The Porsche 911 has so many variations, from all-wheel-drive, turbocharged, convertible, S, Targa and others, that it's hard to pick a favorite. But one variation that's risen to the top as being a consistent favorite of both critics and Porschephiles is the GT3. For some purists, the switch from air-cooled to water-cooling for the 996 was unspeakable heresy (little did they know about the Cayenne coming just a few years later), the GT3 was a sort of redemption for the then-newcomer, with its purposeful, race-focused performance, and high-output, naturally-aspirated engine. On the eve of the 15th anniversary of the GT3, Porsche unveils the race-ready 991 GT3 Cup.
Like its 997 predecessor, the 991-based GT3 is powered by a 3.8-liter flat-six engine, producing a peak output of 460 hp at 7500 rpm, 10 horses higher than the 997. The Cup model features a six-speed dog-type transmission with paddle shifters, another first for a GT3 model.
Rare for street cars, but commonly-seen in race cars, the new GT3 Cup features center-mount wheels with Michelin race slick tires. Overall tread width goes up 2 cm on the front tires, and 10 cm on the rear tires, for widths of 27 cm (10.6 in) for the front tires and 31 cm (12.2 in) for the rears.
Just as important as high horsepower is for race cars is braking performance, and the GT3 Cup features six-piston slotted and vented front rotors measuring a massive 15 inches. Driver safety was prioritized with redesigned safety cage and wrap-around race seat. To assist first-responders in the case of an accident, the car features a rescue hatch for administering medical attention or quick extrication of the driver.
The 911 GT3 Cup is produced on the same line as production 991 models, with final prep taking place at the Porsche Motorsport Center in Weissach, and a test run by a professional race driver before delivery. The base vehicle, offered exclusively in white, goes for the equivalent of $234,245, before taxes.