Fast for­ward to bliss

NT News - Motoring - - CARS GUIDE - By STU­ART MARTIN

IT might take a lot of wrap­ping pa­per but it’s go­ing to be worth it — Porsche is un­wrap­ping its new 911 GT3 just in time for Christ­mas.

The rau­cous, raw and rapid GT3 will be with­out a clutch pedal for the first time, as the seven-speed PDK dual-clutch gear­box be­comes stan­dard fare on the road-go­ing racer.

Also set to make an ap­pear­ance for the first time is ac­tive rear-wheel steer­ing, some­thing also des­tined for the main­stream 911 range.

The steer­ing an­gle of the rear wheels can be al­tered by up to 1.5 de­grees— be­low 50km/h, the sys­tem steers the rear wheels in the op­po­site di­rec­tion to the front wheels, above 80km/h the rear wheels steer the same way as the front.

Sub­stan­tial re­vi­sions dis­tin­guish the two-seater GT3 from the rest of the range — while it gets the 3.8-litre di­rect-in­jec­tion flat­six-cylin­der from the Car­rera S, dif­fer­ences abound.

It’s 25kg lighter, sits 30mm lower on adap­tive PASM sus­pen­sion and gets dry sump lu­bri­ca­tion, ac­tive ex­hausts, titanium con­nect­ing rods and forged pis­tons as well as crank­shaft and val­ve­train changes all al­low­ing a 9000rpm red­line and 350kW peak power.

The 100km/h mark is reached in 3.5 sec­onds, 200km/ h comes up in un­der 12 sec­onds, and if you kept the right foot buried it will hit a top speed of 315km/h.

Porsche says that the ac­tive rear-wheel steer­ing im­proves han­dling pre­ci­sion and lat­eral dy­nam­ics, help­ing to give the GT3 a 7m30s time at the Nur­bur­gring Nord­schleife cir­cuit — two sec­onds quicker than the 911 GT2.

Other tricky bits to ap­pear in the new GT3 in­clude an elec­tron­i­cally con­trolled vari­able rear diff lock, dy­namic engine mounts, 20-inch (up from 19-inch on the out-go­ing GT3) rac­ing-style cen­tre-nut forged al­loy wheels and the lat­est in­car­na­tion of the brand’s torque vec­tor­ing sys­tem, just in case all the other gear doesn’t get you cor­ner­ing fast enough.

The GT3 gets a big rear wing over the broader rump (by 44mm over the S), with 245/35 ZR 20 rub­ber on the front and 305/30 ZR rub­ber on the rear, the lat­ter wrapped around larger ven­ti­lated rear brakes.

Weight has been kept down by ex­ten­sive use of alu­minium in body, panels and floor­pan while tor­sional rigid­ity has in­creased by about 25 per cent.

Porsche Aus­tralia is still in talks with Ger­many about pric­ing – the out­go­ing car was around $350,000 so the aim would be some­where in that realm.

If you have a lazy cou­ple of hun­dred thou­sand, the new Porsche 911 GT3 could be a per­fect Christ­mas gift when it be­comes avail­able later in the year

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