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2010 Porsche 911 GT3 Preview

2010 Porsche 911 GT3 Preview

By Jeff Youngs, December 31, 2009

2010 Porsche 911 GT3CriticalKnowledge:
  • Updated for the 2010 model year
  • Engine size increased to 3.8 liters
  • 435 horsepower
  • 0-60 mph in 4.1 seconds and a top speed of 193 mph
  • Enhanced stability control
  • Larger ceramic brakes
  • Exterior facelift
  • Arrives in October of 2009

Introduction
The most celebrated Porschein history, the 911 Carreratraces its lineage back to the mid-1960s. Bred on the racetrack, thePorsche 911 has participated in, and won, the majority of the world's most esteemed races, rallies and hill climbs, and is arguably the most successful competition car ever manufactured. The current-generation911 is based on the "Type 997" platform introduced in 2004.In 2007,Porsche launched its high-performance, race-ready GT3 model with a3.6-liter flat-6 engine rated at 405 hp. Differentiated from the standard models, the GT3 is a lightweight derivative with upgraded suspension, larger wheels, revised aerodynamics, and other performance enhancements.

For the 2010 model year, Porsche has raised the bar once again with a significantly updated GT3 model. The engine and brakes are more powerful and the electronic suspension and traction control systems have been reprogrammed to reflect the car's racing objectives. To differentiate it from the earlier GT3 model, and improve aerodynamics,Porsche fitted it with a new front and rear fascia and a redesigned rear spoiler, doubling the downforce of the previous model, and improving grip and stability at high speeds, Porsche says. The standardAerodynamics package also contributes to the GT3's new look. The 2010Porsche GT3 is expected in dealerships in October of 2009.

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2010 Porsche 911 GT3ModelLineup
While there are more than one dozen different "street-oriented" models in the Porsche 911 lineup, the GT3 is unique in that it is just one of two models in the automaker's "track-oriented" spotlight (shared withPorsche's flagship turbocharged 911 GT2).

Compared to the standard 911 Carrera models, the GT3 is lightly optioned with weight savings in mind. Every vehicle is equipped with power windows, power locks and an audio system, but amenities such as navigation or power seats are options. Not to worry, as the options list for the GT3 is extensive with such performance items as ceramic brakes, carbon fiber racing seats, and roll cages. While the standard Carrera models have a small rear seat, the GT3 model only seats two(weight is saved by eliminating the small rear seats). In addition,much of the noise insulation has been stripped with the objective of lowering the curb weight. The result is a street-legal race car for the dedicated enthusiast.

Hardware
The heart of the 2010 Porsche 911 GT3 is a new, dry-sump 3.8-literflat-6 engine rated at 435 hp and 317 lb.-ft. of torque (up from 415 hp and 300 lb.-ft. of torque for the 2009 model). The only transmission offered with the model is a traditional 6-speed manual. According toPorsche, the rear-wheel-drive model will sprint from 0-60 mph in 4.1seconds, on towards a top speed of 194 mph.

The GT3's suspension is independent in the front, with MacPherson spring struts and gas-charged shock absorbers. The independent rear suspension features five arms, with coil springs and gas-charged shock absorbers. Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM), designed to automatically control shock rates and damping on the suspension, is standard. Massive 13.78-inch cast-iron cross-drilled and vented brakes are fitted to both the front and rear of the GT3. The front brakes utilize 6-piston calipers, while the rear brakes are fitted with4-piston calipers (larger, yet significantly lighter, carbon-ceramic brakes are optional). Porsche has switched to racing-design center-locking aluminum 19-inch wheels for the new model. (This type of wheel lacks traditional lug nuts-it is usually reserved for vehicles that are solely designed for the race track.)


2010 Porsche 911 GT3Safety
Porsche equips all GT3 models with driver and passenger front air bags and the Porsche Side Impact Protection (POSIP) system. The innovativePOSIP system includes two side air bags: one located inside the door panel, the second located in the side of the seat. When deployed, the air bags are designed to protect the torso, head and thorax region of the passenger (mimicking the protection of curtain air bags). In addition to the air bags, all 2010 GT3 models receive standard anti-lock brakes (ABS), a GT3-specific Porsche Stability Management(PSM) system for high-performance driving, and a tire-pressure-monitoring system.

Technology
Porsche is introducing its all-new and highly innovative Porsche ActiveDrivetrain Mount (PADM) on the updated GT3. Standard engine mounts are made of flexible materials as they are designed to absorb engine vibrations. While it keeps the cabin quiet and free from unwanted harshness, this works against a vehicle on the race track as the engine will actually shift positions slightly under high cornering forces-possibly upsetting vehicle control. To address this, the PADM system utilizes special engine mounts that recognize sporting race-like driving and automatically change the engine mounts from elastic to rigid keeping engine movement to a minimum. When normal driving conditions resume, the engine mounts will automatically return to their softer and more compliant settings.

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