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First Drive: Porsche 911 GT3 (992). Image by Porsche GB.

First Drive: Porsche 911 GT3 (992)
The 992 generation of the Porsche 911 GT3 has arrived in the UK but is it still the race car for the road that it has always been?

   



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Porsche 911 GT3

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5

The Porsche 911 Cup car is the best-selling race car in the world and we think probably has been for some years. It's also the closest you can get to a car that wins on the track but that you can actually buy for the road. Many claim they make a race car for the road, but often that's just marketing, but in the case of the Porsche 911 GT3 it really is true.

The GT3 came about towards the end of the 1990s after the official GT3 racing class was created. Unlike many race cars which are born from road cars, the 911 GT3 was the opposite, created for the road directly from the race car - a race car for the road. A few generations later and we have this, the new 992 version and because we're helpful, we've driven both the winged model and the more subtle Touring version so we can tell you what they're both like.

Test Car Specifications

Model tested: Porsche 911 GT3 Touring PDK
Pricing: 127,820
Engine: 4.0-litre six-cylinder normally aspirated
Transmission: seven-speed PDK, rear-wheel drive
Body style: two-door sports car
CO2 emissions: 293g/km (VED Band over 255g/km: 2,245 in year one, 490 years 2-5)
Combined economy: 21.9mpg
Top speed: 198mph
0-62mph: 3.4 seconds
Power: 510hp at 8,400rpm
Torque: 470Nm at 6,100rpm
Boot space: 132 litres

What's this?

This is a normally-aspirated 911 GT3 with 520hp, 470Nm, rear-wheel drive and the choice of a six-speed manual or seven-speed PDK dual clutch auto. It will sprint to 62mph in just 3.4 seconds whether it has a big wing or not and they all cost the same; manual, PDK, wing or no wing. There is an optional Clubsport package though, which includes a roll cage behind the seats (the GT3 has no rear seats), a fire extinguisher, six-point harness and a battery kill switch. Oh and you can add a carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) roof to the other CFRP parts already fitted to the car which together with further lightweight materials brings its weight down to 1,435kg, almost 200kg less than the latest 911 Turbo S.

Then there's the matter of wing or no wing, or rather extendable wing. Go for the former and you'll get a swan-neck rear wing that can be manually adjusted to increase the downforce or reduce the lift, or of course both. It's a clever thing, with the mountings on top so as to ensure as smooth a flow of air underneath as possible. It's also part of a full aerodynamics kit that can provide up to 150 per cent more downforce at 124mph if you have access to a track.

The GT3 is still a 911 though, which means it's comfortable. We're not talking daily driver comfortable although we know some owners who do, but it has all mod cons like the Porsche Communication Management infotainment system, climate control and some electric adjustment on the seats. Go for the full sports seats though and you'll need a tool to adjust the backrest, which proved a little awkward when driving with a helmet on.

How does it drive?

Why did we have a helmet on? Well, our first experience of the new GT3 was on the Anglesey Circuit in north Wales. Our experience was dampened slightly by it raining, although that's an understatement, it was chucking it down. Not the ideal conditions to get to know a new performance model but we got a handle on certain elements of its performance and grip and early impressions were good.

Now we've got behind the wheel of the GT3 Touring, on a very dry day and on fantastic roads near the Goodwood estate in East Sussex. Left hand drive on Stuttgart plates, it's come straight from the factory and is a PDK model with options like the CFRP roof, Dolomite Silver paintwork and Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes. Inside it has leather and fabric instead of the Race-Tex cloth on the more hardcore version and there's not roll cage. Is it a wolf in sheep's clothing?

You bet your Weissach it is. The switch from MacPherson front suspension to the double link wishbones of the 911 RSR race car makes the front end feel even sharper than before. Bumps in the road are more easily flattened and frankly feel more like a small circuit kerb, allowing the car to instantly resettle and press on. The steering is surgically precise, requiring regular small adjustments as the communication between the road, car and driver flows like a constant series of code instructions in a computer.

The paddles are too far away fro my liking but it's easy enough to use the gearstick to operate the PDK box like a sequential shifter, or just leave the car to do its thing, which it is quite good at. Turn the control dial on the steering wheel to Sport and listen as the active exhaust raises its tone a few notches and the accelerator sharpens to give even quicker access to the power of that superb flat-six.

It's an incredible machine, happy to amble along gently behind casual traffic while you patiently stream a podcast, or pick up the pace on request and charge into corner after corner instilling more and more confidence.

Verdict

On the day, we had planned to reach the end of a popular b-road, turn around and come back. We didn't, we turned left, found more great roads and kept going. eventually reluctantly having to turn back due to time constraints. But we'd finally got what we wanted, a full picture of the new GT3. It is a marvellous machine, accommodating but also to be feared, challenging but ultimately rewarding. Which one would we take? The Touring, because the best race car is a stealthy race car.

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Exterior Design

4 4 4 4 4 Interior Ambience

4 4 4 4 4 Passenger Space

4 4 4 4 4 Luggage Space

5 5 5 5 5 Safety

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Comfort

5 5 5 5 5 Driving Dynamics

5 5 5 5 5 Powertrain


Mark Smyth - 22 Jul 2021



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2021 Porsche 911 GT3 Touring. Image by Porsche GB.2021 Porsche 911 GT3 Touring. Image by Porsche GB.2021 Porsche 911 GT3 Touring. Image by Porsche GB.2021 Porsche 911 GT3 Touring. Image by Porsche GB.2021 Porsche 911 GT3 Touring. Image by Porsche GB.

2021 Porsche 911 GT3 Touring. Image by Porsche GB.2021 Porsche 911 GT3 Touring. Image by Porsche GB.2021 Porsche 911 GT3 Touring. Image by Porsche GB.2021 Porsche 911 GT3 Touring. Image by Porsche GB.







 

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