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Porsche 991 GT3 Cup (2013): the new racer revealed

By Ollie Kew

First Official Pictures

10 December 2012 10:30

The first 991-generation to bear the GT3 name isn't a hardcore road car: it's the latest version of the world's most successful racing car. This is the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, a stripped-out racer that'll compete in a one-make racing series from 2013.

It'll also spawn other racing versions of the rear-engined icon, and eventually track-day versions of the 991 too.

What's new for the 2013 Porsche 911 Cup car?

All of the 2395 911 Cups Porsche has stamped out since 1998 have followed the same lightened, race-prepped, aero-focused recipe. The latest 991 gets more power: 454bhp (10bhp more than old the 997 Cup) from its 3.8-litre flat-six engine. The rev limit is set at 7500rpm, and power is marshalled to the slick-shod rear wheels by a paddle-shift six-speed transmission.

The arrival of paddles in a 911 Cup is a first for the racer: previous versions have stuck to a lever-operated sequential 'box. You still get three pedals though: drivers must balance the clutch upon getaway, concentrating on the paddles only thereafter.

Lightweight centre-lock wheels wear wider racing Michelin tyres, and cover steel rather than ceramic disc brakes. Remember that the next time your Porsche salesman tries to tell you £5800-worth of 911 ceramic stoppers give your car a direct racing link...

Of course, the park bench-sized rear wing and front splitter provide race-necessary downforce. The bonnet also sprouts a pair of NACA vent nostrils, and a fuel filler cap for speedy pit stops.

Inside, there's a stripped-out cabin featuring a new design of roll-cage and quite possibly the most heavily bolstered bucket seat we've ever seen. It's designed to keep the driver safe during a roll-over accident at race speeds. Another clever safety feature on the new 991 Cup is the roof rescue hatch for easier medic access and driver extraction after an incident.

Can I buy my own 991 GT3 Cup?

Yes, for the princely sum of €181,200 (£145,000) plus local taxes. All the racing cars are assembled on the same Zuffenhausen production line as the regular street-legal 991 models, though from there the Cups are taken to the Porsche Motorsport Centre in Weissach for a full shakedown. The cars receive a general set-up for the circuit and rigorous testing by a professional racing driver, before delivery to the customers.

One choice you won't find on the options list is a colour chart. All 991 GT3 Cups leave the factory painted white, before buyers apply their own sponsorship stickers and paint jobs.