Originally produced to meet FIA competition homologation rules, the 911 GT3 has been intrinsically linked to Porsche’s racing efforts since its debut in 1999. With the introduction of the 992nd generation GT3, the common DNA became More clear than ever. However, Porsche somehow managed to strike a balance between capability and pragmatism, resulting in a performance machine that would hunt pirates mercilessly on a circuit while providing an enjoyable driving experience off a structured road track.
But don’t think for a moment that GT3 has gone soft. Developed alongside its racing peers by Porsche’s GT division, the new car’s 3,200 lb (1,451 kg) weight remains almost unchanged from its predecessor despite moving to the larger 992 platform thanks to a strong focus on Reduce mass throughout the vehicle. The new exhaust system saves 22 pounds (10 kg) here, and the lithium iron phosphate battery flies a few pounds there—it all adds up. This approach is a recurring feature of the 992 GT3.
New adjustable aerodynamic elements allow for an increase of downforce by up to 150 percent over the previous generation GT3 (known as 991.2). For the first time in any 911 on the road, the new GT3 adopts the 911 RSR racing car’s double-wishbone front suspension configuration to enhance handling precision. According to GT division chief Andreas Preuninger, the design improves the stability of the contact patch as the suspension absorbs bumps and other imperfections in the road surface, allowing Porsche engineers to stiffen the chassis while maintaining ride compliance. New adaptive dampers, which can react to road conditions in about half the time, further assist in this task.
But as the only naturally aspirated model in the current 911 lineup, the engine is arguably a cornerstone of the GT3 formula. Ostensibly, an updated version of the 4.0 L Flat-six used in the 991.2 Speedster, its 9,000-rpm red streak is what dreams are made of. Maximum output numbers of 502 hp (375 kW) and 346 pound-feet of torque 469 Nm are marginal increases over the previous generation, but the outgoing GT3 wasn’t entirely lacking in straight-line propulsion. The new electrical engineering of the 992 allowed engineers to outfit the GT3 engine with six individual throttle bodies for more immediate response.
Paired with the GT3’s seven-speed PDK automatic gearbox, the combination can launch the rear-wheel drive coupe to 60 mph from a standstill in 3.2 seconds. For those who like to paddle themselves, a six-speed manual gearbox with automatic rev-matching is also available as an option at no cost. Our test rig was equipped with the latter, and we think it’s worth the extra half-second to get to that speed. American Porsche buyers seem to agree, with more than 70 percent of them choosing three pedals with the latest generation GT3.
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