“This is a race car made legal for the road,” said Porsche South Africa boss Toby Venter when he proudly presented the new 911 GT3 in Cape Town last week.
A quick look at this machine confirms Venter’s statement. The 992 GT3 tells you it’s no ordinary Porsche 911. A prominent rear wing, two hood vents and massive—even by Porsche standards—yellow brake calipers peering through the 20-inch forged alloys set the scene.
Inside is the optional roll bar behind the sport seats plus a testament to this car’s racetrack credentials.
Porsche 911 GT3 shines
References so impressive that it improves the time of its predecessor around the Nürburgring, 20.8 kilometer long Nordschleife, by more than 17 seconds in 6 minutes and 59.927 seconds. If this is all French to you, perhaps the German terminology will explain it better. That achievement is simply amazing.
The lap time amounts to a four percent improvement. But the power increase from the 991 to the 992 GT3 is only two percent, showing that engineers have done much more than just add a few horses.
The overall progress of the car is the result of many improved driving dynamics and weight reduction.
Make no mistake, the naturally aspirated 4.0-litre six-cylinder boxer engine with its provocative roar is still the crown jewel.
The powerplant would be virtually unchanged from the new 911 GT3 Cup and based on that of the Porsche 911 GT3 R, which has proven its worth in the litmus test of endurance racing. The high-speed mill sends 375 kW of power and 470 Nm of torque to the rear wheels, 7 kW and 10 Nm more than its predecessor. Maximum engine speed is 9,000 rpm with peak power available from a rattling eardrum
8 400 rpm.
The new 911 GT3 is offered in two transmission options: a six-speed manual transmission with auto-blip function to aid gear synchronization, or a seven-speed Sport PDK.
In PDK form, the sprint from 0 to 100 km/h is done in 3.4 seconds, while from standstill it reaches 200 km/h in 10.8 seconds. The manual transmission can achieve a top stroke of 320 km/h and the PDK 318 km/h.
It is amazing what a difference the choice of gearbox makes on the Porsche 911 GT3. The PDK brings refinement to the ride, while the manual requires intense driver involvement from the moment you start the engine.
While the PDK can tame the beast somewhat to make city traffic more bearable, the manual is too rough to be leashed. Constant red traffic lights will poison his free spirit.
Shifting into the three-pedal derivative is enhanced by the short gear lever and short shift action, which put the driver in some form of euphoria. The experience is made even better when you activate the new track screen on the instrument panel, which is offered alongside the traditional Porsche 911 layout with five dials.
This setting uses the shift assistant, which flanks the tachometer with graduated colors to indicate the optimum moment for a change, similar to modern race cars.
The adrenaline that comes from being fully immersed in the manual gearshift and clutch pedal, along with the raw racing sound amplified by the ramping up revs, is truly an experience.
We also got a glimpse of the excellent handling, cornering and braking on the launch ride from Cape Town to Hermanus, but you really do need a race track to get the full value of everything the new GT3 has to offer.
Lots of improvement
It’s almost impossible to list all the technologies in the 911 GT3, so we’ll stick to a few highlights.
It has a “gooseneck” mounting on the rear wing, for more downforce; redeveloped double wishbone front axle used in a series production Porsche model; rear-axle steering, which allows the rear wheels to turn up to two degrees; 408mm brakes at the front and high-performance sport tires (255/35 ZR20 at the front and 315/30 ZR21) at the rear with optional race track tires.
Weight savings come from the use of lightweight glass, a lightweight sports exhaust system, lighter starter battery and the use of carbon fiber components.
Simply put, the new Porsche 911 GT3 is a roaring adrenaline rush made for purists who value raw engine noises over music or conversation – the latter, by the way, is impossible once the revs reach 7,000 rpm.
But then again, isn’t a deafening roar one of the most attractive features of a race car?
Porsche 911 GT3 PDK or MT – R3 109 000
Porsche 911 GT3 Touring – R3 109 000
Price includes three years/100 000 km Driveplan.
For more information about the new Porsche 911 GT3, click here†