The Porsche 911 Carrera is the definitive sports car, but in the 911 family, the top jock is the GT3. The current 997 family of 911s has been undergoing a major round of updates, and now it’s the GT3’s turn. Since GT3s are all about going—and feeling—fast, it’s no surprise that an upgraded engine is part of the changes for this second-gen of 997. A bore increase—from 3.9 inches to 4.0—raises displacement from 3.6 liters to 3.8. The bigger engine gets hotter cams with greater valve lift and the addition of variable valve timing to the exhaust cams (the intakes already had it). All together, these changes boost power from 415 ponies to 435 and torque from 300 lb-ft to 317. Despite the displacement increase, the engine’s redline climbs from 8400 rpm to 8500.
Oddly, the new engine does not get the direct fuel injection that is rapidly spreading through the rest of the Porsche lineup, mostly because the GT3 engine is a race-derived unit that remains distinct from the mainstream models. Unlike the Carrera and Boxster engines, the GT3’s has a proper dry-sump lubrication system with a remote oil tank and seven oil pumps. It also uses titanium connecting rods and is constructed with cylinder blocks that are separate from the crankcase halves. This engine is extremely robust and develops substantially more power in racing applications, revving to over 9000 rpm with standard components.
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