While many journalists are already calling 2013 “the year of the supercar” I do my best not to forget that many of our sport car favorites are being refreshed or reborn this year as well. Before all the photographers descended upon McLaren, Ferrari, and Lamborghini today, Porsche graced the world with the new 2014 911 GT3.
It might not be completely made out of hand laid carbon fiber next to an F1 car, or cost over a million dollars but the GT3 is still a beautiful machine and looks to continue the tradition of being the ultimate driver’s car. Looking at the GT3 I can’t help but wonder how a car can be the same as before but also new. Clearly the 2014 GT3 looks different from its predecessors, yet it is still un-mistakably the snarling lightweight no-frills track car it has always been.
When designing the new GT3, Porsche went with a “less is more” strategy; Meaning they only changed a few things but those changes are significant. The change that has everyone talking is the lack of a true manual transmission option. Instead, the 2014 GT3 comes with a 7 speed dual-clutch “PDK” gearbox. This is a very polarizing development. Many mourn the death of the ol’ H-pattern while others welcome the “flappy paddles” as Jeremy Clarkson calls them.
The new GT3 also comes with a rear wheel steering system. Rear wheels turning still seems like a funny concept to me but in practice it can work wonders. Porsche’s system works by analyzing speed in turns and then commanding the rear wheels to turn in the same or opposite direction of the front wheels, improving cornering. I reckon this will make the new GT3 damn near surgical when it comes to slow corners.
The GT3’s engine is slightly based on the Carerra 911 S unit but with several modifications to lighten it up and add enough strength to handle 475HP and the 9,000RPM redline. The connecting rods have been replaced with titanium pieces which were mated to forged pistons.
Despite its looks and modifications, one of my favorite things about the new GT3 is that it actually has a price and a (vague but definable) release date. The 2014 Porsche 911 GT3 will have an MSRP of $130,400 (not counting a $950 destination charge) and is expected to hit dealerships late this year.
Hopefully I will be lucky enough to be invited to a press drive. Oh, hell who am I kidding? These pictures will probably the closest I ever get to the new GT3 until one shows up at Cars & Coffee.
For more details on the 2014 911 GT3 scroll down for the press release. For hi-res pics click any of the thumbnails above. For some real fun click the red text above for the official 2014 911 GT3 microsite.
Porsche Debuts Fifth Generation of the 911 GT3
The new Porsche 911 GT3 premieres this week at the Geneva International Motor Show. The completely-redeveloped fifth generation of the 911 GT3 occupies the top position among Porsche sports cars with naturally-aspirated engines. With an impressive lap time on the Nürburgring Nordschleife of under 7:30 minutes, the 2014 911 GT3 benefits from a new engine, transmission, body and chassis. The car now sprints from zero to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds on its way to a top track speed of 195 mph. The 2014 911 GT3 will go on sale in the United States late in 2013 and will be priced from $130,400, not including a $950 destination charge.
As a technical highlight, the 911 GT3 features the first active rear-wheel steering in a production Porsche, as well as optional full LED headlights. The new GT3 brings to everyday driving many of the properties of a sports car developed on the track, and preserves the highly emotional fun factor.
The powertrain of the new 911 GT3 is composed of a 3.8-liter boxer engine yielding 475 hp (125 hp/liter) featuring a 9,000 rpm redline and a specially developed Porsche dual-clutch transmission (PDK) which drives the rear wheels. The six-cylinder engine is based on the same engine as the 911 Carrera S, although they share only a few common parts. All other components, particularly the crankshaft and valve gear, were specially adapted or designed for the GT3. For instance, Porsche designed titanium connecting rods and forged pistons for this engine.
The Porsche dual-clutch transmission in this application has been specially developed for the 911 GT3: the characteristics are based directly on a sequential gearbox from racing, thereby providing further performance and dynamic advantages to the driver. Highlights include shorter gear ratios with closer spacing, even faster shifting, and shift paddles with shorter travel and increased tactile feedback, which now allow the driver to place the PDK in neutral simply by pulling on both paddles at the same time.
For the first time, Porsche is employing active rear wheel steering to achieve even higher steering precision and improved lateral dynamics. Depending on the speed, the rear wheels steer in the same or opposite direction of the front wheels, improving stability and agility. Other new features that improve driving dynamics are an electronically controlled, fully variable rear differential lock and dynamic engine mounts. Contact with the road is made by new 20-inch, forged alloy wheels with center-locking hubs in place of conventional wheel bolts
The 2014 911 GT3 is based on the light yet stiff body of the current generation 911 Carrera, which employs a hybrid steel and aluminum construction; however, it comes with unique front and rear parts specific to the GT3. In addition, the 911 GT3 is 1.7 inches wider than a 911 Carrera S in the rear. Another distinctive feature is the large, fixed rear wing, which contributes to the exemplary aerodynamics.
By combining low air resistance with even more power, the 2014 911 GT3 sets new performance standards. At full acceleration from standstill, the 60 mph mark is reached after just 3.3 seconds, and on the track 124 mph is reached in less than twelve seconds.