Porsche has announced that its hard-edged racing machine, the 911 GT3 R, will be even better for 2012. The race car gets more power, paddle shifters, and tweaked front suspension — changes that apparently give the 911 GT3 R “even better driveability.”
For those of you who don’t own a race team, allow us to recap the basics of the 911 GT3 R. It’s a pure-bred race car designed for international GT3 race series, with a roll cage, gutted interior, fire-extinguisher system, six-point safety harness, beefy front splitter, giant rear wing, and other race-ready accoutrements.
Like the 911 GT3 Cup, the GT3 R is based on the current, 997-generation of Porsche’s iconic sports car. The Cup is the cheapest and least powerful car of Porsche’s racing line, serving as the entry model; the costlier and faster GT3 R is the mid-range racer, while the GT3 RSR is the top-of-the-line machine for seriously skilled pilots.
In the 911 GT3 R, a 4.0-liter flat-six engine produces sends power through a six-speed sequential transmission to the rear wheels. The car weighs just 2640 pounds thanks to extensive use of carbon fiber. It rides on sticky race tires, adjustable suspension with stiff Sachs dampers, and stops by the grace of enormous brake discs measuring 15.0 inches front, 14.0 inches rear.
For 2012, a new intake system increases the engine’s power by 20 hp to 500 hp, while the steering wheel gains shift paddles for the sequential transmission. The transmission’s gearing has been mildly revised to match the power increase. Finally, Porsche swapped in a softer front anti-roll bar to help mitigate understeer in the GT3 R.
Race teams can order the 2012 GT3 R from this November for a cool €304,500 (about $433,000) plus taxes. Those who already a 2010 or 2011 vintage race car can have the aforementioned upgrades installed for “just” €43,100 (about $61,300).