Porsche has told its dealers to temporarily stop selling the 911 GT3 sports car after at least two examples caught fire in Europe. A Porsche spokesman in the U.S. confirmed reports from Reuters that a 911 GT3 in Italy and another in Switzerland caught fire, prompting the stop-sale decision. Porsche has not yet said what has caused the fires.
"We have asked our dealers to stop selling the 911 GT3 until we can analyze reports of engine problems in a very small number of vehicles," Porsche product communications manager Nick Twork said this morning. "So far we know of only two incidents, one in Switzerland, one in Italy."
The 911 GT3 is the highest-performing, most track-oriented version of the current Porsche 911 range. It uses a 3.8-liter flat-six engine that has a 9000-rpm redline and is rated for 469 hp. Other track-ready features include 20-inch center-locking wheels, an adjustable carbon-fiber rear wing, and a three-part front splitter. The only transmission choice is a seven-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic. Pricing for the 2014 Porsche 911 GT3 starts at $131,395, after destination.
When we drove the 2014 Porsche 911 GT3, we concluded that even without the option to specify a manual transmission, "there is no doubt that this is an absolutely fantastic automobile." Contributor Marc Noordeloos lauded the car's "visceral, flexible, and extremely rewarding" engine, its "insane amount of front-end grip," and its clever electronically locking differential.
There's no word yet on whether concerns over fires in the standard GT3 will delay the introduction of the Porsche 911 GT3 RS. The hardcore model is expected to debut later this year with as much as 500 hp from a tuned version of the normal car's 3.8-liter flat-six engine.