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26 December 2012

Porsche enlists latest 991 for the next 911 GT3 Cup Car

Words by Christopher Kho | Photos courtesy of Porsche AG
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The current 997-based 911 GT3 Cup Car has been in use for around eight years now, and it's about time for a fresh new model to come take its place. So when the seventh-generation Porsche 911 Carrera came into light late last year, it sort of gave us an idea of what their next race car will look like. Well, here it is. This is the new 991-based 911 GT3 Cup Car that will blow your socks off starting in 2013. But more importantly, it's a good indication what the next road-going 911 GT3 will shape up to be when it hits Porsche showrooms in the very near future.
A quick inspection reveals a new race-inspired bumper with splitter, bigger wheel arches, centrally-mounted twin exhaust, and a huge rear wing. And of course, they covered it front to back with stickers for that unmistakable “race car” look. It's quite peculiar though why there's a small cut-out on the roof right above the driver. Apparently, it's a rescue hatch that medics can use to extract the driver in case he gets caught between a rock and a hard place.
Under the skin, this 911 sports 380 mm steel brake rotors with six-piston aluminum calipers upfront, while the rear ones have a four-piston version. They also added a fresh set of single-piece race wheels designed by Porsche Motorsport that look oh so sweet. Plus, the Michelin race slicks it rolls on are now wider by 2 cm at the front and 1 cm at the back to help it shed a few seconds off its lap times.
The 2013-spec 911 GT3 Cup is powered by a new 460 hp 3.8L flat six engine. That's 10 more than the old Cup Car and 60 hp up on the current Carrera S. But the goodies don’t end there. For the first time in a Porsche trophy race car, shift paddles take the place of the regular h-type manual gear box, which may have some purists crying sacrilege.
This Cup Car no longer has any of the luxurious carry-ons from its road-going counterpart, as it's stripped-down to the bare necessities to save weight. The only things left inside are a full safety cage and a newly-developed race seat.
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"The new 911 GT3 Cup is much easier to drive at the limit," says Porsche works driver Timo Bernhard, who was significantly involved in the development of the new vehicle. "The car is excellently balanced. The new axle geometry is enormously positive for the handling. In addition, the new Cup 911 is great fun to drive."
Porsche's latest 991-based 911 GT3 Cup Car is currently being produced in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, on the same line as its street-legal model. It will, however, be run exclusively for Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup in 2013. This means that the other Porsche Cups around the world will have to wait until 2014 before the new car arrives. But you can buy one now for €181,200 (P9.84-million) only available in white. Racing livery and stickers not included.