Petrolheads across the world have a reason to rejoice today because Stuttgart’s finest car manufacturer has released a new version of one of the most popular track-focused cars which still stays true to its excellent recipe. That is retaining a manual transmission with a high-revving engine plus some serious aero updates. Of course, there are some upgrades over the predecessor that we will go through but shining the light on this new 911 GT3 is a lap time that it immediately smashed still in prototype form.
Straight away, Porsche took it to the famous Green Hell race track, the Nurburgring, and put it into its pace with most of the components on the car available on the production version such as the optional Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres. It posted a lap time of 6:59.957 making it 17 seconds faster than its predecessor and that shows massive progress. We can only guess how much faster the 992 GT3 RS variant will be when it comes later on this year, the 992 GT2 RS might even become the fastest around the ring given the fact that the current generation once held that record.
Engine and Suspension
One thing about 911’s is the engine configuration that excites the fans the most because without any forced induction system, the revs are much higher and it produces a sensual exhaust note. The one put in the new 911 GT3 is the same one as last time, a 4.0-litre naturally aspirated six-cylinder boxer engine extracted from the 911 GT3 R race car that can rev up to 9000 rpm. It produces 503 hp (375 kW) and 470 Nm of torque going to the rear-wheels only and the power can be shifted on either a six-speed manual or the quick-shifting PDK transmission.
Both transmissions have an effect on how the car performs with factors including the sprint time, top speed and weight. The manual variant does 0-100 km/h in 3.9 seconds whilst the PDK transmission manages a faster 3.4 seconds. However, the top speed on the manual is higher at 320 km/h and the latter at just 318 km/h. The weight difference is 17 kg between the manual and PDK with the manual being lighter which will play a role in diverging the performance.
That will also be down to how well the car handles and surely there is doubt in that because this is Porsche we are talking about. They are the masters in delivering a nimble and perfect track car thanks to their innovative Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) and in the GT3 it has been configured with a sports setup and the ride height lowered by 20 millimetres. The front axle has a double-wishbone with an anti-roll bar and the rear has a multi-link rear axle with an anti-roll bar to improve the handling and agility. They spared no cost with the brakes by installing 408 millimetres brake discs with six-piston brake calipers on the front and 308 millimetres brake discs with four piston brake calipers on the rear.
I believe the first thing that must be addressed is the massive wing at the back which has been directly taken from the 911 RSR race car together with the diffuser elements which help generate downforce for high cornering speeds. The front sports a gaping grille with a black coloured bumper and two-strip LED lights. The influence here is a wider body and larger wheels that clearly state that this is a pure track car.
The front bonnet is made entirely out of Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic (CFRP) which helps to keep the weight down and talking about keeping everything light, the glass windows are lightweight, there are light alloy wheels and a lightweight twin-tailpipe sport exhaust. Optionally, the exterior mirror caps can be made out of carbon fibre together with the roof. The LED matrix main headlights can be darkened if required to match the rear lights with an arc of light with no red components. The ring around the wheels is in colour and there is a choice of Guards Red or Shark Blue
The cabin is all so similar to the 911 Carrera but with some dedicated features for the 911 GT3 like a button to switch to a track screen. That eliminates unnecessary graphics and only displays the tyre pressure monitor, oil pressure, oil temperature, fuel tank level and water temperature, only the stuff you may need on a race track. There is a visual shift assistant with coloured bars to show you when you shift when you hit rev limit. In addition, there is a Sport Chrono watch and trim strip accents on the dash, steering wheel and seats. They have installed sports seats with the GT3 logo embroidered in the head rest.
The 911 GT3 is set to arrive in showrooms soon and deliveries set to be made in May 2021. The official pricing is €152 416 (R2 705 500) but for the South African market it might be more considering the taxes and other charges to be added.
Source: Porsche 911 GT3 Press Release