Powering this beast is a 375 kW 4.0-litre, six-cylinder boxer engine that enables the car to get from 0 to100 km/h in 3.4 seconds. “This is a racing car made road legal,” Porsche South Africa boss Toby Venter said, as he proudly presented the new 911 GT3 in Cape Town recently. A quick glance at this machine confirms Venter’s statement.
The 992 GT3 tells you it is no ordinary Porsche 911. A prominent rear wing, two air openings in the bonnet and massive – even by Porsche standards – yellow brake callipers peering through the 20-inch forged alloys paint a distinct picture. On the inside, the optional roll bar behind the sports seats plus is a dead giveaway of this car’s racetrack credentials.
Porsche 911 GT3 shines
Credentials so impressive it betters its predecessor’s time around the Nürburgring 20.8-kilometre Nordschleife by more than 17 seconds in clocking 6 minutes 59.927 seconds. If this is all French to you, then maybe German terminology will explain it better. That performance is simply wunderbar. The lap time equates to a four percent improvement. But the increase in power from the 991 to the 992 GT3 is only two percent, which shows engineers did much more than simply add a few horses.
The car’s overall progress is the result of a host of enhanced 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 is said to be practically unchanged from the new 911 GT3 Cup and based on that of the Porsche 911 GT3 R, which has earned its stripes in the litmus test that is endurance racing.
The high-revving mill sends 375 kW of power and 470 Nm of torque to the rear wheels, seven kilowatts and 10 Nm up from its predecessor. The maximum engine speed is 9 000 rpm with peak power available at an eardrum-rattling 8 400 rpm. The large rear wing is a distinctive feature of the Porsche 911 GT3.
The new 911 GT3 is offered in two transmission options, a six-speed manual with auto-blip function to assist synchronisation of the gear wheels, or a seven-speed PDK. In PDK guise, the 0 to 100 km per hour sprint is done in 3.4 seconds while it reaches 200 km/h from a standstill in 10.8 seconds. The manual is capable of a top whack of 320 km/h and the PDK 318 km/h.
It is astounding what a difference the choice of gearbox makes on the Porsche 911 GT3. The PDK lends refinement to the drive, while the manual requires intense driver involvement from the moment you start the engine.
While the PDK is capable of somewhat domesticating the beast to make city traffic more bearable, the manual is too raw to be leashed. Constant red traffic lights will poison its free spirit. Changing gears in the three-pedal derivative is enhanced by the short gear lever and short-travel shift action, which enthralls the driver into some form of euphoria. The experience gets even better when you activate the new track screen on the instrument cluster, offered in addition to the traditional five-dial Porsche 911 layout.
This setting utilizes shift assistant, which flanks the rev counter by graded colours to indicate the optimal moment for changing, similar to modern racing cars. The adrenaline created by being fully immersed in the manual gear lever and clutch pedal, along with the raw racing sound amplified by the climbing r/pms is truly an experience.
Plenty of improvement
To list all the technologies the in the 911 GT3 is nearly impossible, so we’ll stick to a few highlights. It features a “swan-neck” mounting on the rear wing, adding greater downforce; a redeveloped double-wishbone front axle used in a series-production Porsche model; rear-axle steering, allowing the rear wheels to turn by up to two degrees; 408 mm front brakes and high-performance tyres (255/35 ZR20 in the front and 315/30 ZR21) at the rear with optional road-approved race track tyres.
Weight reduction comes from the use of lightweight glass, a lightweight sports exhaust system, lighter starter battery and the use of carbon fibre components. Simply put, the new Porsche 911 GT3 is a roaring adrenalin rush made for purists who appreciated raw engine sound over music or conversation.