New Porsche 911 GT3 bows at Geneva
The new model lapped the Nürburgring in less than 7 minutes 30 seconds — a point of interest for the 80 percent of GT3 customers who race on tracks.
2014 Porsche 911 GT3
The Porsche 911 may be 50 this year, but it's still able to cause a stir. Kept under tight wraps before the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, this 911 GT3 has an incredible engine, a controversial new PDK gearbox and chassis technology fully adjustable like a racecar's, and it's packed with technology banned in Formula One racing.
The GT3 is built mainly for track-day enthusiasts who like driving their sports cars hard on purpose-built circuits, and Porsche has taken an almost race-car-like approach to its engineering. Those purists may like the idea of manual gearboxes and simple suspension setups, but logic insists a certain amount of ride refinement will sell more cars.
The result? A stunning benchmark time around the legendary Nürburgring racetrack and, according to insiders, a solid testament from the engineering bosses who built it that the car sets a new standard for driving intensity.
2014 Porsche 911 GT3
What is it? In between the unveiling of two new F1-inspired hybrid hypercars from McLaren and Ferrari here at Geneva 2013, Porsche reveals the 911 GT3 — the most potent 911 variant yet. Powering the new GT3 will be a 3.8-liter flat-six engine developing 475 horsepower at 8250 rpm. It will accelerate to 62 mph in just 3.5 seconds and go on to reach a top speed of 195 mph.
What's hot? The new GT3's redline is marked at an insane 9000 rpm. If this isn't a clear indicator of the new car's intended performance — along with the delightful center-lock wheels, massive brakes and aggressive aero package — then we don't know what is.
What's not? The new GT3 will be available only with Porsche's PDK 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox, a move that could alienate Porsche purists and fans of the hard-core, track-focused car. Porsche is also using active rear-wheel steering for the first time, a system that works in harmony with the front wheels.
How much and when? The GT3 will go on sale in the U.S. near the end of 2013, and pricing will start at $131,353.
MSN Autos' verdict? Porsche reckons it has something magical on its hands here. Experience suggests we should believe it.