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Porsche at the 2009 Geneva International Motor Show
New 3.8-litre 911 GT3 gains in displacement and power
While the Carrera and Targa 4 get a new sports... melody

2010 Porsche 911 GT3: front side view, static.

New 911 GT3: the slightly larger boxer engine develops 20 bhp more than in the previous GT3, reaching a maximum of 435 bhp.


3 February 2009.

Bechara Aboul-Nasr.

There are always good news, even if they don't come alone in these times, and even if your admired car brand is called... Porsche.

But as long as the sun rises every day, optimism will always remain better for health, body and mind, especially with a reasonable dose of dedicated effort. Otherwise, optimism becomes the sum of eight meaningless letters.

2010 Porsche 911 GT3: rear side view, static.

GT3 is the most sporting of all road-going 911 models with a normally-aspirated engine and specific motorsport applications.

Anyway, we'll always start from the sunny side, especially with the approaching annual spring debut of the auto industry, from Geneva.

For this spring at the 79th Geneva Motor Show (5 to 15 March), Porsche has prepared the world debut of the new 911 GT3.

Yes, as you'd expect, it'll be even more powerful, faster, and more refined than its predecessor, as promised by the German luxury sports cars brand.

To put it in its context, the GT3 is the most sporting of all road-going 911 models with a normally-aspirated engine (unlike the RWD turbocharged GT2 and AWD 911 turbo), and a higher dose of motorsport applications (compared to the Carrera versions).

That's what makes the rear-wheel-drive GT3 equally fit for road and racing tracks driving.

Engine - For the new 911 GT3, the six-cylinder naturally-aspirated boxer engine develops 20 bhp more than its predecessor, reaching a maximum output of 435 bhp (320 kW), thanks to the engine capacity increase to 3.8 litres (+200 cc), with an improved engine head air / exhaust management: in addition to the intake side, now the exhaust camshafts are also adjusted by VarioCam (opposite photo).

The flat engine (or 180° V6 engine if you prefer) also offers an increase in torque at the medium engine speeds of everyday motoring.

New 911 GT3 sports steering wheel, PCM and Chrono Plus.

Zero to 100 km/h, the new 911 GT3 takes only 4.1 seconds (previously 4.3 in the GT3, and 4.2 in the GT3 RS version) before reaching 160 km/h in 8.2 seconds (8.7 in the current 911 GT3 and 8.5 in the GT3 RS), on its way to a top speed of 312 km/h or 194 mph (previously 310 km/h, or 192 mph in both GT3 and GT3 RS), where legal and safety conditions permit it.

Dynamics - For the first time, the 911 GT3 comes with an exceptionally sporting variant of the Porsche Stability Management (PSM), providing the possibility to deactivate both Stability Control (SC) and Traction Control (TC) in separate steps. For a more individual control over the driving dynamics, these functions are not reactivated automatically even under the most extreme driving conditions, but only at the touch of a button.

Possibility to deactivate both Stability Control (SC) and Traction Control (TC) in separate steps (button in the bottom right side).

Possibility to deactivate both Stability Control (SC) and Traction Control (TC) in separate steps (button in the bottom right side).

On the aerodynamics side, specific modifications increased down-force (front and rear) on the new GT3 to such an extent that the overall pressure pushing down the car is more than twice as great as on the former model. At the same time the new Aerodynamics Package gives the GT3 a new look further underlined by the new bi-xenon headlights, LED rear light clusters, as well as modified air intakes and outlets.

Porsche says that its engineers made the springs and anti-rollbars somewhat stiffer, for a more precise handling in the PASM sports mode, while retaining the necessary roll comfort suitable for everyday use in the normal PASM mode. The functional and visual enhancement of the new GT3 include lighter wheels in racing design with central locking and ultra-high performance (UHP) tyres now featuring tyre pressure control.

New 911 GT3 sports steering wheel.

New 911 GT3 sports steering wheel.

With these developments, the brake system has also been enhanced, with the discs featuring now larger friction surfaces and an aluminium cover to reduce weight. Improvement of brake ventilation enhances also brake power consistency over long periods. As before, the GT3 can be optionally ordered with an exclusive version of PCCB ceramic brakes made specifically for this model.

Prices - Sales of the new 911 GT3 will start in Europe in May, with a base price of Euro 98,100. In Germany, the retail price (inclusive of VAT and specific market features) is Euro 116,947, while in the USA the GT3 (at dealerships from October) will be priced from USD 112,200 (manufacturer suggested retail price, before taxes).

PCCB ceramic brakes available for the new 911 GT3.

PCCB ceramic brakes available for the new 911 GT3.

PADM - The new GT3 will be optionally available (autumn) with new PADM (Porsche Active Drivetrain Mount) engine bearings, especially suitable for the race track, as they adapt to a particularly sporting, race-like style of driving, by making the normally elastic engine suspension harder and particularly resistant.

PADM aims to retain motoring comfort for everyday traffic, while on the race track the car is not affected by any mass forces coming from the engine, as would otherwise be the case in fast bends and on winding tracks. A further advantage can be found in the improved traction when accelerating from a standstill.

Another new feature is the optional lift system for the front axle, to raise the ground clearance of the car at the touch of a button by 30 millimetres or almost 1.2”, over bumpy surfaces or steep gradients (such as the entry or exit of underground garage).

Optional new sports exhaust system for the Porsche 911, from February 2009.

Optional new sports exhaust system: the touch of a button in the centre console switches over to a more sporting "melody".

Carrera and Targa - Still within the 911 model, but on a different level, Porsche developed for the latest 911 generation a new sports exhaust system, available as an option from this month. It allows to adjust the 911 exhaust sound (also in the car) to the driver's personal preferences. At the touch of a button in the centre console, the exhaust system switches over to a more sporting and emotional sound generated in particular whenever the driver prefers a more dynamic style of motoring.

The new sports exhaust system is made of modified stainless-steel main silencers with two dual tailpipes in a unique design. The heart of the system is the exhaust flap on each main silencer activated by the engine’s electronic control system and switching over to a more sporting sound as soon as the driver activates the sound mode. The system itself is activated by the button, varying the sound of the exhaust as a function of engine load, road speed and engine speed.

In Europe, the base price of the sports exhaust system is 1,610 Euro excluding taxes. In the US the MSRP is 2,500 US$. Starting in April 2009, Porsche will also be offering a version for retrofitting.

Other Porsche news - We reach now the "other" sort of news mentioned at the beginning, as Porsche announced that, like most if not all the auto industry players, there is no way to avoid the global consequences of the financial crisis, expecting a significant decrease in its revenues for the current year of business (1 August 2008 - 31 July 2009). Sales in the first half of the business year (1 August to end of last month) are expected to have decreased by 27.3 per cent to approximately 34,000 units.

However, Porsche's results cannot be isolated anymore from the much larger picture with Volkswagen AG (largest European car manufacturing group, and the third worldwide behind Toyota and General Motors respectively), in which Porsche Automobil Holding SE share of ordinary voting stock  reached 50.76 per cent on 5 January 2009. As a result, the semi-annual report of Porsche Automobil Holding SE will, for the first time, comprise consolidated accounts (having exceeded the 50 per cent threshold). Porsche plans to reach during the current year, 75 per cent of the VW group voting shares.

Previous topics related to the Porsche 911 GT3 and GT3 RS include:
- The current 911 GT3,
- The current GT3 RS,
- KW tuning for the 911 GT3,
- Hamann tuning for the Porsche 911 (including the GT3).

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