Porsche GT3 and Boxster

  • 12-Mar-2009 04:35 EDT
Porsche GT3 290109-c-por.jpg

The latest-generation Porsche 911 GT3 has a naturally aspirated 320-kW (429-hp) 3.8-L engine.

The Geneva Motor Show saw the first public appearance of the new-generation Porsche 911 GT3. Suitable for both road and track, its naturally aspirated engine’s capacity has been upped 200 cm³ to 3.8 L and produces 320 kW (429 hp)—an increase of 14.7 kW (20 hp). VarioCam camshaft adjustment is now on intake and, for the first time, exhaust camshafts. Active drivetrain mounts will be available for track work.

Unlike the majority of Porsche’s models, the GT3 does not have direct fuel injection. Porsche decided that it was not necessary. Nor is the company’s double-clutch PDK transmission offered as an option. A Porsche spokesperson said that traditionally the GT3 had always been built only with a regular manual gearbox.

Performance figures for the GT3 include 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in 4.1 s, 0-160 km/h (0-100 mph) in 8.2 s, and a top speed of 312 km/h (194 mph).

Chassis electronics include a PSM (Porsche Stability Management) system that incorporates facilities to deactivate separately both stability control and traction control. The systems have to be reactivated manually. The suspension, already firm, has been stiffened further. Lighter wheels are fitted, brake discs are larger, and ceramic discs are optional.

An aerodynamics package doubles downforce. An optional lift system for the front axle provides an added 30 mm (1.2 in) ground clearance for low-speed negotiation of uneven surfaces or gradients such as those encountered when entering or leaving an underground car park.

Like the GT3, Porsche’s MY2009 entry-level Boxster is also not given direct fuel injection; Porsche decided it was not necessary as it could meet required fuel consumption and emissions targets without the technology. With capacity upped from 2.7 to 2.9 L, output is 188 kW (252 hp) at 6400 rpm. Compression ratio is 11:1.

But the 3.4-L 228-kW (306-hp) Boxster S does get a direct-injection system. The engine, with a compression ratio of 12.5:1, delivers maximum power at 6400 rpm and torque of 360 N·m (266 lb·ft)—up by 20 N·m (15 lb·ft)—available from 4400 to 5500 rpm.

The engine developments are similar to those announced for the Cayman although the output figures for the Boxster are marginally lower.

When fitted with the PDK gearbox, the 2.9-L Boxster achieves a combined fuel consumption of 9.1 L/100 km—10% better than the outgoing model when fitted with Tiptronic automatic transmission. The Boxster S, returning 9.4 L/100 km, shows a 15% improvement over the previous Tiptronic S version. Emissions gains have been similar, with the figure for the S being cut to 221 g/km when fitted with PDK transmission. Fuel-injection pressure for the S is 120 bar (1740 psi).

Chassis updates include wheel size choices from 17 to 19 in, with 17 in standard on the 2.9 L and larger brake discs. Ceramic brakes are an option on the S.

Unladen weight of the S is 1355 kg (2987 lb). The front and rear trunklids are aluminum, saving 6 and 3 kg (13 and 6.5 lb), respectively, compared with a steel solution.

Porsche has elected to focus on mechanical changes to its latest Boxster range. Minimal aesthetic modifications include larger outer air intakes, new rear panel and taillight clusters with red LEDs, and rear diffuser inserts. Although Porsche has not indicated the future styling direction of the Boxster, it is likely that consideration will be given to designing a larger cockpit.

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