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991.2 GT3

Le Mans Champ Kevin Estre Gives Us a Wet Nurburgring Masterclass in a GT3 RS

Getting around the Green Hell with the sun shining overhead is hard enough. When the track is sodden, putting 520 horsepower to the pavement and not tapping a barrier is a Herculean challenge. For today’s demonstration, we have Kevin Estre as our guide around the 12.9-mile circuit. The thirty-year-old Frenchman is a Porsche Supercup, FIA WEC, and 24 Hours of Le Mans Champion, and his driving is defined by confident displays of opposite-locking, wheel-dropping, and curb-hopping. Simply put, his aggressive style helps him in wet and greasy conditions.

There’s more than just quick hands at work here. Estre shows us how to pick a line and apply the throttle when the surface isn’t much stickier than an ice rink. The fortunate sebastian vittel, a stellar driver in his own right, can only sit back in his Recaro P1300 carbon bucket and witness Estre’s brilliance from the passenger seat.

Tuned for the Track

From the start of this frenetic lap, the GT3 RS’ rear is obviously unwilling to put the power down most of the time. Though Manthey Racing filled the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires at to 2.2 bar in the rear to generate a little more temperature in the 51 °F conditions, the GT3 still slithers around a bit. Tire pressures were only one of the changes it made to suit the circuit—Manthey also added KW competition suspension designed specifically for the unique demands of the Nordschleife. Along with a new aero kit composed of a GT2 RS MR’s carbon wing, front canard, and GT3 R diffuser, there’s a little more grip on offer—which is a big plus in these greasy conditions.

Searching for Stick

For most of the run through the 12.9-mile circuit, Estre has to rely on a hybrid line and his quick hands to keep the car moving forward. When he does occasionally run over the dry line, like he does in the second half of Flugplatz (1:48), the car begins to slide at worrying speeds. Even the added downforce can’t help him as he runs over the typical out-in-out line, which is impregnated with rubber that provides grip in the dry, but does the opposite in the wet.

He avoids the apex entirely at Aremberg (2:19) for good reason. We see moments later just how asking too much of the car along the conventional line can cost dearly in these conditions—note how abruptly the rear steps out of line at Adenauer Forst (2:49). Quick hands and coordination can save a driver here at slower speeds, but these antics in quick corners probably result in contact with the barriers.

Only at these lower speeds can Estre get away with full-lock slides which require he take one hand off the wheel.

That said, he can get away with smaller shimmies and snaps at higher speeds as long as he keeps some of his wheels off the conventional line. When crests and elevation changes are thrown into the equation, he has to proceed even more cautiously. Look how he, even after turning gingerly into Wipperman (6:18), has to catch the slithering rear the second he places his inside tires on the conventional line. It’s almost as if he’s driving a rally car here! Only a pro of his stature can pull these stunts off while looking relaxed, but his driving is much more than courage and coordination—it requires circumspection, too.

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Chris Harris Drives a 991.2 GT3 to the Ragged Edge of Adhesion

« You’d the pay the money for the engine alone—sounds magnificent, doesn’t it? »

Though Chris Harris has an appreciation for the entire Porsche lineup, he genuinely adores the GT3. Few cars make him wax lyrical like the 9,000-rpm screamer does, and troughout this flamboyant lap at the Top Gear test track, Harris shows repeatedly why he believes this 991.2 GT3 « remains the best. »

There are quite a few things that make this Harris’ undying favorite. The four-liter engine, now with more torque than ever, makes him grin and giggle like a schoolboy. The communicative steering, playfulness, and balanced chassis allows Harris to pull off some of the silkiest slides seen on the program. The composure over bumps and curbs make it so usable in a variety of surfaces, and in a variety of angles. Best of all, the pure-bred GT3 refrains from forced induction and keeps that honest character that allows it to compete with cars like the 812 Superfast.

The way the enthusiasm pours out of the Brit by the bucketful pushes me to start considering which organs I’d have to sell to afford one of the beauties.

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911 GT3 with Touring Package Debuts at IAA

 

With a rear roll-bar, fixed back seats and an audacious rear wing, the GT3 is an extremely focused tool. The newest addition to the lineup, the new GT3 Touring Package, couples the aggressive chassis and 500 horsepower naturally aspirated powerplant to a more civilized interior and understated rear wing. The Touring Package recalls the optional trim level available on the 1973 Carrera RS 2.7 of 1973, and modernizes the idea.

The Touring is available exclusively with a 6-speed manual gearbox and a variant of the variable rear spoiler used on the 911 Carrera. Though more visually restrained than the standard GT3, the car conceals the same motorsport technology, including the 4.0L, 500 horsepower naturally aspirated flat-six, which can propel the car to 62MPH in 3.9 seconds and on to a top speed of 196MPH.

Nearly all GT3 options are available on the Touring, save for the Clubsport and Alcantara equipment packages. All of the exterior and wheel colors from the GT3 are available, as are the PCCB ceramic brakes, nose lift system, LED headlights, as well as all available seats, audio systems, and the Chrono Package.

GT3 Bodywork, Subtly Altered

The Touring shares most of its bodywork with the standard GT3, including the car’s wide track, 44mm wider than the Carrera. The front and rear valences are shared with the GT3, as are the 20″ center-lock forged alloy wheels. Rather than the GT3s tall rear wing, the Touring uses the variable pitch wing from the standard Carrera with an upgraded Gurney flap at the wing’s trailing edge. The window trim is finished in chrome rather than black, as are the tips of the sport exhaust and the headlight washer covers, unless the « Black Exterior Touring » option is selected.

A More Civilized Interior

Designed to evoke the feel of classic sports cars with manual gearboxes, the Touring interior is available only in leather with cloth-centered seats, with no Alcantara option. Leather extends throughout the cabin, from the 12 o’clock position marker on the steering wheel, to the door panel armrests, interior door handles and more. Brushed black aluminum trim finishes off the interior trim.

GT3 Touring Performance

Under the more restrained spoiler, the powerplant is identical to the four liter, 500 horsepower, 9,000RPM unit in the GT3. Other hallmarks of the 991.2 GT3, including rear axle steering, are retained on the Touring. The Porsche Track Precision app is included as standard, for drivers wishing to log their on-track performance and analyze data on their smartphone.

911 GT3 Touring Pricing

The GT3 Touring Package is available to order now, and is expected to reach dealers in the US by early 2018. Pricing is identical to the standard GT3 before options, and starts at $143,600, before the $1,050 delivery, processing and handling fee.

In Canada, pricing starts at $163,300 and delivery timing, while not mentioned in the press release, should be similar to the U.S.

The post 911 GT3 with Touring Package Debuts at IAA appeared first on FLATSIXES.

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New 2017 Porsche 911 GT3 driven on UK roads: verdict

A new 4.0-litre engine derived from the GT3 Cup cars, a 991 GT3 RS-matching 500hp output, 997 GT3 RS-equaling downforce and the return of the manual gearbox alongside PDK makes the new Porsche 911 GT3 an even more compelling choice in 991 Gen2 guise. Mixing up elements of RS and R DNA, as well that from the Cup car, the Porsche 911 GT3 is a hedonistic shot of driver purity that underlines Porsche’s GT department is very much playing it’s ‘A’ game.

And so to the A422, Warwickshire. My drive home. I’ve driven the stretch from Banbury to Stratford Upon Avon so many times I know every twist and turn, crest, dip and rise. There’s a German-plated Porsche 911 GT3 here, and I’ve got the keys. It’d be rude not to go for a drive. Right?

I’ll not go over the details, you’ve read them previously on Total911.com. You need to know it’s a PDK, the manual’s being driven a few hours after you read this, but hey, we’re not so blinkered by the return of the stick to ignore the seven-speed PDK. Anything else? Well, there’s 500hp from that new 4.0-litre engine, it borrowed largely from the GT3 Cup cars. Still as enthusiastic for revs, it’s 9,000rpm limit is retained, but there’s the promise of even greater flexibility further down the rev range.

So it transpires, too. The new 911 GT3’s 4.0-litre boxer engine is different. Good different, the authority with which it gathers pace at lower engine speeds is notable, even if the sound it makes isn’t quite as appealing. Initially, at least, get more than 4,000rpm on the rev-counter and the old, howling, mechanical magic is there, the 4.0-litre a charismatic, immediate, and exotic-sounding unit that might have a racer’s edge, but it achieves that without any road car compromises.

Like that new powerplant, the rest of the GT3 formula has been finessed. The suspension has been overhauled. Spring and damper rates, the geometry, new GT3 specific tyres and detailed changes to the rear-wheel steering system are clear on the road. The GT3 mixes tight, fine control with a compliance that’s remarkable given its clear focus. The steering response is as immediate as you’d wish for, the brakes mighty, the PDK’s shifting with such quickness you’d swear those paddles were anticipatory.

The very definition of a puristic 911, the GT3’s an absolute triumph, more forgiving and exploitable as a road car than the RS, more R in its character, and unique among not just the 911 line-up but all its contemporaries. We expected a lot from this car. And it’s very much delivered.

The most in-depth review of Porsche’s new 991.2 GT3 anywhere on the newsstand can be found in Total 911 issue 153, in shops from 17th May.

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Nine facts you didn’t know about the new 991.2 GT3

We knew all along Porsche’s latest GT3 was going to remain free of turbochargers, August Achleitner confirming this to Total 911 way back in 2015. As the months wore on, more ‘likely’ information on Weissach’s track-ready sports car began to surface and so we knew, prior to today’s announcement, a manual transmission was to return to the GT3’s specification. We knew, too, what the car would look like, thanks to the reveal of the new GT3 Cup car late last year. However, rumours the GT3 would get a 4.0-litre engine from the GT3 RS and R turned out to be untrue, so what’s the score? Here’s our nine facts about the 991.2 GT3 you very likely won’t know:

 

1) Manual transmission is a no-cost option

We knew a six-speed manual Sport gearbox from Weissach was likely to feature on the new GT3 as an option, however Total 911 can reveal this will be at no additional cost to the owner. We expect the manual transmission to weigh around 30 kilograms less than the PDK equivalent, too.

 

2) New 4.0-litre engine is from 991.2 GT3 Cup car

This is the biggest surprise, the GT3’s new flat six proving quite a revision of the 4.0-litre engine. It features new valve gear, a new crankshaft and lower internal oil pressure together with new piston rings that all together offers less resistance to the rotating masses. The engine, we’re told, now closely resembles that of the 991.2 GT3 Cup.

3) Redline remains 9,000rpm

That’s right! These key revisions to the GT3 Cup’s 4.0-litre powerplant enables the new GT3 to rev all the way to a glorious nine grand, usurping the GT3 RS and R’s 4.0-litre flat six, which had its max revs reduced to 8,600rpm.

 

4) There’s no lightweight flywheel option

Unlike the manual 991 R, which presented a lightweight flywheel as an option for customers, for the new GT3 this is not offered. Porsche has told us this is because “the crankshaft design does not support it for one thing, but also the engine revs up so quickly now thanks to the reduced internal friction that it is not necessary either.”

 

5) Same dimensions and footprint as 991.1 GT3

Like the 991.1, the 991.2 GT3 shares the same 1,852mm wide shell as its Carrera 4 sister. Tyres specs are the same, though the new GT3 will ride 5mm lower to the ground than previously.

6) Revised aerodynamics

Some of the new GT3’s revised channelling of air is clearly visible, for example on the front bumper and rear decklid intakes. What you can’t see, though, is an all-new diffusor, better managing the flow of air underneath the car.

 

7) Big spec as standard

As a car designed for sporty driving, the GT3 once again comes with a host of lap time shredding tech as standard, including PASM, active engine mounts, rear axle steering and of course a limited slip differential.

8) Track Precision app

There’s no gimmicky ‘Pit Lane Speed’ limiter a la the 991 GT3 RS, however owners of a 991.2 GT3 will be able to download Porsche’s Track Precision app as standard equipment, which lets you display, record and analyse detailed driving data on your smartphone. It’s the perfect partner to a car built specifically with the circuit in mind.

 

9) It’ll cost from £111,802, with first deliveries by summer

Well, “early summer,” as Porsche put it. We can’t wait.

 

There’s more on the way! For the most in-depth assessment of the 991.2 GT3 anywhere in the world, pick up your copy of Total 911 issue 151, in shops March 19. 

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