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2007 LA Auto Show: 2008 Porsche 911 GT2

2008 Porsche 911 GT2  (select to view enlarged photo)
2008 Porsche 911 GT2

The new GT2 is the fastest and most powerful production road Porsche 911 ever, with a top speed just over 200 mph

Los Angeles November 14, 2007; Busisness week reported that vastly lighter than the 911 Turbo after dropping from all-wheel-drive to rear-wheel drive, loads more powerful and efficient thanks to twin turbos and clever intake manifold innovations, and more racetrack-ready than ever before: the 2008 911 GT2 will be showcased in a few days at the LA Auto show, and it's a beauty. In fact, it's the fastest and most powerful production road Porsche 911 the company has ever homologated for the road, belting out a stern 530 rear-wheel drive horses, hitting 100kmh in a mere 3.7 seconds and topping out at an eye-widening 329kmh (or just over 200mph).

We've previewed the ‘08 Porsche 911 GT2 before, but as we get closer to seeing it in the flesh at LA, it's time to take a closer look at some of the GT2's key features.

Highlights of the New Porsche 911 GT2

The 911 GT2 is the fastest and most powerful production road Porsche 911 the company has ever released. Its 3.6-litre horizontally-opposed six-cylinder power unit with biturbo technology develops maximum output of 530 bhp (390 kW) at a speed of 6,500 rpm. Maximum torque of 680 Newton-metres or 501 lb-ft, in turn, is maintained consistently over a speed range from 2,200-4,500 rpm. Acceleration to 100 kmh comes in just 3.7 seconds and the new top sports model within the 911 Series reaches a very jolly top speed of 329 kmh or 204 mph.

Efficiency Focus

While it's not likely to be high on the priority list for the intended buyer, a number of factors combine to give the GT2 an impressive gas mileage figure for what's really a road-going supercar. Low weight of 1,440 kg or 3,175 lb, rear-wheel drive and a superior drag coefficient of Cd = 0.32 contribute not only to a very sporty ride, but significant gains in efficiency as well. As a result, the 911 GT2 consumes just 12.5 liters /100 km of premium plus fuel in the composite EU test (equal to 22.6 mpg imp), thus offering a standard of fuel economy exceptionally good for a car of this class.

The GT2's innovative expansion intake manifold contributes further to the car's efficiency and power gains; using the oscillating air during the cooler expansion phase is a clear step forward in turbocharged engine technology. So benefiting from a brand-new, innovative expansion-type intake system with its own special geometry and an exhaust gas turbocharger with variable turbine geometry operating at a maximum pressure of 1.4 bar, new 911 GT2 offers an extra 50 bhp over the already very powerful 911 Turbo.

Chassis, suspension and ceramic brakes

Compared with the 911 Carrera, the new 911 GT2 has been lowered by approx 25 mm or 1.00" -- the active electronic suspension adjustment has been tuned to suit it, with a harder and sportier "normal" mode than previous models, and a particularly unforgiving rock-hard "sports" mode suited mainly to racetrack use.

The GT2 is well-looked after in the slow-down department by the all-singing, all-dancing servo-assisted PCCB Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake system, which features 15" discs at the front and 14" rear discs fitted as standard. The ceramic composite discs are developed to racetrack standards, meaning they'll grab strongly and smoothly time and again under heavy heat loads with very little brake fade. They're also around 20 kilos lighter than comparable cast-iron brakes, reducing unsprung weight and contributing further to the suspension's effectiveness.

Three-stage PSM and Launch Assistant

The GT2 is the first Porsche to get the new PSM Porsche Stability Management system, which keeps the car in line under acceleration, braking and cornering forces. Sideways slide control and acceleration traction control can both be turned off if you're getting up to mischief, but the ABS braking system is permanently active.

The stability management system is rounded out by a launch assist function that adjusts the ignition angle and incorporates fine engine braking forces to keep both rear drive wheels from spinning up and losing acceleration. It's activated when you press the clutch and throttle pedals right to the floor when the car's at a standstill and in gear, boosting revs to maximum torque for takeoff. Dump the clutch and sink back into your bucket seat as the GT2 leaps out of the blocks, finely managing traction for the perfect drag takeoff every time. Again, this is turned off at the touch of a button.

Titanium exhaust system

The new 911 GT2 is the first Porsche homologated for road use to be fitted as standard with an exhaust system featuring a titanium rear-end silencer and titanium tailpipes. coming in at around 50% lighter than the equivalent stainless steel system.

Impact safety systems

In a clear nod to the GT2's racetrack-ready design brief, the frame features a roll-cage, which isn't so much a late inclusion as a basic foundation around which the interior has been designed. Deformation zones absorb impacts while protecting the passenger cabin, fuel tank and fuel lines.

Like the 911 Turbo, the GT2 features six airbags: two-stage full-size frontal airbags for the driver and passenger, thorax airbags integrated in the seats at the side to protect the upper body in a side-on collision, and, finally, head airbags housed in the upper section of the door lining.

Porsche have also thrown in bucket seats and a very spiffy interior. The fastest production 911 of all time will be available as of February 2008 in the USA at a retail price of US$191,700