The 2018 911 GT3. Born in Flacht
A day in Flacht isn’t 24 hours. It’s 8,640,000 hundredths of a second. The new 911 GT3.
Many have still never heard of it. Some believe it’s all just a myth. For the true fan, though, behind the idyllic green hills of the Swabian region in Germany the promised land does exist: Flacht. The home of Porsche Motorsport. Our home. The place in which the Porsche heart beats the fastest. Where the transfer from motorsport into series production is routine daily practice. Where the proving ground is our playground. And precision is our greatest passion.
Here, in Flacht, is where the new 911 GT3 turned its first laps. Here is where the mighty sound of its 4.0-litre horizontally opposed and naturally aspirated engine roared for the first time. Here is where the chassis was tuned over the course of countless test kilometres with the meticulous scrutiny only otherwise afforded to the Porsche 919 Hybrid for Le Mans.
Our engineers invested all their racing experience into it, tweaking and honing into the night. Afterwards, they would all say: “It couldn’t get any better.” Only to ask themselves the next morning: “Could we not make it even better?” A hundredth of a second faster, a percentage point more agile, a gramme lighter? Then – and only then – could we award the highest distinction there is at Porsche:
Born in Flacht. The new 911 GT3.
Sound: unadulterated engine sound of a pure-bred high-performance naturally aspirated unit.
Driving dynamics: racing chassis with dynamic engine mounts and rear-axle steering with GT tuning.
Performance: 4.0-litre six-cylinder horizontally opposed and naturally aspirated engine derived from the 911 GT3 Cup offering 368 kW (500 hp), 460 Nm and a high-revving concept.
Lightweight construction: bodyshell in aluminium and steel composite, front and rear end in lightweight polyurethane, rear lid, wing uprights and rear wing in carbon, connecting rods in titanium.
Transmission: performance-oriented 7-speed Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK). Optional: 6-speed GT sports manual transmission with short shift throws.
Design and aerodynamics: new front and rear end, Bi-Xenon main headlights, three-dimensionally shaped taillights, underbody panelling with finned rear diffuser, front spoiler and rear wing for aerodynamic downforce.
Safety: motorsport-tuned vehicle stability system, high-performance brake system with six-piston aluminium brake calipers at the front and four-piston equivalents at the rear axle.
We firmly believe in the laws of physics. And in defying them time and time again.
Aerodynamics and design.
The greatest resistance we know here in Flacht?
It’s a matter of confronting it – with optimum aerodynamics and favourable drag coefficients. But it’s also a matter of exploiting it. By using it to cool the brakes, for example – or as a supply of combustion air. And, of course, to generate downforce on the racetrack.
How do we reconcile these most conflicting of parameters? With a harmonious overall concept. And, of course, a design in which every detail must demonstrate its functionality first and foremost.
The new front end of the 911 GT3 makes one thing instantly clear: this car is not here simply to make up the numbers. Large openings left and right, together with new airblades on each side, improve cooling. Even the customary 911 GT3 air outlet to the front of the luggage compartment lid helps to ensure plenty of fresh air. All cooling air intakes are protected by air intake grilles in titanium colour.
Responsible for the leaner build: lightweight polyurethane with hollow glass microspheres and carbon-fibre elements. The complete front end is made from this light yet extremely robust high-tech material.
Responsible for the extra downforce at the front axle: the wide front spoiler lip. Responsible for clear vision: Bi-Xenon main headlights, fitted as standard, including dynamic range control and headlight cleaning system. LED headlights are available as an option. Direction indicators, daytime running lights and position lights, all designed with LED technology, have now been made even sleeker – leaving a larger surface area for the air openings.
The first impression is like the second: the new 911 GT3 has a more imposing appearance. And always looks ready to pounce. More aggressive as well? We prefer to say: more impatient. At least for those on the racetrack who see it approaching in their rear-view mirror.
Squat is how the rear looks. And squat is also its stance on the road. That’s because the 911 GT3 is an extra 44 mm wider and sits approximately 25 mm lower than the 911 Carrera. It’s because the LED taillights are not only slimline, they are now also shaped threedimensionally. It’s because the central twin tailpipe of the sports exhaust system is a visual clue to the car’s low centre of gravity.
Like the front, the revised rear end is also manufactured from lightweight polyurethane. The rear lid, wing and wing uprights are in carbon. The central air outlet slit is larger and positioned higher than on the predecessor model. The two black-finish ram-air scoops on the rear lid supply the engine with combustion air.
A trademark of the GT models and a pointer in the direction of motorsport: the fixed rear wing. It is approximately 20 mm higher than on the predecessor model. For a further gain in downforce.
Four additional fins at the rear of the underbody panelling reinforce the aerodynamic effect of the diffuser. And they also appear to pull the new 911 GT3 down closer to the racetrack. Especially to those who just saw it overtake.
Packed with up to 9,000 rpm. And over 30,000 racing victories.
The engine of the new 911 GT3 is not meant as a friendly Swabian gesture, but as a throwing down of the gauntlet. To everyday life. To physics. But, above all, to all the other drivers on the racetracks of this world.
Brief for the new engine: naturally aspirated engine from motorsport, low down in the rear, six cylinders, horizontally opposed pistons. A full four litres of displacement. And high performance potential with unadulterated sound.
The new drive unit was developed – where else? – in Flacht. Particularly robust and powerful, it is based on the engine fitted in the 911 GT3 Cup. The oil supply principle, which uses a separate engine oil tank, and the concept of four valves per cylinder with cam followers and rigid valve train have also been derived directly from motorsport.
From its impressive capacity of 3,996 cm3, the engine draws a maximum power output of 368 kW (500 hp). With Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK), fitted as standard, the sprint from 0 to 100 km/h takes just 3.4 seconds and top speed is 318 km/h. With the optional 6-speed GT sports manual transmission, the time is 3.9 seconds. Top speed? Not reached until 320 km/h.
At Porsche, natural aspiration also means a high-revving concept. The needle in the 911 GT3 doesn’t hit red until 9,000 rpm. Maximum torque is 460 Nm – some 20 Nm more than is offered by the predecessor model. It is available at 6,000 rpm, while maximum power output is achieved at 8,250 rpm.
As far as the efficiency of the engine – and its power output – is concerned, direct fuel injection (DFI) makes a decisive contribution. It does so with millisecond precision and a pressure of up to 200 bar. For optimum mixture formation and combustion in the combustion chamber. And, relative to the engine’s high power output, it helps to achieve favourable fuel consumption and comparatively low CO2 emissions.
VarioCam is an engine timing concept that distinguishes between various engine speeds and load states so that timing can be adapted to suit the current power demand. It regulates not only the adjustment of the intake camshafts but also the exhaust camshafts in order to deliver increased power and torque.
Adjustment takes place imperceptibly under the control of the electronic engine management. The result is very smooth running and, above all, high power and torque across the entire engine speed range.
The valves are operated by cam followers – a principle derived from motorsport. Clearance compensation between the camshafts and valves of the new 911 GT3 is realised not by hydraulic means, but by shim plates as part of a solid arrangement. This kind of valve timing design provides greater robustness and enables remarkably high engine speeds even under hard use.
Motorsport principles are also applied to the engine’s oil supply. Continued lubrication is vital, especially at very high engine speeds of up to 9,000 rpm and under the effects of the particularly high lateral and longitudinal acceleration that can be experienced on the racetrack.
Seven scavenge pumps in total return the engine oil quickly and efficiently to the external oil tank. Together with a new oil pressure pump offering fully variable displacement, optimum oil pressure is assured in all operating conditions. This system provides reliable lubrication of hard-working components and increases the robustness of the engine under heavy use on the racetrack.
Also new is the particularly efficient supply of oil to the heavily loaded connecting rod bearings. This is realised by a central oil feed into the crankshaft. Another innovation sees the oil efficiently defoamed by a centrifuge before it is delivered to the separate oil tank. This engineering solution originates from high-performance motorsport and is also used in the Porsche 919 Hybrid, an LMP1 class competitor.
The new 911 GT3 is factory-filled with Mobil 1 fully synthetic high-performance engine oil. The excellent lubrication properties of this oil ensure a reliable cold start, even at very low temperatures, and contribute not least to the durability of the engine.
In interaction with the sports exhaust system, the variable intake manifold in synthetic material and featuring two switchable resonance flaps helps to ensure efficient gas cycles.
This results in an impressive torque curve, a high maximum torque and high power output across a broad engine speed range.
Sports exhaust system
The sports exhaust system of the new 911 GT3 has two front silencers, two catalytic converters and one rear silencer, which discharges into the central twin-tract tailpipes. The large volume of the exhaust system reduces exhaust back pressure and thus increases power output. In response to data provided by two Lambda sensors, the stereo Lambda control circuits regulate the composition of the exhaust gas separately in each exhaust tract. Another pair of sensors monitor pollutant conversion in the respective catalytic converters.
An engineering milestone consists of an infinite number of millimetres.
Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK)
Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) is part of Porsche motorsport history. In 1986 and 1987, the Porsche 962 secured overall victories in Le Mans – with the Doppelkupplung dual-clutch transmission that had undergone continuous development since the 1960s. The rapid gear changes added up to seconds and, over the course of 24-hour races, to minutes that would ultimately lead to era-defining victories.
Today, PDK is continuing to set standards – this time in series production. With gear changes that take place in milliseconds and with no interruption in the flow of power – for faster acceleration and moderate fuel consumption.
But it gets even better. In the 911 GT3, PDK boasts an even sportier setup – with the short gear ratios specific to the 911 GT3 and the crisp, short movements of the gearshift paddles.
The racing feel is down to seven performance-oriented gears, where even 7th gear has a sports ratio engineered for maximum speed. Manual operation of the gear selector is based on the established motorsport principle: back to shift up, forward to shift down.
This is how it works. PDK is essentially two gearboxes in one and thus requires two clutches. This double-clutch arrangement provides an alternating, non-positive connection between the two half gearboxes and the engine by means of two separate input shafts. During a gear change, therefore, one clutch simply opens and the other closes at the same time, enabling gear changes to take place within milliseconds.
All that has consequences, not least for acceleration, for overall performance and for fuel economy. Driving feels even more dynamic and agility is increased.
What about the gear changes themselves? You’ll feel them and you’ll hear them. The electronic transmission control logic of the Intelligent Shift Program (ISP) offers more immediate and faster traction-induced upshifts and downshifts on overrun. In PDK SPORT mode, downshifts under braking are more aggressive while, under acceleration, the shift points are raised even further. So changing up a gear becomes a physical experience – and an emotive one.
It’s going to end in tears. Of joy
6-speed GT sports manual transmission
In all honesty, we can’t promise you a particularly great deal at this point. Apart from a whole lot of effort, sweat, aching muscles and tears. Tears of joy, that is, because the optional 6-speed GT sports manual transmission brings pure, hands on pleasure back to the cockpit.
Six performance-oriented gears are available for you to select, with every single bite of the clutch also accompanied by a surge of adrenaline. Your job: hand and leg work. Lots of it. The shift throw? Extremely short. Every gear change? Exceedingly precise.
With the 6-speed GT sports manual transmission, the focus is not on every tenth of a second, but on unconditional driving pleasure and unfiltered emotion.
By the by, the 911 GT3 with manual transmission including dual-mass flywheel and mechanically locking rear differential saves approximately 17 kg.
What does this mean for you? Unfiltered driving pleasure. On twisting roads as well as on the racetrack. In a thoroughbred sports car that will move you to tears of joy, time and time again.
The dynamic throttle-blip function gives your emotions no respite. And the sound will be music to your ears. No matter which gear you’re in.
The crest of Flacht?
No, not the local heraldry.
Racing-style chassis tuning
It’s nine in the morning. A typical Tuesday like any other. Or a Wednesday. Rolling green hills all around. The sun comes out. An idyllic Swabian scene.
The peace is shattered by a test car. It streaks across the Weissach test track. It drives through the northern corner, then the Can-Am-Nord section and then the Bott chicane. The Alter Hof ascent? Leaves it be on the left. In second gear, it negotiates the crest of Flacht. At high speed down onto the long straight – the hallowed halls of the Motorsport department sweep by in the side window.
And back it goes once again to the northern corner. And again. And again. And so it continues month after month. That’s fine-tuning.
What might sound like racing dedication is actually, and above all, a question of philosophy. Not so much that of Plato, Hegel and Kant, but rather the philosophy of fine-tuning and, more specifically, the chassis of the new 911 GT3. And that, too, is a complex business.
Indeed, our engineers in Flacht work to the same parameters as in motorsport. At Porsche, technology transfer is not an empty promise.
School of thought until 10 years ago: the suspension had better be rock hard. As a result, springs, anti-roll bars and shock absorbers were configured accordingly. But hard doesn’t always mean best performance. When the surface isn’t quite as flat as a Swabian pancake, for instance, not all four wheels will have grip at all times. And that means less traction, less lateral acceleration and less braking power.
For a further improvement to driving dynamics, the new 911 GT3 benefits from a new chassis setup.
The results: excellent pitch, roll and directional stability and extraordinary steering precision. Long-distance comfort wasn’t ignored either. To achieve all that, we think putting in a few thousand extra laps is worth the while.
Toe angle, camber and anti-roll bars can also be adjusted individually for racetrack use.
Fitted as standard, rear-axle steering combines performance and everyday driveability. An electromechanical adjustment system at each rear wheel enables the steering angle to be adapted based on the current driving situation, steering input and vehicle speed.
Advantage at low speeds: the system steers the rear wheels in the opposite direction to that of the front wheels. This has the virtual effect of shortening the wheelbase. Negotiating tight corners becomes a more dynamic experience, while parking becomes easier to manage and the turning circle is reduced.
Advantage at higher speeds: the system steers the rear wheels in the same direction as that of the front wheels. Thanks to this virtual extension of the wheelbase, driving stability and agility are increased – especially in the event of fast lane changes or during overtaking manoeuvres on the racetrack.
Dynamic engine mounts
On the racetrack in particular, the unforgiving forces of physics should certainly not be underestimated. But they can be exploited. Not least in the interests of dynamic performance. This is what we do with dynamic engine mounts.
This electronically controlled system minimises the perceptible oscillations and vibrations of the entire drivetrain, especially the engine, and combines the benefits of a hard or soft engine mounting arrangement.
A hard engine mounting delivers optimum dynamic performance because it offers the highest degree of handling precision possible. Soft engine mounts, on the other hand, minimise oscillations and vibrations. While comfort is improved on uneven road surfaces, this comes at the expense of dynamic performance.
Our engineers have solved this problem by enabling the stiffness and damping performance of the engine mounts to adapt to changes in driving style and road surface conditions. This has been achieved by the use of a fluid with magnetic properties in interaction with an electromagnetic field.
With a harder engine mounting, handling is perceptibly more stable under load change conditions and in fast corners.
The dynamic engine mount system also reduces the vertical oscillations of the engine when accelerating under full load. The results are greater and more uniform drive force at the rear axle, increased traction and better acceleration. Whenever a less assertive driving style is adopted, the dynamic engine mounts automatically soften to provide a heightened level of comfort.