Writing – and one supposes, reading – about Porsche’s iconic 911 can be tiresome because its connection to racing is continually retained, and are always going to be throwing bouquets its way. After all, how often can one sing the praises of its telepathic steering, poised chassis response, heart-stopping brakes, and catapult-like acceleration? But as the latest top dog version of the 911, the GT3, manages to up the game yet again, report on this German stunner we must.
Developed in close collaboration with Porsche Motorsport, the new 911 GT3 transfers pure racing technology into a production model even more consistently than ever before – the double wishbone front axle layout and sophisticated aerodynamics with swan neck rear wing and striking diffuser originate from the successful GT race car 911 RSR and the 375 kW (510 PS) four-litre six-cylinder boxer engine is based on the drivetrain of the 911 GT3 R, tried and tested in endurance racing.
The acoustically impressive, high-revving engine is also used practically unchanged in the new 911 GT3 Cup. The result is a brilliant driving machine that’s simultaneously efficient and emotional, precise and high-performance – perfect for the circuit and everyday use.
With a top speed of 320 km/h, the new model is even faster than its predecessor, achieving zero to 100km/h in just 3.4 seconds – we don’t suggest a heavy meal before attempting this. The sophisticated aerodynamics benefit from the experiences gained from motor racing and generate significantly more downforce without noticeably affecting the drag coefficient. In the performance position, the manually set wing and diffuser elements significantly increase the aerodynamic pressure for high cornering speeds.
This is, however, reserved strictly for outings on the circuit, as it is there that the 911 GT3 can play all its trump cards. During final testing, it lapped the Nürburgring Nordschleife, traditionally the ultimate proving ground for all sports cars developed by Porsche, over 17 seconds quicker than its predecessor.
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 911 GT3 in 6:55.2 minutes. Running on the optionally available Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R tyres, the new model consistently delivered its performance over several laps in the expert hands of Porsche brand ambassador and former racer Jörg Bergmeister.
Responding to increasing requests for customised equipment for its GT models, the Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur range is also available for the new 911 GT3 and is supplemented by GT 3-specific options such as a lightweight roof made of exposed carbon fibre. Other highlights include carbon exterior mirror tops, darkened LED matrix main headlights and matching ones on the rear. In the interior, details like dials for the rev counter and stopwatch, seatbelts and trim strips elegantly accent the chosen body colour. We are partial to yellow, though.
The new 911 GT3 is open for pre-orders and owners can expect to receive their cars next year – by then, we should be able to start travelling again and there is truly no better way to take to the road tan behind the wheels of a Porsche.
Watch the video below: