► Porsche's new 911 GT3
► 4.0-litre flat-six, 503bhp and 347lb ft
► Priced from £123,100, available now
The wait is over: Porsche's new 911 GT3 is here. You'll be happy to know it has all the tantalising details you expect from the brand's track-ready supercar wrapped up in a bewinged carbonfibre package.
Before we get into the details, Porsche also says that the new 911 GT3 has clocked a time around the Nürburgring of 6m 59.927sec, making it more than 17 seconds quicker than the epic 991-generation GT3.
Read our prototype ride in the new Porsche 911 GT3
Give me performance specs!
There's still a flat-six under there, and a 4.0-litre naturally aspirated one at that. It's directly linked to the 911 GT3 Cup car, making 503bhp and 347lb ft. 'We use the same bodyshell and on the suspension side it's very close [to the Cup car],' says 911 and 718 boss Frank Walliser, 'the engine is very close, too – it has a lot of benefits on the production side.'
Porsche is offering both a six-speed manual and seven-speed PDK auto from launch with this generation of GT3. The manual version can sprint to 62mph in 3.9 seconds and hit 199mph, while the PDK can do the same run in 3.4 seconds and up to 198mph.
'You have to bear in mind that we offered the manual on the 991 GT3 not from day one,' says Andreas Preuninger – Porsche's GT director, 'but with the 991.2 we had a take rate on the manual of about 40 percent – in the US it was up to around 70 percent, which was astonishing even for us.
'We think that this kind of levelling between the two gearboxes will stay the same – 40 per cent manual, 60 per cent PDK – but we'll see.'
You'll also have a hard time noticing if a new 992 GT3 is manual or automatic – the PDK shifter on the centre console looks almost identical to the manual gearlever. 'We decided to go for a sport PDK, modifying the one we used in the 991 GT3,' adds Preuninger, 'it's 18kg lighter than the PDK used in the Carrera.'
Elsewhere, Porsche says the front suspension has been lifted out of the 911 RSR endurance racer and rear-wheel steering is available.
On top of that, Porsche has shaved weight wherever possible. The car uses more carbonfibre in its construction (in the front bonnet and rear wing), the 408mm diameter front brakes are larger than before but 17 per cent lighter, the battery is 10kg lighter than the previous-generation GT3. The manual model weighs 1418kg, the PDK-specced one clocks in at 1435kg – both figures can be reduced by another 10kg if you tick the box for the sports exhaust.
There's plenty of aerodynamic trickery going on...
That there is – as you'd expect from a GT3 model. A front splitter, vents in the front bonnet, bespoke ducting above the engine compartment and a rear wing that's 'around 15 to 20 per cent bigger' than the 991's wing, according to Preuninger.
The front axle diffusers and rear wing are manually adjustable, with four steps. 'We have about 50 percent more downforce in default than we had on a 991.2,' says Preuninger, 'and 160 percent more downforce in the sport setting.'
Any interior details?
Well, bar the intriguing PDK shifter if you spec the auto, the rest of the interior is relatively familiar.
But, in GT3 form, the analogue centre rev counter winds up to 10,000rpm and a special track mode for the digital displays reduces info to a minimum, showing you key performance data like oil pressure and temperature, water temperature and fuel level.
All of this can be finished off with a Clubsport package, available at no cost, that adds a roll cage, six-point harness for the driver, fire extinguisher and a battery disconnect switch. You can also tart up your new GT3 however you like via Porsche's Exclusive programme.
Will there be a GT3 Touring?
'Yes, there will be a Touring later this year for the driver not hunting track days and wants to more clandestinely drive a GT car,' Preuninger says flatly. 'The Touring is something the customer demands, and we're happy to play along – we believe in that product very much ourselves.'
Porsche 911 Carrera T vs GT3 Touring (991) twin test
Expect to see a GT3 Touring package from autumn 2021 onwards.
When and how much?
You can order a new 911 GT3 now, with the first models arriving in May 2021. Get ready to stump up at least £123,100 for the privilege and, if you buy one in the UK, you'll also gain access to some driver training at the brand's experience centre at Silverstone.
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