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2018 Porsche 911 GT3’s Nürburgring Lap Time Lops 12 Seconds from Old GT3’s [Video]

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At the world premiere of the new track-focused 911 GT3 at the Geneva auto show, Porsche’s GT chief, Andreas Preuninger, said that the core of the GT3 is to be an entertaining car that involves its driver and addresses the senses. But the GT3 can affect pride and ego, too. On the Nürburgring, good is never good enough; the 2018 GT3 has just bested its predecessor’s lap time by more than 12 seconds, with a time of 7:12.7.

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Although it looks similar, the $144,650 991.2 GT3 is improved in just about every performance aspect. According to Porsche, the car has 20 percent more downforce than the previous model while maintaining the same coefficient of drag. Such a feat was accomplished primarily by resculpting the front end and optimizing that big ol’ rear wing.

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Under the hood is a version of the high-revving flat-six engine found in the GT3 Cup race car. A new crankshaft, a new intake system, a new cylinder head, and a new valvetrain work together to create a claimed 500 horsepower at 8250 rpm and 339 lb-ft of torque. Porsche lists weight at 3153 pounds and says the car can sprint from zero to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds. The previous GT3 was PDK only, and the new example that ran the time was equipped with the seven-speed PDK automatic transmission, too—don’t worry, you can buy a manual!—as well as the standard rear-axle steering setup and Michelin Sport Cup 2 N1 tires. Porsche test driver Lars Kern was behind the wheel.

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If the 7:12.7 time is accurate, the GT3 is one of the 10 fastest production cars ever to run the ‘Ring. Of course, it cannot claim the title as the fastest Porsche to run the Nordschleife. That honor belongs to the already legendary 918 Spyder, which lapped the Green Hell in 6 minutes, 57 seconds flat.

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