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Porsche GT3 Returns—Sans Clutch Pedal

The Porsche 911 turns 50 this year—even though the car was introduced for the 1965 model year, it was first unveiled in 1963—and its maker is celebrating with a special model. The latest track-ready GT3 has just debuted.

Sure, the already amazing chassis is even more amazing, but what about the engine? That’s where things get interesting.

First, unlike previous incarnations of the GT3—as well as the Turbo and GT2—the new powerplant can’t trace its lineage to an engine designed by legendary Porsche engineer Hans Mezger. This time, it’s an engine loosely based on the direct-injected one used in the mass-market Carrera.

However, the GT3 gets more than a few bolt-ons. Nearly all the components are unique to the GT3, including the titanium connecting rods and forged aluminum pistons. The 3.8-liter boxer makes a conservative 475 horsepower. Redline is 9000 rpm—no, we didn’t hit the wrong key when typing that figure.

Then there’s the equally big news surrounding the gearbox: no more clutch pedal. The GT3 gets a revamped version of Porsche’s twin-clutch, mind-reading PDK transmission, but this isn’t Grandma’s automatic. Like other versions of the PDK, this seven-speed box can be shifted manually or automatically. Gearshifts take less than a hundred milliseconds to accomplish. A clutch kick feature can be used to help bring around the tail.

The published acceleration figures can be described best as breathtaking: Porsche says that zero to 60 takes 3.3 seconds, placing it right between the company’s latest 911 Turbo and Turbo S.

MSRP will start around $130,000. Fortunately, it’s free to dream.

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Comments

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Andy Hollis
Andy Hollis
6/15/13 11:53 a.m.

Glad to see Porsche give up the manual shift for the GT3. It made the value of my 997.2 GT3 go up. :)

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