By Drew Johnson
Monday, Dec 10th, 2012 @ 4:31 pm
 

Porsche has unveiled the GT3 Cup version of its latest 911 sports car. Porsche officially took the wraps off its ultimate 911 over the weekend at the Porsche Motorsport 'Night of Champions' celebration at Weissach.

Based on the latest 'Type 991' 911, the race-only GT3 Cup provides us with an early preview of what to expect from the upcoming 911 GT3 road car, which should make its debut sometime next year.

Set to run exclusively in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup in 2013, the 911 GT3 Cup is powered by a 3.8L version of Porsche's flat-six engine. The 911 GT3 Cup's boxer engine develops 460 horsepower, a healthy 10 horsepower improvement over the outgoing model.

That power is transferred to the car's rear wheels via a six-speed 'dog-type' gearbox developed by Porsche Motorsport. The 991-based 911 GT3 Cup marks the first Porsche Cup race car to come equipped with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

To keep the car glued to the ground, the latest GT3 Cup comes equipped with 27 cm-wide tires at the front and 31 cm at the back - improvements of 2 and 1 cm, respectively.

Hiding behind those chunkier wheels is a newly-developed braking system, boasting six-piston calipers at the front and four-pot units at the back.

To improve on driver safety, the GT3 Cup comes with a new safety cage, an updated racing seat with more padding and a rescue hatch in the roof.

"The new 911 GT3 Cup is much easier to drive at the limit," said Porsche factory race driver Timo Bernhard, who was closely involved in the development of the new racer. "The car is excellently balanced. The new axle geometry is enormously positive for the handling."

Porsche will build the GT3 Cup on the same line that produces the road-going 911. The 911 GT3 Cup, which is available exclusively in white, will carry a base price of 181,200 euros ($234,000).