Porsche has revealed its updated GT racing car ahead of 2017’s racing season.

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Initially, the refreshed 911 GT3 Cup will only appear in Porsche’s Carrera Cup Deutschland and Mobil 1 Supercup, an event held alongside the Formula 1 races. From 2018 though, it will also be available for other brand cups.

So what’s new about the 911 GT3 Cup? Well, it comes with a completely redeveloped drive, thanks to a compact four-litre, six-cylinder flat engine at the rear, which – thanks to some motorsport technology – produces a maximum power output of 478bhp.

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A new front apron and a new rear-end improves the car’s downforce and enhances traction and performance. The 1.84-metre wide rear wing has been carried over from the previous model. Also unchanged are the wheel dimensions: 18-inch one-piece racing rims with a central locking mechanism. There are 270mm Michelin racing slicks on the front axle, and huge 310mm tread on the rear.

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A series of innovative tweaks have made the car more efficient and improved its performance. Its naturally-aspirated engine is even more durable in racing mode too, resulting in reduced maintenance costs.

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For the first time, the engine uses a valve drive with rigidly mounted rocker arms and a central oil feed too. If you want to get even more technical, an integrated oil centrifuge is used to optimise oil defoaming in the engine, while a crankshaft with vastly increased rigidity has also been installed.

Drivers are kept safe with the inclusion of a solid safety cage and a clever bucket-style racing seat, moulded heavily around the head and shoulder area. The roof’s rescue hatch, in line with the latest FIA standard, makes it easier to provide initial treatment and recovery following an accident.

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Sitting on the 991’s aluminium-steel composite structure, the new 911 GT3 Cup tips the scales at just 1,200kg, 295kg less than the GT3 RS.

With 3,031 units of the 911 GT3 Cup built across the 996, 997 and 991 model lines since 1998, the 911 GT3 Cup is the world’s most-produced and best-selling GT racing car.

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European prices start from 189,900 euros before tax, so expect that to convert to around £196,500 in the UK once VAT is added.

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