This is the new Porsche 911 GT3. It may not be the most glamorous or radically redeveloped car at this year’s Geneva Motor Show but it is certainly up there with the most interesting and probably most fun.
The biggest news, and this will make many a Porsche fan happy, is the return of the manual gearbox. The seven-speed paddleshift PDK, which was the only option in the outgoing GT3, is still standard but a six-speed manual similar to that in the excellent 911 R is a no-cost option.
The engine is a similar naturally-aspirated 4.0-litre flat-six to those in the 911 GT3 RS and the 911 R. It produces the same 493bhp as them, too. The internals have been altered, though, with less internal friction and lower operating temperatures. Importantly, that means it revs to 9,000rpm. That matches the old GT3 and betters the GT3 RS’s (and the 911 R’s) 8,500rpm maximum.
Performance has been improved as expected. With the PDK, you’ll hit 62mph considerably quicker than in the manual – 3.4 seconds in the former compared to 3.9 seconds in the latter. However, the manual will squeeze out an extra 1mph with an apparent top speed of 199mph (you’d hit 200mph with the slightest of tailwinds). Four-wheel steering, dynamic engine mounts, a limited-slip differential on the driven rear axle, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres and a 25mm ride drop over the 911 Carrera S aid the GT3’s handling so you can expect it to be extremely quick around a track.
Inside, there is a choice of four seat styles but the one you want is the deep bucket seat made from carbon fibre-reinforced plastic. There is also a ‘Porsche Track Precision’ app, which allows you to record lap-time data onto a smartphone for analysis later. Outside, you get the standard changes that have been made with the recent facelift including new lights and stylistic tweaks to the bodywork. It looks awesome.
The new 911 GT3 will be arriving on our roads this summer with a starting price of £111,802. You might think that’s a lot for a Porsche (because it is) but when you consider the fact that it’s basically a non-limited run 911 R (they’re selling for upwards of £500,000 by the way), it’s a pretty good deal.
Let us know what you think of the new Porsche 911 GT3 in the comments section below or via our Facebook and Twitter pages!