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2012 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup: The (Next To) Last Hurrah

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With an all-new Porsche 911 on deck for the 2012 model year, the 2012 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup factory racer is very likely the last of the current model's progeny, and it's a good one.

Powered by an engine that's "largely identical" to the production 911 GT3 RS unit, meaning a 3.8-liter naturally-aspirated flat six, it generates six more horses for 450 horsepower and redlines at 8,500 rpm. A race exhaust system--with a catalytic converter, oddly enough--helps the engine breathe freely.

Other Cup-specific equipment includes a 100-liter FIA-certified fuel cell, a larger reservoir than last year's model, made bigger specifically to accommodate more endurance racing. Larger wheels, at 18x9.5 inches front and 18x12 inches rear allow huge, sticky Michelin race tires to do their job. Adjustable blade-type anti-roll bars offer seven positions for tweaking the car's setup to suit various track surfaces, while Porsche's Ceramic Composite Brake (PCCB) system provides huge braking capacity with about 44 pounds less weight than traditional metallic rotors.

A six-switch steering wheel system allows the driver to control the race car's information display, and steering wheel position is fully adjustable to suit different seat placements and driver sizes.

Porsche plans to sell the car for use in this specification for the 2012 and 2013 race seasons, indicating that it may be a year after introduction of the new production 991 Porsche 911 before we see its racing version.

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