Porsche gave its performance fans something new to cheer about in Geneva where it presented the revamped 2010 911 GT3. Displacement of the GT3's flat-six "boxster" engine has been upped from 3.6 to 3.8 liters and that size bump plus an upgraded version of Porsche's VarioCam system helps raise output from 415 to 435 horsepower while fattening up the mid-range torque curve. The net result drops the GT3's 0-60 mph time from 4.1 to 4.0 seconds and raises its top speed from 193 to 194 mph.
While there's no mistaking its 911 heritage, the new GT3 does benefit from a series of subtle aero tweaks to both its front and rear fascias that Porsche claims more than doubles the effective downforce on the car. The most obvious changes include bigger air intakes, a restyled front spoiler lip, larger rear wing and lighter centerlock alloy wheels that mount even stickier performance tires. Less visible but no less welcome, the GT3 also has upgraded suspension tuning that matches stiffer springs and shocks with a new version of the Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) system. This PASM package mirrors the algorithms used on the ultra-performance GT2 model and allows a driver to individually disengage the stability and traction control functions. Bigger but lighter and better-ventilated brakes enhance the GT3's already world-class stopping power and Porsche has added a dedicated line of its ultra-performance carbon ceramic units to the option list. As a final performance flourish, the GT3 comes with dynamic engine mounts that are filled with magnetically charged fluid that allows them to stiffen under high g-loading for a more solid coupling or to soften when touring to provide better isolation.
While it won't make the GT3 go faster or handle better, Porsche has added one new item to the option roster of its road-and-track warrior: A pneumatic lift system that can raise the front end of the car by 30mm at speeds up to 30 mph at the touch of a button to help prevent close encounters of the expensive kind with steep driveway aprons or ultra-aggressive speed bumps. The 2010 911 GT3 goes on sale here in October with a starting price of $112,200.