New 2020 Porsche 911 GT3: cup monster hints at road car

Published: 14 December 2020

► Cup car points to GT3
► New Porsche 992 GT3 RS spotted
► What to expect of new sports car

The 992 has arrived, but we're still waiting to see the latest 911 in its final form. Porsche has been teasing its design since 2019 - but only now has it dropped the metaphorical hint A-bomb on us with the latest GT3 cup car.

This squarely styled Cup car is the first factory racing version of the 992 generation 911 and is also the first to feature a pumped-up 'turbo-spec' wide body - making it the girthiest in its history.

The turboified body gives us the closest look at what the GT3 road car will look like. It's good news too - the cup car is 28mm wider than the old car thanks to flared fenders - while there's also additional air vents. And air vents are cool.

No official word from Porsche about that rear wing. But just look at it.

It will race in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup as well as the national Porsche Carrera Cups in Germany, France, Asia, Benelux, and for the first time, North America.

Porsche reckons it's about 25hp up on the old car and is around 1% faster on track.

That means the nat-asp 4.0-litre water-cooled flat-six makes around 510hp - plus it can also run on synthetic fuels, which 'significantly' lowers CO2 emissions. Redline is set at 8,750rpm and the exhaust has a butterfly system with two resonance flaps - so it'll be loud.

2021 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car

Meanwhile, we’ve driven everything from the Targa to the Turbo S, and now our spy photographers have caught a glimpse of the ultimate naturally-aspirated 911.

These pictures show the most extreme version of the 992 you’ll find – beyond the race car above – and the prototype shown seems to feature some RSR DNA anyway. 

The car shown features classic GT3 signatures such as centre-lock wheels and central-exit dual exhaust; but it also boasts some serious aero bits: At the front, Porsche engineers have given the RS huge bonnet-mounted outlets, and at the rear a rear diffuser combines with a racing-style swan-neck mounted rear wing. 

Further pictures have revealed more interesting details about the forthcoming RS; Porsche appears to have moved towards horizontal cooling louvres behind the front wheels, and Stuttgart has dispensed with the air-intakes usually found in front of the rear-wheels. 

Still, it looks much more extreme than its predecessor, also shown in our gallery.

Add the wider-than-stock body, and this GT3 RS looks to be an unpainted RSR. 

We’re expecting the flat-six in the GT3 RS to put out something north of the Speedster’s 503bhp, and channel it through a PDK-only box, like the current car. 

Photo credit: Felix Berghoff for CarPix

What you need to know about the 911 GT3

Porsche has teased the 911 purists' holy grail in its new Superbowl commercial, and although we only see the side profile of the new GT3, it's better than nothing. 

It's hard to learn too much from the snippet the car features in, but you can make out a rather aggressive rear spoiler – complete with scaffolding – as well as a slightly sharper front-end. We're also pleased to say it matches the scoop we published late last year. You can watch the video at the bottom of the page; the car appears from 0:55.

The new 2020 GT3, due in the second half of 2020, will become the first 992-era 911 to offer naturally aspirated engines and it's set to offer a greatest hits of 911-kind, with the 4.0-litre non-turbo flat six, manual transmissions, laser-targeted hardware updates and a choice of models to bring the GT3 experience to a wider audience.

A few months ago, we spoke to numerous sources at Porsche to assemble the best possible picture of what to expect from the new Porsche 911 GT3. Read on for our full scoop dossier.

A stiff structure for better handling

The latest aluminium-intensive 992 architecture is the stiffest platform ever used on a 911, and it’s light too. Only 30% of the structure is made from steel and yet it’s the most torsionally rigid base in the model’s long and storied history. It’s 5% stiffer than the last-generation 991.

Spied on winter test: the new 2020 Porsche 911 GT3

This means that the suspension will have a head start in preventing body flex and in having a strong and stable (sorry) foundation with which to tackle the worst bumps, lumps and humps a road can throw at a sports car.

Suspension mounts front and rear are made of precision die-cast aluminium parts while the flat-six will be mounted directly on to the chassis. 

Ditch the turbos! Why the new 2020 Porsche 992 GT3 will be naturally aspirated again

We expect the new GT3 to keep its bewitching 4.0-litre naturally-aspirated flat-six and this year’s Speedster provides a few tips. Despite gaining petrol particulate filters and plenty of emissions-crunching hardware, it developed more power - 503bhp - and kept the 9000rpm redline for high-revving aural antics.

‘It’s 10kg lighter and we didn’t lose any power,’ GT division boss Andreas Preuninger told CAR magazine earlier this year. ‘In fact we got 10bhp more! We used individual throttle bodies, which help a lot, but it wasn’t easy…’

Will it still sound epic?

While the addition of those particulate filters has stymied the sound of the Cayman GT4 - a little - the GT3 should still scream like an old-school Porsche, according to our intel. On the Speedster, the motors for active flaps in the exhausts were specially positioned in the airflow to survive the heat and allow more precise modulation of the exhausts’ vocal chords. 

New 2020 Porsche 911 GT3 spy photos winter testing

‘There will be stricter noise regulations to come in three years or more,’ Preuninger says. ‘It’s not really affecting the 992 GT3 – it’s for the cars that come after that. We will find solutions for them too. In my cars there won’t be any loudspeakers, believe me. Too heavy!’ 

A GT3 Touring is in the works

If you prefer your GT3s a little more under-the-radar, you’ll be pleased to hear that a wing-free Touring model will again be offered. Our artist’s impression above, by Andrei Avarvarii, depicts the regular, bespoilered GT3, but a more discrete version will be available for shrinking violets. It gains a pop-up tail in place of the scaffolding on the rump.

Although yet to be officially confirmed, we expect the new GT3 to offer a manual gearbox again, although the forthcoming GT3 RS model may stick to a paddle-only PDK twin-clutch transmission. Preuninger says demand for the manual-only Cayman GT4 ‘proved the manual is still alive’. 

‘That gave us the tailwind for the [manual-only] 911 R project, and for the [991 GT3] Touring,’ he says. ‘So it’s built up, step by step, and we’re now in a pretty good situation where everyone is pretty aware of the needs of the GT customer.’

More spec secrets: dimensions and the art of the right-sized 911 

The new 911 GT3 package will remain no bigger than before, to keep that just-right 911 footprint intact. Yes, the model has ballooned in recent years, but it remains a relatively small car in a sector that’s suffered bloat in recent years. 

Expect to see the new Porsche 911 GT3 on sale in the second half of 2020

While the 992’s platform spaces its wheels wider apart than ever for standard Carrera models, for increased grip and stability, that doesn’t mean the GT3 will expand its tracks even further. Preuninger has promised the new 992 GT3 will be neither wider nor heavier than the outgoing GT3. 

That’s good news: threading a GT3 down a narrow, twisting road is one of the most special driving experiences going. Were it to grow broader it’d become something of a liability on UK B-roads…

We’ll update our 2020 Porsche 911 GT3 scoop in the weeks ahead as we uncover more facts about it. 

More Porsche spyshots and spy pictures by CAR magazine

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet