There’s any number of reasons why an automaker might go racing: to promote its brand, train its engineers, test new technologies… the list goes on, but for Porsche, it’s also big business. The German manufacturer has sold over 3,000 of its GT3 Cup racers since 1998, making it the top-selling GT racing car in the world. What you see here is the new model.
Unveiled at the Paris Motor Show, the new 911 GT3 Cup is the latest in a long string over 911 variants to be introduced since the 991-generation model underwent its facelift. But this one is dedicated to the racetrack, and does away with the turbos.
In its butt sits a 4.0-liter naturally aspirated flat six – just like the latest GT3 RS – but actually producing a little less power: output is rated at 485 hp instead of the road-going RS model’s 500. On-track performance promises to be more extreme, however, thanks to increased downforce from its massive six-foot-wide rear wing and big fat racing slicks measuring over a foot wide at the back.
The use of both steel and aluminum in its construction – minus anything in the cabin that isn’t strictly necessary – helps keep weight down to 1,200 kilograms (2,645 lbs). Porsche still found room for all the requisite safety equipment though, including a full roll cage, a bucket seat reinforced around the head and shoulders, and a larger emergency hatch in the roof.
Porsche manufactures the Cup racer in Zuffenhausen on the same assembly line as any other 911 before sending it off to Weissach for completion and testing ahead of delivery. This latest model is set to debut next season in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup (which just renewed its deal to support F1’s European grands prix) as well as the German and North American circuits of the local Carrera Cup before being introduced in 2018 to the other 18 spec racing series it organizes around the world.