Every four years or so, Porsche racers start to get an odd twitch, like a premonition that something amazing is about to happen.
That’s because it’s almost time for a new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – known here as a Carrera Cup – monster to be unleashed from Weissach.
They won’t be disappointed.
The 992-derived GT3 Cup car will drop onto racetracks across the globe from February, and while it’s deemed a one-make racer, the 911 GT Cup car is just a few steps shy of being a fully-fledged GT3 racer in its own right.
Created for the first time around the wide-body 992 Turbo body shell, Porsche has stuck with the tried and true rear-engine, rear-drive formula but added a few new tricks.
As before, a 4.0-litre, water-cooled flat-six petrol engine powers GT3 Cup, but thanks to a 250rpm increase at the top end, it shrieks its way up to 8750rpm to produce 375kW and 470Nm.
Shriek it will, too – Porsche has developed three exhaust systems for the car, which owners will pick depending on their respective category rules for GT3 Cup series around the world.
The rear axle remains almost the same as the incoming production car version, but up front, new double wishbones and uni-ball bearings are plucked from the fearsome 911 RSR.
The shock absorbers, too, have a serious pedigree, using valve tech previously only seen in the 919 Hybrid and 911 RSR.
And in order to trim weight, an electromechanical power steering system means that the hydraulic pump and associated hydraulic lines have been binned.
The 992 Cup car’s body structure is now 70 per cent aluminium and 30 per cent steel – a complete switch in the ratios from the previous car.
Hard-glazed polycarbonate windows and carbon fibre-reinforced plastic doors, wing and engine cover reduce mass, though the new car is 35kg heavier (1260kg) thanks to a stronger roll cage build, while the bonnet is aluminium – just like on the production car.
Porsche has also worked on making the Carrera Cup more ‘affordable’ (a relative term with a $400,000 car) to run, with an engine inspection due only at 100 hours (the equivalent of more than two seasons of racing).
It’s a similar story with the gearbox, which only needs what’s called a ‘minor inspection’ after 60 hours and a rebuild after 120 hours.
Porsche also supplies each car with a box of tools and small parts that provides private teams with the essential items to go racing, without having to add the cost of a new array of special workshop tools to run the car.
Interestingly, Porsche has not moved the radiators from behind the front bumper in order to, as it says, prevent “overly aggressive” driving. It has, however, added a small strut bar to protect the rads from small nudges.
New calipers to facilitate pad changes, re-routed fire extinguisher nozzles, stronger driveshafts and more also mean that while it’s not cheap, the Porsche 992 911 GT3 Cup car actually stacks up as a pretty sensible purchase for both the experienced amateur and the young professional racer.
Porsche Australia reckons it’s already got strong interest from local Carrera Cup competitors, telling WhichCar that the GT3 will be revealed in March 2021 for deliveries later in the year.
This means the 2022 Carrera Cup will see the debut of this brute of a machine.