No turbo, no 4WD, hints GT boss
Porsche GT boss hints that it will remain rear drive and be normally aspirated
The next Porsche 911 GT3 will be innovative with its suspension system but retain rear-wheel drive and potentially keep a naturally aspirated engine, according to GT boss Frank Walliser.
Speaking at the Los Angeles motor show, where the new 992-generation 911 was revealed, Walliser said Porsche has “some really cool ideas on the GT side for suspension. There’s more potential again and it will be very much a GT3”.
The next GT3 will follow the launch of the standard 911 and is due around 2020. Walliser hinted that Porsche will resist the allure of turbocharging and not adopt all-wheel drive, giving Porsche a key point of difference in a market where rivals have gone with one of those technologies, or in some cases both.
“Part of the GT cars is that they’re raw. They’re lightweight. Four-wheel drive gives you something in the wet but adds 50kg and you lose some of the fuel capacity of our 90-litre tank,” said Walliser.
“We’ve discussed it but come to the conclusion two-wheel drive on the 911 layout is best. It can handle the power no problem with the chassis and tyre technology all helping.”
Another topic of discussion in the GT division has been hybrid technology for the 911, but the conversation “has not gone from the tea kitchen to meeting rooms” yet.
“With a GT car, it’s really simplified as giving perfect feedback and a very light design. It’s more than engine power. It’s other refinements that make a good car. It’s in a niche market [for sports cars] but it’s a big niche and we have an asset that we don’t want to give up.”
To that end, hybrid power remains a long way off, but don’t expect to see a turbo GT3, either, Walliser hinted, despite claims it could happen. “Turbo adds another 40kg, a hybrid more so,” said Walliser. “Normally aspirated and hybrid fit together very, very well. The 918 was hybrid and normally aspirated. It’s the most emotional thing we have and we have to stay emotional.”
A manual gearbox is also set to be retained, after it returned to the Gen 2 version of the 991series GT3. Around 25% of all GT3S are sold with that option, and as many as 75% in the US.
New 911 made its debut at the LA motor show