For many petrolheads, the 911 GT3 is the holy grail for fast road and track driving. For Porsche it represents the ultimate expression of engineering and performance. The latest 992 version of the GT3 promises to be the best yet.
It always amazes me that Porsche manage to improve the GT3 with each and every model. There might be certain versions from their back catalog that people prefer but there is no doubt that each and every time they update their track weapon, it is faster, sharper and fundamentally better than its predecessor.
The 992 platform which underpins the latest 911 GT3 is a good place to start. In base Carrera form it already felt more exciting to drive than the previous 991 version. Unlike the Carrera, the GT3 is all natural in the horsepower department. No turbos here.
The engine is 4.0l flat six that is totally naturally aspirated. The lack for forced induction means it’ll rev to a sonorous 9000rpm. It kicks out a healthy 510hp and 470nm of torque. A modest bump over the last car but the GT3 has never really been about max horsepower. You buy the 911 Turbo S for that. The GT3 will hit sixty in 3.4 seconds if you opt for the PDK gearbox but you can still option a manual if you want. That drops the 0-60 to 3.9 seconds but gives you that glorious third pedal to play with. Top speed is 199mph (so close!).
The chassis of the GT3 has seen some fundamental changes too. Up front it has double wishbone suspension making it more like the 911 race cars than before. It still has rear wheel steering to aid low speed agility and has received a host of small changes to help improve its handling. Its evolution rather than revolution which is an art Porsche knows all too well.
On the outside Porsche has completely overhauled the bodywork of the 992 to create the GT3. The front bumper is all-new and far more aggressive for better cooling that lead to large vents in the bonnet which is made from carbon fibre. There’s an optional carbon roof to reduce the centre of gravity. The rear bumper evokes GT3s of old with its centre exhaust but looks even more aggressive than before. Above it sits the craziest looking wing ever seen on a GT3. It has ‘swan-neck’ supports that enable the entire underside of the wing to be used for downforce. This is normal only seen on race cars.
All this aero makes a real difference to its performance on track. During final testing, the GT3 lapped the Nuerburgring-Nordschleife over 17 seconds quicker than the last version. Development driver Lars Kern took just 6:59.927 minutes for a full 20.8-kilometre lap. The shorter 20.6-kilometre track, which had previously served as a benchmark, was completed by the 992 GT3 in just 6:55.2 minutes.
Overall the new Porsche 911 GT3 is faster, better looking and nerdier than before. It’ll be the first car I’m ordering if I win the Lottery this weekend! Even if it does cost over £120,000 and more like £140,000 with all the right options ticked.