Main Menu

Porsche unveils 992 GT3 Cup, the 510-hp race car you can buy

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Article by Damon Lowney
Photos courtesy Porsche

A couple weeks ago Porsche allowed some European journalists early access to the then-unannounced 992-generation 911 GT3 road car. Last weekend the automaker pulled the cover completely off of its most popular factory race car based on that road car, the 911 GT3 Cup, which we now know makes 510 horsepower and can run on synthetic fuel.

GT3 Cup Project Manager Jan Feldmann had four things in mind throughout the car’s development:

  • Improve performance
  • More aggressive design
  • Easier handling
  • Greater durability with less time required for maintenance

Normally we’d keep talking about that flat six, yet because the 992 GT3 Cup’s most impressive features come down to the chassis and suspension, let’s highlight them first. Like all other 992 road cars, the Cup now has wide rear fenders standard, which increases rear width by 28 millimeters to 1,902 mm. Amazingly, the front is even wider at 1,920 mm. The outgoing 991.2 GT3 Cup’s chassis was made of 70% steel and 30% aluminum, according to Porsche, while the 992 Cup is 70% aluminum and 30% steel. While more liberal use of aluminum did drop weight, it was added back in through the additions of safety features, including extra safety struts added to the steel safety cell, and other odds and ends. That means the 992 Cup weighs in at 2,778 pounds, a good deal heavier than the 2,701-pound 991.2 Cup.

Body panels are aluminum or carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP), used strategically to reduce repair costs from the inevitable rubbing and bumping on track. For example, the doors, engine lid, and rear wing are CFRP, while the hood and fenders are aluminum. The body, paired with the bigger rear wing and front apron with spoiler, produces more downforce than before. Astute readers will also notice the “swan neck” mounting of the rear wing is the same as the road-going GT3 and benefits air flow on the bottom side.

The rear end retains a five-point multilink suspension like on the previous Cup, but the front inherits new double-wishbone suspension from the 911 RSR, replacing the MacPherson struts used on the old car and current road-going 911 Carreras and Turbos. The double wishbone setup allows for superior suspension performance by retaining suspension geometry more precisely and removing the shock’s exposure to lateral forces. The driver should experience more predictable performance and better turn-in. This front suspension is shared with the forthcoming GT3, and we’re crossing our fingers that non-GT 911s will at some point also get the update.

An updated flat six powers the new GT3 Cup, and is very similar to the one in the outgoing car. The 4.0-liter engine now makes 510 hp at 8,400 rpm, up from 485 hp at 7,500 rpm, and redlines at 8,750 rpm. Torque is rated at 347 pound-feet. Unlike the road car, the GT3 Cup will not use individual throttle butterflies for air intake, instead relying on a less exotic single-butterfly intake system. Three different exhaust systems are available, made to conform with different race series and/or track decibel limits. Porsche says the engine should can run on track for 100 hours before a maintenance check is needed, a staggeringly long time compared to the “Mezger” engines used through 2016. Interestingly, the front radiators remain at the very front of the car for one reason, according to Porsche: “The risk of damaging the radiators prevents an overly aggressive driving style.”

The driver shifts using a six-speed sequential transmission with quicker and more reliable engagement, achieved through a new electronic system that replaces the pneumatic system. The transmission itself can go 60 hours before needing a minor inspection, which Porsche notes is two years competing in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup one-make series. The automaker says a major overhaul of the transmission is required after 120 hours of racing. The driveshafts, Porsche notes, are now of a more durable racing design.

Inside, the center monitor has been updated, the steering wheel comes from the GT3 R, and electronic components have been repositioned from the passenger footwell to behind the passenger seat. Functions such as anti-lock brakes (ABS) and traction control are stored in the car, but require optional codes to turn on.

Porsche says the new 911 GT3 Cup “is now delivered with a complete accessory kit, which includes, for example, all special tools and wishbone spacers required for track adjustment.” All that’s needed is €225,000 (~$273,000) plus country-specific taxes. Delviery begins in February 2021.

Source: Porsche

Your rating: None Average: 4.8 (21 votes)