Porsche maxed out the new 911 GT3 for more than 3,000 miles
3,106 to be exact
Manufacturers routinely test new cars to the limit in different driving scenarios and road conditions and when it comes to Porsche, as you can imagine, top speed and high speed in general is a priority. During the development phase of the 911 GT3, Porsche travelled to Nardò in Southern Italy to stress-test the car's top speed and they did it by driving the GT3 at a constant speed of 186 mph for, you might want to take a seat for this part, 5,000 consecutive kilometres - 3,106 miles - only stopping for fuel.
Located in Puglia (one of twenty regions of Italy) and owned by Porsche, Nardò is a 14-mile (23 km) oval track, one of the few places in the world where you can achieve and test the top speed of high-performance cars. Old TG viewers will probably remember the track because Jeremy, James and Richard used it to test the top speed of the cars they were driving - a Lamborghini Aventador, a McLaren MP4-12C and a Noble M600 - across Italy in Season 18.
Thomas Mader, Project Manager for GT road cars, said top speed testing at Nardò was just one of many tests they put the GT3 through. "In total, the engine in the new GT3 ran for more than 22,000 hours on the test rig," Mader said. "During testing, we repeatedly simulated typical circuit profiles and ran the engine at full throttle for a very high proportion of the time".
The GT3 is powered by a N/A 4.0-litre engine based on the GT3 R Cup Car and it utilises plasma-coated cylinder liners and VarioCam technology. The engine can rev up to 9,000 RPM and it produces 502, "just" 10 more than the outgoing model, because Porsche prioritised aerodynamic qualities and chassis performance.
Aerodynamics Engineer Mathias Roll said they spent a considerable amount of time testing the car in the wind tunnel. "We developed the aerodynamics of the new 911 GT3 in around 700 simulations," Roll said. "We spent more than 160 hours fine-tuning the car in the wind tunnel. The new 911 GT3 generates 50 percent more downforce than its predecessor at 200 km/h just in the ex-works setting. In the setting with maximum downforce, the increase is as much as over 150 percent".