Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Extreme - Porsche’s Fabulous 911 GT3



BECAUSE Porsches are made to a standard and not a price, they shrug off extended and extreme use like water off a duck’s back.

Such is the case with the new Porsche 911 GT3, the latest high performance model from the German sports car specialist.

Porsche Cars Australia uses the GT3 for its Sport Driving School, where the cars are mercilessly driven week in, week out at high speed and under maximum acceleration, engine revs and braking - and they don’t break or need rebuilding.

Delve deeper into the GT3 and it becomes apparent they are over-engineered by about 300 per cent to deliver the best and most reliable road and track car in existence.

It’s not the ultimate Porsche, but a sportier version of the current 997 series of the 911.

The GT3 doesn’t get Porsche’s dual clutch manu-matic transmission (PDK). Nor direct fuel injection, nor turbo for that matter, because it doesn’t need them and is built for the “purist” driver.

The GT3 is a step or two back from a race car but designed to cope with the stress of extreme use on the race track, as well as being an everyday drive car.

The naturally aspirated 3.8-litre boxer six-cylinder engine is good for 320kW, with 430Nm of torque and variocam valve adjustment on the inlet and exhaust sides.

The engine features drop forged pistons and titanium conrods and is all aluminium with a dry sump lubrication system.

Weight is minimised in order to improve handling and performance.

Engine redline is 8500rpm with a significant boost when the variocam system moves to full attack mode.

An optional Sport-mode gives more torque in the mid-range and quickens accelerator response.

It also opens the twin, centre-exit exhaust pipes for a more resonant note.

Good for a 0-100km/h sprint in 4.1 secs, the GT3 is more about fast laps than out and out acceleration and to this end features huge six piston brakes, Michelin 305-30 x 19 tyres at the rear and a mechanical limited slip differential with asymmetric locking function.

Electronic systems modulate the GT3’s behaviour but all have a high threshold to allow for unfettered, sports driving.

To keep it on the track at high speed, various aerodynamic aids are deployed including a fixed rear wing, front skirt and lowered ride height.

The transmission is a short throw six-speed manual with a light clutch action, drive is to the rear wheels.

An optional partial roll cage and six-point harnesses come with the Clubsport package that lets you know the GT3’s intended purpose.

It has plenty of kit inside the cabin including premium audio, climate control and leather upholstery.

Standard kit includes bi-xenon headlights and aluminium doors and bonnet.

Porsche Cars Australia let us loose last week on Queensland Raceway, near Ipswich, for a day with the Porsche Sport Driver’s School (masters level) headed up by race driver Tomas Mezera.

It was a series of unrestricted but closely monitored laps in the new GT3 (Clubsport spec) complete with ceramic brakes, fire extinguisher and carbon fibre seats.

They had Driftbox telemetry in the cars to assess our skill levels and help us drive cleaner, faster laps.

The cars are sensational to drive in a track environment offering incredible acceleration braking and cornering with as much feel as you could want or need.

You can juggle the GT3 on the throttle exiting wider bends and carve through the tight stuff like a racing kart thanks to the huge tyres and sharp steering.

The carbon ceramic brakes refused to fade despite completing more than 200 laps of the circuit over about four hours driving. At the end of the day, the cars sat on the tarmac ticking over like clockwork with another year of the same in front of them - amazing.

The price, about $282,000.

source: parramatta-advertiser.whereilive.com