No turbo, no 4WD, hints GT boss

Porsche GT boss hints that it will re­main rear drive and be nor­mally as­pi­rated

Autocar - - CONTENTS - MARK TIS­SHAW

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

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