Following the release of the facelifted Porsche 911 Carrera and Carrera 4 models late last year and the new Targa, come the first details and images for the updated 911 GT3. Porsche has continued its tradition of only implementing minimal changes to the styling of its race-bred GT3, opting to focus on changes taking place under the revised sheet metal instead.

For the 2010 model year, the GT3 has been given more power, better handling, and a slightly higher base price. Following a world debut at March’s Geneva Motor Show, the updated car will go on sale in the U.S. this October at a price of $112,200 (without taxes), while Europeans will get it this May at a price of €116,947 (without taxes).

Power has been boosted by 20hp (15kW) over the outgoing model, with the car’s naturally-aspirated flat-six engine now pumping out 435hp (320kW). Changes to the powertrain include a larger 3.8L of displacement, as opposed to the former’s 3.6L, as well as an updated VarioCam system that adjusts both the intake and the exhaust valves for the first time. Engineers also focused on boosting torque levels at medium engine speeds. The end result is a 0-100km/h sprint time of 4.1 seconds and a top speed of 312km/h.

To improve handling, engineers have modified the PSM stability management system to allow more flexibility - offering the option to deactivate both Stability Control (SC) and Traction Control (TC) in separate steps. To give the driver maximum control, these functions are not reactivated automatically even under the most extreme driving conditions, but only at the touch of a button.

The new GT3 offers even better grip and stability also at high speeds, specific modifications of the car’s aerodynamics increasing down-forces both front and rear to such an extent that the overall pressure pushing down the car is more than twice as great as on the former model. At the same time the new aerodynamics package gives the GT3 a brand-new look further accentuated by the new bi-xenon headlights, LED rear light clusters, as well as modified air intakes and outlets.

To improve handling further, engineers increased the stiffness of the springs and anti-rollbars using the electronically controlled PASM active suspension management. New lightweight wheels have also been fitted and within these are an uprated brake system with larger carbon-ceramic discs and new aluminium covers.

Later this year, the GT3 will be available with a set of newly developed PADM (Porsche Active Drivetrain Mount) engine bearings. These special engine mounts automatically recognise hard-style driving, and adjust the normally elastic engine suspension and bracing to a firmer setting.

Finally, the GT3 will also be available with an optional lift system for the front axle that raises the ground clearance of the car up to 30mm, allowing drivers to tackle pesky speed-humps and steep driveways without any nasty scrapes.

2010 Porsche 911 GT3 facelift