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In fact, the new Vantage GT3 has already logged over 620-miles in shakedown runs, preparing it to take on several race series including the FIA GT3 championships, Blancpain Endurance Series and the VLN Nürburgring Series.
The V12 Vantage GT3 is replacing the outgoing DBRS9 and weighs in at a scant 2,755-lbs. Aston Martin hopes to start delivering the race vehicle to teams in early 2012 with a cost of around half a million big ones.
GALLERY: Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3
We’ve already known that former Formula 1 double world champion Mika Häkkinen will be piloting an SLS AMG GT3, and now we have our first preview of him preparing to get back behind the wheel in a competitive fashion.
It’s been four long years since Mika has raced competitively, so it’s interesting to see how Mercedes-Benz is hyping it up. Really for us, the video is all about staring at the amazingly beautiful SLS AMG GT3 taking laps around a real race track in its full glory. There is seriously very few race cars that rivals the SLS AMG GT3 in the aesthetics department.
Check out the video after the break.
Former Formula 1 double world champion Mika Häkkinen will return to motor racing, piloting a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 at the 6-hours of Zhuhai on November 13. Representing Customer AMG Sports Team China, Hakkinen will share racing duties with co-drivers, CongFu Cheng and Lance David Arnold.
This is the first time Mika Hakkinen has raced competitively in the last four years, his last one being 2007 DTM season finale at Hockenheim. His return to racing is his way of giving a vote of support, as his superstar appeal and his role as Mercedes-Benz brand ambassador will give the SLS AMG GT3 a huge boost of publicity in its first appearance in China.
Says Mika, “It’s a great honor for me to be able to contest the first SLS AMG GT4 race in China. Although I’ve visited China many times, I’ve never raced there, which is why I’m really looking forward to Zhuhai. It will be a tough race in a competitive field, but I’ll do my best for Customer Sports team AMG. Of course, being a guest driver in such a line-up should be a lot of fun, especially in the SLS AMG GT3. It’s a great customer motorsport vehicle which is both fast and extremely good-looking.”
GALLERY: Mika Hakkinen Mercedes SLS GT3
It’s time to buckle up as Mercedes-Benz‘s tuner AMG confirms that they are working on three halo projects for their halo SLS AMG.
No greater truth has been spoken than when Head of Vehicle Development at AMG, Tobias Moers, says, “We absolutely have to do a Black Series.” Yet to be officially confirmed, chances are likely that the SLS Black Series will make it to the U.S. market.
Unfortunately, this is not the case for the other two projects. In order to fulfill regulatory homologation requirements, AMG has confirmed a street-going version of the SLS AMG GT3 race car. As its motorsport efforts are focused in Europe, AMG has no plans to bring this hardcore version to other markets.
AMG’s third project, and perhaps its most ambitious of all, is to bring the SLS E-Cell electric sports car to market by 2012 as a 2013 model.What makes the project so ambitious is that it will not have the handbuilt V8 that AMG is famous for. Instead, the SLS E-Cell will take on electric motors and a battery cell that will add another thousand pounds to the car’s curb weight. In order to manage the issue, weight saving measures were taken to lighten the SLS elsewhere in order to bring the weight difference from the standard model down to a more manageable 200 odd pounds. Tobias Moer assures us that the lower center of gravity benefited from the battery will alleviate the handling shortcomings caused by the extra heft. Power is taken just as seriously, as the electric motors produce an estimated 525 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque.
Unfortunately, chances are slim for the SLS E-Cell to make it into the American market as well. Mercedes-Benz is concerned that the cost to certify the car for the United States wouldn’t make financial sense given the SLS E-cell’s production volume will be extremely low.
Tobias Moers adds, “AMG does not do money losing projects. We can’t afford to.”
GALLERY: Mercedes SLS AMG GT3
McLaren is planning to build a full model range of super car and sports cars for consumers. Currently, there are at least four more models in the design and development pipeline. The new cars include the current MP4-12C, a hypercar (codename P12), built to take on the new Lamborghini Aventador, and a successor to the famous McLaren F1. The P12 model is expected to produce around 800-hp and its weight will be similar to the MP4-12C. The British automaker will also be building a cheaper sports car (codename P13) to take on the non-turbo Porsche 911.
The full model lineup is part of a plan to sell 4,000 cars a year, with roughly 1300 MP4-12C models, 2,500 P13 cars and roughly 200 P12s.
All of the vehicles will, however, be “true McLarens,” said McLaren managing director Antony Sheriff. “Whatever we do will be based on carbon. It will have performance and handling that’s the best of its segment.”
All of the new models will receive the MP4-12C’s carbon-fiber monocell tub. This piece forms the central structure of the sports car including the front bulkhead, sills, floor, and rear bulkhead. The monocell tub is made of some 25 pieces of dry carbon fiber matting in single large tool while resin is injected.
McLaren is likely to unveil the P12 within a year and a half, and the P13 will be seen within two and a half years. The British automaker will also build a convertible version of the MP4-12C, but there is no confirmation on a release date.
[Source: Motor Trend]
Happening right now out in Cologne, Germany is Gamescom, the world’s largest trade fair and event for video games and entertainment. And with all the passionate automotive enthusiasts in Germany, it’s no surprise that Sony wanted to make a statement in their booth by teaming up with Audi to show off a whole new way to play Gran Turismo 5. Custom built by quattro GmbH in Neckarsulm, the PlayStation Racing Simulator that’s currently setup at the booth is a full-on carbon-black Audi R8 LMS imitation race car.
The cockpit features the same bucket seat that one would find in the GT3 car, while they’ve added an additional one for a passenger to spectate. The roll cage has been simplified to make it easier to get in and out of the simulator, but players get to hold onto an authentic race steering wheel that’s been hooked up to the PlayStation 3 and enjoys full Dolby Surround Sound as they power their way through twists and turns.
What puts it altogether though are the pneumatic cylinders located where the race car’s suspension would be. This allows the virtual racer to really feel the physics of driving while in the cockpit of the simulator. That means they feel every bit of the centrifugal forces while cornering, braking and accelerating. According to reports, it took Audi and Sony six weeks to assemble the entire unit, far longer than it takes to build a real car.
The Porsche 911 GT3 Cup is the most successful race car the German automaker has ever offered. Porsche has sold 2,200 GT3 Cup units and is the most popular choice amongst racing teams all over the world.The GT3 Cup currently competes in 19 Porsche brand trophy series worldwide and runs in various GT race series and at long distance events. The GT3 Cup is based on the lighweight 997 911 GT3 RS sports car and features a 100-liter FT3 safety fuel tank.
The tank is now suitable for an even wider range of endurance races thanks to the increased capacity. Power levels remain almost identical to that of the GT3 RS with 450-hp and a racing exhaust system. Different rims are available to suit several different types of racing and blade-type anti-roll bars are standard at the front and rear of the car with seven adjustable positions.
Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes are also featured on the 911 Cup, that reduce the weight of the car by approximately 20 kilograms. Inside the cockpit, the controls for the info display are positioned on the steering wheel which contains six switches.
The GT3 Cup will be delivered to racing teams in September for 2012 and 2013 racing seasons, and will cost 161,750 Euros ($230,235).
A little jealous of what Jay Leno was allowed to do recently with AMG? It’s OK, we were too. But now AMG is offering what are being called ‘Emotion Tours’ to satisfy those who want to visit AMG’s factory and enjoy a few lifestyle events surrounded by some of the Mercedes performance brand’s best vehicles. If you’re a hardcore Mercedes-Benz fanatic, or looking to cross another item off your bucket list – you know, the one where you want to drive a SLS AMG GT3 on the track – then AMG’s Emotion Tours are for you.
The tours can range from a day through AMG’s factory and Performance Studio in Affalterbach while enjoying a standard AMG automobile for around $530, or for a little over $810 you’ll be able to enjoy guided test drives behind the wheel of the infamous SLS AMG.
Then there are the lifestyle tours which include guided test drives in various AMG vehicles while enjoying wine and fine dining, or touring through Montreux and enjoying the famous Garden Party and Jazz Festival on Lake Geneva. Or there’s the golf tour where you’ll enjoy nine holes in Munich. Race junkies can take part in the Tour DTM, where they’ll be able to witness DTM racing up-close and personal.
Those with big wallets can take part in other tours including the Masters SLS AMG experience, which will eventually graduate you into campaigning a full blown SLS AMG GT3 race car on the track against others. Definitely a great way to enjoy the sights and sounds of Europe.
The McLaren MP4-12C GT3 will make its first official public appearance at the 2011 Goodwood Festival of Speed, taking place from June 30th to July 3rd.
The GT3 will differ from the MP4-12C through aerodynamic performance upgrades including a front radiator, which increases the maximum ambient temperature at which the car can run. Other upgrades include a new gearbox cooler mounted on the rear aerodeck. A new front splitter will also be fitted to the GT3 along with a door blade, rear wing, diffuser and louvres in the front fenders. These components will be produced entirely from carbon fibre by McLaren Racing.
Only 20 of these cars will be delivered to private GT3 racing teams in Europe for 2012. The GT3 will also feature Formula 1 derived technologies including the same steering wheel design used by Lewis Hamilton in his MP4-24 Formula 1 car. Respected Formula 1 suppliers such as Akebono, Mobil 1, McLaren Electronic Systems, Ricardo and Michelin are working to create race car specification technology superior to the GT3 competition in 2012.
Andrew Kirkaldy from McLaren GT explained that: “The reaction to the 12C GT3 at the circuits we have visited has been phenomenal. I can’t wait to see how it goes down at Goodwood this weekend.”
“CRS Racing was clearly excited to be confirmed as partner in this project as we were only too aware of McLaren’s short, but unbelievable GT history with the F1. But the anticipation amongst circuit owners and race teams to McLaren’s return to GT racing has still surprised us. I’m delighted that we have the opportunity to drive the 12C GT3 up the hill at Goodwood and raise the interest even further” said Andrew Kirkaldy.
Drivers accompanying the GT3 at the 2011 Goodwood Festival of Speed include Andrew Kirkaldy, 2010 Vodafone McLaren Mercedes test driver Oliver Turvey, and McLaren Automotive Chief Test Driver Chris Goodwin.
Gallery: McLaren MP4-12C GT3
Those with a little less than half a million lying around and looking to compete in some GT3-class racing can now get their hands on BMW’s Z4 GT3 race car. After its successful victory in Dubai’s 24 Hours race, BMW did some more testing and aerodynamic tweaking prior to allowing customers to order their own 2011 GT3 competitor race car.
While most of the Z4 retains its overall stock body and shape, the curves have clearly been enhanced with a much wider stance along with a plethora of aerodynamic tweaks for the track. Under the hood, the standard Z4 powerplant has been tossed aside for the more potent M3′s V8. A six-speed paddle-shifted sequential transmission is mated to the 4.4-liter V8.
The race car is now available for ordering from BMW Motorsport Distribution at $454,500 or so.
Official press release available after the break.
GALLERY: 2011 BMW Z4 GT3
You will never be able to buy one off the showroom floor, but that shouldn’t stop you from drooling over the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3, a race version of Mercedes’ most extreme sports car.
At a sticker price of $430,000, the GT3 version is the psychotic sibling of the standard car, and only a shadow of a similarity remains. The necessary add-ons like a rear wing, center-lock wheels, widened carbon fiber bodywork and all the safety equipment needed to go racing are in place, not to mention a new 6-speed sequential gearbox and a cool air-jack system that negates the need for a hand operated unit.
The video doesn’t show too much of the car’s capabilities, but we do get some great audio of the SLS AMG’s NASCAR-like exhaust note. Expect to see this at racetracks far and wide, but never bearing a license plate.
Hit the jump to see the video
Continental Tire and Grand-Am have teamed up to give away a Porsche GT3 and a Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid, raising awareness and funds for the WorldCause Foundation that helps seriously ill children.
The GT3 is no regular car either, being a Hurley Haywood Edition model, named after Grand-Am racing legend, Brumos Racing driver and chief driving instructor for Porsche of America of the same name. Its modifications make it the fastest GT3 to date, and Haywood himself promises to give the winner training on how to get the most out of their new vehicle.
Not much was mentioned about the Cayenne S Hybrid, however, it looks to be a factory variant that has been equipped with Continental Tires. Both vehicles are part of Continental Tires’ Dream Giveaway, a program developed to help charities such as WorldCause Foundation and Camp Boggy Creek, the official charity of Grand-Am. Both charities specialize in enhancing the lifestyle of extremely ill children.
A portion of the proceeds will go to Camp Boggy Creek (founded by Paul Newman and General H. Norman Schwarzkoph), which works to give medical help to children age seven to 16 with chronic or life-threatening illnesses.
Tickets are available until October 15th, 2011 and the winner will be announced on October 24th, 2011. To get your tickets and help the kids in need, please head on over to www.wintheporsches.com.
While it’s been assumed for quite some time now, McLaren’s M4-12C supercar will be hitting the racetrack in 2012. McLaren already has plans of releasing the M4-12C for sale next year, and with the aid of British CRS Racing will be unleashing a GT3 variant in 2012 with a GT2 version in 2013 (that could be racing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans).
15 of McLaren’s MP4-12C GT3s will be unleashed in 2012, with some of the earlier developed vehicles attending races at the end of the 2011 season.
And no future race car would be complete without renderings. Thankfully Jon Sibal took his creative juices and did several McLaren MP4-12C’s and applied a ton of classic McLaren F1 GTR liveries to them. We’re very excited to see McLaren’s new pride and joy hitting the track in true race form.
GALLERY: McLaren M4-12C Supercar
With the new Porsche 997.2 Turbo and GT3 incorporating a center lock wheel design, it’s no surprise that the aftermarket has jumped on the opportunity to create more stylish and aggressive options for those cars. It’s no easy task though, with most wheel manufactures not willing to invest the money into the tooling to setup a product line for such a small segment of the market.
One aftermarket shop that has taken on the challenge, however, is Vorsteiner – well known as a manufacturer of high-grade carbon fiber components. Called the V-105, this center lock monoblock wheel is available in 19- or 20-inch sizes and each wheel is custom built for your vehicle so an assortment of widths and offsets are available. And with any custom wheel, you’ll be able to choose what color to outfit each corner of your vehicle with.
They’re a one-piece monoblock design utilizing T-6061 forged aluminum with a bolt-on center lock design that can use OE Porsche hardware. To us it’s a mesh design, but Vorsteiner’s official wording is that it’s twin 7-spoke inner-grooved with scalloped spokes. And of course you will be able to use your factory TPMS wit the wheels and even an OE center cap.
Unfortunately for us, we don’t have a Porsche GT3 lying around to check these wheels out in person, but if you’re fortunate enough to order up a set, let us know how it goes and send us a link to some pics.
[Source: Vivid Racing]
GALLERY: Vorsteiner V-104 Center Lock Monoblock Wheels
It certainly wasn’t the ideal result for the first outing of Team AMG Mercedes and their SLS AMG GT3 race car. Piloted by Bernd Schneider and Thomas Jäger, the team recently had its maiden voyage at the VLN Langstrecken Meisterschaft Nürburgring.
The race car is powered by the exact same 6.2-liter AMG V8 that’s found in the production car and was a total of 8 seconds off the pole in the qualifying sessions. But that’s not the bad part. Driver Bernd Schneider made an overly aggressive move trying to cut into a corner in wet conditions and the result was a collision with a Corvette GT3 that caused the SLS AMG to spin around, ultimately being hit by an Audi R8 LMS race car.
The car received mostly cosmetic damage in the rear, making it out back on the track in less than 30 minutes. It finished 89th place overall once the race was cut short.
We’re sure the team got a lot of data and information to continue fine tuning the race car. We can’t wait to see its next outing. Make sure to check out the first video where the crash occurs around the 30 second mark. The second one is purely for your pleasure; listen to how good the SLS AMG GT3 sounds.
GALLERY: Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 Race Car
[Source: Jon Sibal]
Even though we don’t have high hopes of Gran Turismo 5 hitting the shelves anytime soon, we’re a tad bit thrilled to see that Fanatec has upgraded their Porsche 911 GT3 RS steering wheel to accompany Gran Turismo 5 and other future-gen games.
We actually have our own Porsche 911 GT3 RS unit sitting here at the office that keeps us entertained from time to time. It’s probably the highest quality steering wheel/shifter/pedal combination out in the market. For those not in the know, Fanatec’s products are also cross-platform allowing you to use it on the Sony Playstation3 and PC. Oddly enough, the original GT3 RS we have works on the Xbox360 as well, but this release is confined to the PS3 and PC. We might have to do some digging to see if the V2 works for Microsoft’s console as well.
But regardless of compatibility, Fanatec’s products boast legitimate Porsche licensing with even a Porsche-styled USB key in the package. The aluminum ClubSport pedals feature a pressure-sensitive brake sensor and ABS-simulated vibration under braking. And since we’ve had a chance to experience it first hand, we’ll be more than glad to tell you all how realistic the experience is.
So if you’re looking for the best substitute to racing out on the track, Fanatec offers the wheel alone for $179.95, while the package including the aluminum ClubSport pedals is $319.95. We highly recommend upgrading to the aluminum pedal option, it’s definitely worth every penny. And for those with the V1 of the 911 GT3 RS wheel, like us, Fanatec is offering an upgrade kit for $40. But there’s a lot of DIY involved with the $40 kit, and since we just want to play, we’ll pay the extra $30 to have it done by Fanatec themselves. Grand total of $70 and we’re set for GT5 and the future!
The official press release is available after the break.
GALLERY: Fanatec Porsche 911 GT3 RS V2
Porsche has just unveiled the 2010 GT3 RS model at the Frankfurt Auto Show, with more power, a wider front track, a reduced curb weight and increased downforce. When combined the GT3 RS gets even better and continues to be a motorsports-derived masterpiece.
Thanks to an increased displacement from 3.6 to 3.8-liters, the new engine makes an additional 15hp for a new total of 450. That power hits the ground (as it should) through a rear-drive setup and a six-speed manual transmission. Plus, the gear ratios for the 2010 model have been shortened further for increased acceleration.
As the GT3 RS is all about performance through light-weight, additional weight has been shaved off the body of the GT3 RS through the use of a titanium exhaust. Porsche will also offer an optional lithium-ion battery in place of the standard lead battery, which will help save an additional 22 lbs.
In terms of handling, the GT3 RS gets a dynamic engine mounts, which change their stiffness depending on how the car is being driven. A new special PASM suspension setup has also been included that takes into account not only the RS’s wider rear track, but also its wider front track (new for 2010). Inside those flared fenders you’ll find 19×9-inch wheels with 245/35/19 tires up front and 19×12-inch wheels with 325/30/19 tires in the rear.
The 2010 GT3 RS will be available as of March with pricing is listed at $132,800 ($163,000 CDN).
GALLERY: 2010 Porsche GT3 RS
Official release after the jump:
Ahead of its official debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show next month, Porsche has released details and a sizable gallery of photos of the 2010 version of its successful GT3 Cup car.
With the slogan, “stronger, wider, faster” the new Cup car is just that. Based on the GT3 RS road car, this model features the exact same 3.8-liter engine with 450hp – up 30hp over the past cup car. The engine is mated to a sequential six-speed transmission.
The new GT3 Cup car boasts the same wider fenders as the new GT3 RS, as well as 1.73-inch wider fenders than the street car to make room for a massive set of 18×9.5 and 18×12-inch wheels that can barely contain the massive PCCB Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes, which weigh 44 lbs less than conventional brakes.
Thanks to a fully stripped-down body, the new GT3 Cup car weights just 2,646 lbs.
Aerodynamic improvements have been made though the use of a new front lip that sits 0.6-inches lower than the street GT3 RS, as well as a simply massive rear spoiler that measures 66.9-inches in width.
The new version of the GT3 Cup car, the world’s most successful and best selling race car, will be available in October for race teams around the world.
GALLERY: 2010 Porsche GT3 Cup Car
Official releae after the jump:
Porsche still claims Nissan lying about GT-R time
Porsche has announced that its new and improved GT3 ran an impressive 7:40 second lap around the Nürburgring. A company spokesman also didn’t miss out on the opportunity to reiterate Porsche’s stance that Nissan fudged the GT-R’s lap times.
Andreas Preuninger, the head of High Performance Cars at Porsche, said that the time was technically unofficial (as there was no third party to verify the time) and that the lap was run with other vehicles on the track.
The driver was ‘Ring ace Walter Rohrl, who set a 7:42 second time in the previous GT3 for a test by Sport Auto Magazine. Preuninger did say that had Rohrl been going full-out he would likely have shaved two seconds off that time.
Even at a 7:38, however, the GT3 times still rate well-off the pace of Nissan’s GT-R, prompting Preuninger to once again state that Porsche believes Nissan isn’t being truthful with either its numbers or its car. Porsche cites the 7:54 lap time they managed with a GT-R as being very far off the 7:29 time Nissan claimed. Nissan has since, however, improved upon that time with a 7:27 run.