This Is The New Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, The First Race Car Of The 992 Generation
Earlier today, Porsche unveiled the latest in its long and successful line of 911-based competition cars, the GT3 Cup. It is the first racing version of the 992 generation 911 to come from the manufacturer—and the first of its kind to be based on the wider, Turbo-spec body shape. The new GT3 Cup also marks the seventh entry in the Porsche Cup car lineage, which goes back 30 years to the 964 Carrera Cup.
The new car is set to begin its competitive life next year in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup series (making its debut at Sebring in March), as well as in a variety international Carrera Cup Championships. The Supercup series has long been a fertile place to farm the next generation of top talent, but the fact that Porsche is also offering the car to the less prolific championships signals an even stronger commitment from the manufacturer to these so-called feeder series—the 911-based Cup racers are the best-selling race cars in the world, and it looks like that title will continue to be held in the new generation.
Compared to the outgoing model, the latest new Cup boasts more power, better handling, more grip, more width, and only a bit of weight gain. The naturally aspirated four-liter flat-six from the last model has been revised to produce 510hp (compared to 485hp in the previous iteration), and 347ft-lbs of torque, with a redline set at 8750rpm.
In terms of handling and grip, the aerodynamics package has been materially revamped to feature a larger, swan neck-style rear wing with 11 position settings, a new front spoiler, and the previously mentioned Turbo-spec wide body. The rear has been widened to 1902mm (an increase of 28mm), while the front axle measures up to 1920mm, allowing for 13″-wide rear wheels, and 12″-wide fronts. Besides more width and more downforce, the handling has also been improved via a more motorsport-focused suspension setup in the front, namely double wishbones and Uniball bearings (rather than a bushing-based setup). For better or worse, the steering system in the new GT3 Cup does away with hydraulics, and will be fully “electro-mechanical.”
While the overall weight has gone up from 2,646lbs to 2,778lbs, Porsche says it’s mainly because of increased steel safety supports in and around the cockpit. While the outgoing car’s body was roughly 30% aluminum and 70% steel, the ratio has basically flipped for the new car. Considerations for the driver continue in the new model with a more ergonomically arranged interior, a new carbon-reinforced plastic steering wheel, a two-setting height adjustable seat (also a new design itself), and an adjustable steering column. Pretty standard fare for a cheap commuter car, but any bit of comfort to be squeezed out of a race car without compromising its purpose will surely be welcomed by the drivers. There is also a revised 10.3-inch screen taking on information display duties in front of the steering wheel, and plenty of data logging software to analyze during and after racing—Porsche says there are about 700 diagnostic options available in the system.
“We wanted to position the new 911 GT3 Cup even more as a professional racing car, while also making it more cost-effective for the teams to run,” says Jan Feldmann, the GT3 Cup’s project manager. “We were particularly successful in achieving this thanks to its striking appearance, the improved suspension and intelligent solutions for electrical details. The handling of the new 911 GT3 Cup is noticeably more precise and even more fun. With its improved performance and the optimized cockpit, it’s the best Cup car that Porsche has ever built.” It’s hard to argue otherwise, but we’re excited just to see a new generation of 911 on circuits next year before the big daddy RSR is unveiled.
Images c/o Porsche