Porsche is using the 2013 New York Auto Show to celebrate the 50th birthday of its most iconic sports car. Part of the festivities include the debut of the 2014 911 GT3.
The GT3 is basically a sportier version of the standard 911 Carrera. How do you make an already sporty car even more so? By giving it more power, better handling, and more expressive styling.
Porsche accomplishes the first by taking a 3.8-liter horizontally opposed 6-cylinder engine and massaging it to 475 horsepower. Though this motor is technically related to the 3.8-liter unit in the 911 Carrera S, the company says only a few parts are shared between them. Unique to the GT3 are titanium connecting rods and forged pistons, each of which is necessary to sustain the engine under extreme loads—up to 9000 rpm in this case. Power gets to the rear wheels (all-wheel drive is not offered on the GT3) via a specially designed 7-speed dual-clutch automated-manual transmission, called a PDK in Porsche speak. Much to the chagrin of purists, no manual transmission is available. A sport exhaust allows gases to escape faster, and the GT3 gives owners the ability to switch between two modes.
Handling gets a boost via a body that’s 1.7 inches wider and 30 millimeters lower than a stock 911 Carrera S. A new suspension control arm and uprated bearings provide more strength up front while a unique rear axle keeps the back of the car stuck to the road. All GT3s include Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus, which, through a combination of hardware and software, allows the engine to dynamically apportion power to each wheel based on driving conditions.
Newly standard on the GT3 is active rear-wheel steering. By using a pair of actuators (one at the end of each axle), the car’s rear wheels can be steered by up to 1.5 degrees. At speeds up to 31 mph, the rear wheels move in the opposite direction as the fronts, which decreases the car’s turning radius. Above 50 mph, the rear wheels move the same way as the fronts, which allows for quicker response in fast turns.
On the styling front, the 911 GT3 distinguishes itself from its Carrera siblings with its aero body kit and large rear spoiler. Standard LED headlights further differentiate it.
Put it all together, and Porsche says the car will do 0-60 mph in 3.3 seconds and achieve a top speed of 195 mph.
The 2014 Porsche 911 GT3 is scheduled to go on sale shortly. If you want one, a salesperson will be happy to relieve you of at least $130,400.
CG Says: There are few cars on the market that so adeptly blend performance, luxury, and livability as well as the Porsche 911. For those who think the standard Carrera is too soft, your ride has arrived. With flamboyant looks and the power to match, the GT3 is a fitting 50th birthday gift to fans of this storied nameplate.