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This is the new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup that will hit circuits worldwide from 2017. Boasting a completely redeveloped drive, the backside of the world’s most-popular GT racing car now houses a 4.0 litre flat-six engine with direct fuel injection. It delivers 485 hp. Weight is 1,200 kg.

A range of measures also improve efficiency in addition to engine performance, ensuring even better durability of the naturally aspirated engine in racing mode, and reduced maintenance costs. A valve drive with rigidly mounted rocker arms and a central oil feed is being used for the very first time. What’s more, an integrated oil centrifuge is used to optimise oil defoaming in the engine. A crankshaft with significantly increased rigidity has also been installed.

It may look same-same to most of us, but there’s a new front apron and rear end that improves downforce, which in turn enhances traction and performance. That monster 184 cm wide rear wing has been carried over. The wheel dimensions are new: one-piece 18-inch racing rims with a central locking mechanism are used – with 270 mm Michelin racing slicks on the front axle, and fat 310 mm donuts at the rear.

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Porsche focused on driver safety during development. He or she is protected by a solid safety cage and an innovative, bucket-style racing seat that is moulded particularly heavily around the head and shoulder area. The enlarged rescue hatch in the roof, in line with the latest FIA standard, makes it easier to provide initial treatment and recovery should an accident happen.

Interestingly, Porsche manufactures the 911 GT3 Cup on the same production line as the 911 road car in its main plant in Zuffenhausen. The basic race tuning is performed at the Weissach motorsport centre, where vehicles are also thoroughly tested by a pro race driver prior to delivery.

Some 3,031 units of the 911 GT3 Cup have been built in the 996, 997 and 991 model lines since 1998; which makes it the most-produced and most-sold GT racing car in the world. This new one will be used in the 2017 race season, initially exclusively in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup (held alongside F1 races) and in the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland, as well as in the US. From 2018, it will be available for other races.