What is there the say, there is a new GT3 and it builds on success of the sensational 991 911 GT3. There are few badges that command as much respect as the GT3 moniker and the 992 is even more capable, potent and seductive as any of the six GT3 generations that came before it. The headline of the 992 GT3 is that, for the first time, the GT3 ditches the cheaper and compromised macpherson strut for the 911 RSR derived double wishbone setup that offers higher camber rigidity, among other advantages, and relieves the shock absorbers of disruptive transverse forces. What does this feel like on the street? Initially, quite unnerving, the frontend is so lively, darty and quick to respond that you must actively tell your wrists to chill out and inout far less angle than you would usually do.
What about the engine, will it still make your eardrums feel like they’ll go bang at 9,000rpm, or has legislation castrated this choir boy? There is still a naturally aspirated 4.0-litre flat-six boxer engine which now produces 510 PS (503 HP) up 35 PS from the 991.2 and 470 Nm (up 10 Nm from the 991.2). The 992 GT3 will rev to 9,000rpm and the good news is that, somehow, the GT3 still sings a tune that only a GT3 can. There is still a distinct howl that is a defining characteristic of any GT3. This gives us hope that cars that are designed with the regulations in mind can account for the muting effects of OPFs, unlike late 991.2 cars that were far quieter.
The top speed of 320 km/h (318 km/h with PDK) it is even faster than the 991 GT3 RS. It accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 3.4 seconds. Porsche will also offer the 992 GT3 with a six-speed manual transmission for a ‘particularly puristic driving experience’. We were in a car equipped with a PDK box and the shifts are spectacularly fast with no detectable pause in power application. If anything, I found it to be too quick as the speeds build so fast with such smooth and swift changes that you often look down and are stunned by the numbers.
As will all 992 variants, the GT3 has grown in size, Porsche were keen to make sure the 992 GT3 was no heavier than the 991.2 GT3. Despite a wider body, larger wheels and additional technical features, the weight of the new GT3 is the same as the 991 GT3. Specced with a manual gearbox it weighs 1,418 kilograms, with PDK 1,435 kilograms. Extensive use of lightweight materials has helped to achieve these impressive weight figures.
The front bonnet is made of carbon fibre-reinforced plastic, a first on a non-RS GT3. There are lightweight glass windows, optimised brake discs and forged light-alloy wheels ensure weight discipline. The lightweight sports exhaust system reduces the weight by no less than ten kilograms. With infinitely electrically adjustable exhaust flaps, it harmonises a highly emotional sound experience with the Euro EU6 AP emissions standards.
The GT3 is, predictably, a spectacular car. But it goes beyond meeting expectations, it is more refined, focused and fast than you would have expected. The changes to the front axel are significant and make a tremendous impact on the way you drive this GT3. Of course, all are sold out and prices on the used market are commanding unreasonable premiums. The price is irrelevant, the GT3 price tag could be doubled and I’m confident that it would still sell out. These are special cars.