Porsche launches 911 Turbo and GT3 in Geneva

Porsche launches 911 Turbo and GT3 in Geneva image

Text: / Photos: | posted March 14, 2006 00:00

Stuttgart-based car manufacturer Porsche added the new 911 Turbo along with the new 911 GT3 featuring the world's fastest 3.6-liter engine to its product lineup at the Geneva Motor Show.

The 911 Turbo (Type 997) now has an output of 480 bhp at 6,000rpm, 60 bhp more than its predecessor (Type 996). The specific output of the 3.6-litre boxer engine thus climbs to a new all-time high of 133 bhp per liter of displacement. Rated torque has been increased from 560 to 620 Nms. The speed range in which this power is available has also been extended. While the previous model's maximum torque was available between 2,700 and 4,600rpm, the corresponding figures are now 1,950 to 5,000 revs.

These improvements are translated into driving performance. The new 911 Turbo with six-speed manual transmission requires 3.9 seconds for the standard sprint from zero to 100 km/h. The coupé reaches the 200 km/h mark in 12.8 seconds. And just 3.8 seconds are all it takes for the most powerful series-built 911 model of all time to accelerate from 80 to 120 km/h in fifth gear. Despite these enhanced performance statistics, Porsche developers succeeded in reducing average fuel consumption by one tenth to 12.8 liters per 100 kilometers.

The 911 Turbo with the optionally available Tiptronic S automatic transmission puts in an even more impressive performance. An optimized setup gives the vehicle the wherewithal to power from zero to one hundred in just 3.7 seconds and to reach 200 km/h after a mere 12.2 seconds. The Turbo with automatic transmission also has the advantage when it comes to flexibility. In penultimate gear it accelerates from 80 to 120 km/h in 3.5 seconds. Both transmission variants have a top speed of 310 km/h.

The vehicle's flexibility can be enhanced even further with the optional "Sport Chrono Package Turbo", available for the first time. Here the driver selects the "sports button" adjacent to the gear lever to activate a short-time "overboost" at full throttle. This increases boost pressure in the mid speed range by 0.2 bar for up to ten seconds; torque rises by 60 to 680 Nm. The time required by the 911 Turbo with manual transmission for intermediate acceleration from 80 to 120 km/h is reduced by 0.3 seconds to 3.5 seconds.

These performance figures owe themselves to exhaust turbochargers with variable turbine geometry, featuring for the first time in a gasoline engine model. At the heart of this technology are adjustable guide blades, which direct the engine exhaust flow variably and precisely onto the turbine wheel of the exhaust turbocharger. The principle of variable turbine geometry unites the advantages of small and large exhaust turbochargers and leads to a discernable improvement in flexibility and acceleration, particularly at low speeds.

To transfer the available power to the road, the new generation of the 911 Turbo features a redesigned all-wheel drive with an electronically controlled multi-disc clutch. Porsche Traction Management (PTM) ensures variable power distribution to the two driven axles. Depending on the driving conditions, the all-wheel electronics system constantly determines the optimal torque distribution to ensure the best-possible drive. These properties make the Porsche Traction Management system in the new 911 Turbo one of the most powerful and, at the same time, lightest all-wheel systems on the market.

The new 911 Turbo's driving performance is duly tempered by its brake system, which comprises monobloc fixed-caliper disc brakes with six pistons at the front axle and four at the rear. It also has bigger brakes fitted, 20mm bigger than that of its predecessor. As an option, Porsche is also offering its optimized ceramic brake system, PCCB (Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake). The advantages of this high-tech material mean a reduction of 17 kilograms compared to the standard brake system, excellent fading stability owing to consistent friction values and absolute corrosion resistance.

In the 911 model range, the abbreviation GT3 stands for pure, unadulterated driving pleasure. With its uncompromising dynamics, this model impresses not only in normal day-to-day driving but also on the racetrack. The 415-bhp 3.6-liter flat-six engine produces a specific output of 115.3 bhp per liter of displacement. This performance places the new-generation GT3 in its displacement class at the pinnacle of road-legal production sports cars with naturally aspirated engines.

The six-cylinder engine reaches its nominal output at 7,600 rpm. At 8,400 rpm, the engine speed limit again lies 200 revs higher than for the previous model. This makes it a world leader in its engine-size class. This is made possible by the variable intake system with a throttle valve enlarged from 76 to 82 millimeters, the optimized cylinder heads and an exhaust system with low backpressure. All this mated to a new six-speed transmissions with short gearlevel travel and lower ratios for gears 2 to 6.

New for the GT3 is a change-up display, which lights up on the rev counter shortly before the relevant engine speed is reached. It provides an additional signal at the best time to change gear. The measured values prove just how well the engine and gearbox are harmonized: the GT3 accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.3 seconds, and reaches 160 km/h from a standing start in 8.7 seconds. Its top speed is 310 km/h.

The new 911 GT3 boasts an active chassis for the first time. Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) offers two sporty chassis in one: the basic configuration is largely similar to that of the previous model and is suitable for driving on alternating road surfaces. In sport mode, the system switches to harder damping, thereby enabling even better dynamism on the racetrack.

For the best-possible transmission of engine power to the road, the GT3 is equipped with a comprehensive traction package, which includes not only the standard-equipment 19-inch sports tires but also a mechanical limited slip differential. In addition, the new electronic Traction Control adapted from the Carrera GT high-performance sports car ensures safe traction under any driving conditions. It features traction-slip and drag-torque control functions, and can be switched off completely if required.