 GT3 Cup racecars. The centerpiece of the latest 911 GT3 is the new naturally aspirated 4.0 liter flat-six engine which produces 500 hp and 339 lb.-ft. of torque. This new, high-reving powerplant is based on the one now used in all 911 race cars, including the 911 GT3 R and 911 RSR. The redesigned chassis with Rear Axle Steering and systematic lightweight construction is specifically tuned to produce superior driving dynamics in conjunction with the naturally aspirated engine.

Thanks to a power-to-weight ratio of 6.4 pounds per hp, the 911 GT3 feels very much at home on the test track. With the standard seven-speed dual-clutch transmission (PDK) - specifically constructed and tuned for the GT3 - the 3,153 pound two-seater accelerates from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 3.2 seconds with a top track speed of 197 miles per hour. For purists, Porsche will also offer the 911 GT3 with a six-speed manual transmission. With this transmission, the 911 GT3 weighs in at 3,116 pounds, allowing it to achieve a top track speed of 198 miles per hour and hit 60 mph in 3.8 seconds.

Fast in corners, stable on the straights: Track-bred chassis with rear axle steering
The chassis of the new 911 GT3 benefits from Porsche motorsport racing experience, and it has been tuned for improved handling and driving dynamics. The chassis and active Rear Axle Steering offer superlative handling characteristics. Depending upon the speed, the rear wheels are steered either in the opposite or the same direction as the front wheels, improving the vehicle's agility and stability. The dynamic engine mounts and the rear locking differential, both fitted as standard, also boost the car's driving dynamics.

Visually, the lightweight carbon fiber rear wing reinforces the fact that the design of the car is driven by aerodynamics. The lightweight front fascia and the front spoiler are designed for optimum airflow. The rear end with exhaust air openings and a new diffusor also contribute to the overall aerodynamic efficiency.

Interior: A control center for exceptional driving dynamics
The interior of the new 911 GT3 is designed to underscore the exciting driving experience. The GT Sport steering wheel designed with a 14.1 inch diameter was adopted from the 918 Spyder. The Sport Seats Plus feature enhanced bolsters for increased lateral support and electric adjustment of the seat back and seat height.

There are two other seat options available for the 911 GT3. The Adaptive Sport Seats Plus offer an 18-way electric adjustment along with a power steering column and seat memory. Alternatively, Full Bucket Seats with electric height adjustment and a fixed carbon fiber reinforced backrest are also available. As on all GT variants, the rear seats are omitted to save weight.

Porsche Track Precision App as standard
In addition to the Porsche Communication Management (PCM) - which includes a navigation system capable of real-time traffic information and the Connect Plus Module including Apple Car Play - the Porsche Track Precision App is also included as standard equipment. Using this app, 911 GT3 drivers can display, record, and analyze detailed driving data on a smartphone.

Pricing and availability
The 2018 911 GT3 is scheduled to reach U.S. dealers in fall 2017. The base MSRP will be $143,600, excluding the $1,050 delivery, processing, and handling fee.

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