By Douglas Cougevan
The Porsche 911 has spawned numerous variants throughout its history ranging from the luxurious to the hardcore, stripped-down models designed for maximum performance on the racetrack. The past 20 years has seen the 911 be made into a special GT3 model variant that focuses on creating the best driving experience on the race track by offering a number of exclusive options, weight saving measures, and high-performance technology to make the 911 into a race car for the road. The newest 991-generation Porsche 911 GT3 carries on the success of the previous GT3 models and becomes the fastest of its kind to ever hit the race track thanks to new aerodynamics, a better powertrain, 3 piece wheels, and an array of new technology.
One of the special parts of the Porsche 911 GT3 is its powertrain that has always been a high-revving version of the standard 911 Carrera S engine and a manual transmission. For the new 991-generation of the GT3, a few things changed, most notably being the transmission. Instead of the standard six-speed manual, a seven-speed reinforced and modified PDK duala-clutch transmission is used that is similar to those used in the company's racing programs. While this may ruffle the feathers of true Porsche enthusiasts, they'll be happy to see a high-revving 3.8-liter flat-six powering the rear 3 piece wheels. The engine is capable of reaching speeds of 9,000 RPM and produces 475 hp at 8,250 RPM and 324 lb. ft. of torque at 6,250 RPM. This allows the super car to reach 60 mph from rest in only 3.3 seconds and a top speed of 195 mph, good for a faster Nurburgring lap time than its more powerful 997 911 GT2 predecessor.
Much of the Porsche 911 GT3's success as a track car and in terms of sales is largely due to its nimble chassis. The car is based on the wider body of the 911 Carrera 4S model to improve traction and maneuverability, and features special motorsports upgrades such as aluminum components and 3 piece wheels. Parts of the suspension such as the springs and dampers are made from lighter materials and offer better bound, rebound, and height characteristics for improved overall performance. New lightweight aluminum alloy brakes are used that feature four-piston monoblock calipers and 380 mm ventilated discs that are cooled by new integrated ducting. New 3 piece wheels with a center locking mechanism and forged aluminum alloy construction help to reduce weight at the wheel hub and provide better overall performance.
New technology also helps to make the Porsche 911 GT3 more composed and perform better on the race track. Porsche Active Suspension Management helps to instantly alter the damper settings to keep the car composed and handling well during tight turns and elevation changes. Porsche Torque Vectoring brakes the inside 3 piece wheel during a turn to provide more agile handling in tight turns and corners. For the first time rear-axle steering is used to virtually elongate the track of both front and rear axles for better grip characteristics.
New aerodynamics are also featured on the 991-generation Porsche 911 GT3. A larger rear spoiler wing, new side skirts, a new front splitter, and advanced bumper design with cooling inlets are all improvements over the previous generation that reduce drag and increase downforce for better overall performance.
Douglas Cougevan is a contributing writer at COR Wheels. COR Wheels specializes in 3 piece wheels, 3 piece wheels and monoblock rims in a variety of both traditional step lip, reverse, and concave designs.
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