Porsche 911 Turbo and Porsche 911 GT3: $100,000 Fun for 20071
U.S. Sales in Summer 2006
Introduced at the 2006 Geneva auto show were the latest (997-generation, for those Porschephiles out there) 911 Turbo and 911 GT3. Sales in the States begin in summer 2006 for the Turbo and August for the GT3, with a base price of $122,900 for the Turbo and $106,000 for the GT3. Though we did not make Geneva this year, AutoPacific and VehicleVoice contributors did get the chance to see the Turbo in New York, and it looks terrific in the tin. For those who can afford it, this is a very nice Porsche summer, fuel cost be damned!
Turbo: 480HP, 133HP Per Liter
While continuing with twin turbos bolted onto the 3.6L boxer six, this year’s 480HP version adopts a variable turbine geometry system. The monster engine, bringing 60HP more than the previous car, is mated to a standard six-speed manual or optional five-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission. In part because of the variable turbine, the new engine delivers its 457 lb-ft of torque across a broader rpm range, now 1950 to 5000 rpm (2700 to 4600 for the 996 Turbo).
The Turbo’s all-wheel-drive system is redesigned. Instead of a viscous clutch, there is an electronically controlled multi-disc clutch and Porsche Traction Management to allow variable power distribution fore and aft. Stopping power is by six-pison monobloc calipers up front, four-piston monobloc calipers in the rear. Though brake disc diameter is up front and rear, Porsche’s Ceramic Composite Brake system is optional.
Transmissions are a standard six-speed manual or an upgraded version of the five-speed Tiptronic S. With the combination of the updates to the AWD system, a recalibration of the Tiptronic and VTG system’s engine management controls with Tiptronic versus the manual, and Porsche’s traction control system, the latest Turbo is actually a bit faster off the line than a normal human can accomplish with the manual transmission. The Tiptronic-equipped Turbo can get you to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds instead of 3.7 seconds.
GT3: 415HP Ready for the Track
Porsche creates its GT3 as a homologation basis for the 911 GT3 RSR racing car. The GT3 wrings 415HP from the normally aspirated 3.6L flat six, with peak power at 7600 rpm and an 8400-rpm redline. Among the techniques Porsche used to pull the extra power from the 3.6L engine was to carefully manage airflow rates, including tweaks like using a larger throttle valve onto the variable intake system, optimized cylinder heads, and a low-backpressure exhaust system.
The GT3 gets a revised six-speed manual transmission with shorter throws and lower gear ratios for second through sixth, better matched to the higher-revving nature of the revised engine. Helping drivers accomplish the 4.1-seconds 0-to-60-mph time that the GT3 is capable of is a change-up display in the tachometer. Other contributions are the GT3′s low 3076-pound curb weight and its wind-tunnel-tested bodywork.
Electronics play a larger role with the latest GT3. The 2007 version includes Porsche’s Active Suspension Management system as standard, with the base mode usable on public roads and a Sport mode better for track situations. The GT3 also takes a new (defeatable) traction control system adopted from the Carrera GT, nineteen-inch wheels and tires, and a mechanical limited-slip differential.