Sime Darby Auto Performance launched the Porsche 911 GT3 this afternoon at the Sepang International Circuit. The fifth-generation 911 GT3 joins a local 991 lineup that ranges from the starter 911 Carrera to the ultimate 911 Turbo S.
Revealed at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, the “racing 911” is powered by a tuned version of the 3.8 litre flat-six engine from the Carrera S. Here, the direct fuel injection unit pushes out 475 hp through the use of a new GT3-specific crankshaft, valve gear, titanium connecting rods and forged pistons, for a 75 hp jump over the S. It revs up to 9,000 rpm, 500 more than before.
The latest 911 GT3 is no longer available with a stick shift, so the only way to go through the gears is with a seven-speed PDK transmission, with steering paddles. Porsche says that the dual-clutch box has been tuned specifically for the GT3, with shorter ratios, faster shift times (under 100 milliseconds) and a gearchange algorithm that mirrors the sequential units in Porsche Motorsports’ race cars – PDK Sport mode.
There’s also a “paddle neutral” function. If the driver pulls both shift paddles concurrently, the clutches of the PDK are opened and the force flow between engine and powertrain is interrupted. If both shift paddles are released again, the clutch closes with “lightning speed”.
Two advantages: if the GT3 understeers, the driver can neutralise by pulling the paddles, buliding up additional cornering force on the rear wheels. The second aspect influences the driving dynamics via the pulse-like inset of the drive power when coupling. Comparable to a traditional clutch in a manual gearbox, the rear of the car can be consciously destablised when turning. Kicking the tail out, in other words.
This track special is very fast – 0-100 km/h is now done in 3.5 seconds, 200 km/h takes less than 12, and top speed is now 315 km/h. It laps the Nurburgring (7:25) faster than the outgoing turbocharged 911 GT2 at less than seven and a half minutes, even coming close to matching the Carrera GT’s time.
Probably contributing to the impressive lap time is the use of active rear-wheel steering, a first for Porsche. This turns the two rear wheels into or away from the corner according to speed, aiding stability and agility. The steering system is electric. Fully adjustable suspension, larger 20-inch forged wheels, electronically-controlled, fully variable rear differential lock and the now-standard dynamic engine mounts are other highlights.
How much to park one in your garage? RM1.23 million before options, but remember not to shackle your GT3 there and bring it to Sepang for the occasional leg stretching – this Porsche is made for the track. Those who simply want “the ultimate 991” can go straight to this.