A naturally aspirated engine. A six-speed manual. Things you do not hear whenever any new sports car is announced these days. But the Porsche 911 GT3 is different and oblivious to the current trends. It clings on to the facets that define a proper sports car.
The rest of the automotive world is eulogizing about “electric mobility” and the future of the car being an electrical pod of some kind. But here is Porsche making a manual rear-driven sports car with a naturally aspirated engine. A reality check that the sports car world needed? Of late the obsession with new technology and power has made the sensation of steering a car seem less important than getting a lap time to brag about on social media channels.
The new Porsche 911 GT3 is not that kind of sports car.
It is not meant to win a game of top trumps or look good on the Instagram account of the owner. But its main agenda is to drown the driver in the simple act of motoring nirvana. That has been the guiding principle of the Porsche GT range. And thankfully it has stayed the same.
The outlandish power figures are probably left for the Turbo S while the Porsche 911 GT3 is pure and simple. We say simple but in essence, Porsche has worked very hard and kept the same ingredients and shunned turbo-charging. The technology is basically fodder for any enthusiast’s soul. It starts with a double wishbone front axle layout and that giant “swan neck” rear wing and diffuser.
Star of the show – the engine
It is basically a racing car being developed for the road, including the 510 PS four-litre six-cylinder boxer engine. This engine is the star of the show and is based on the 911 GT3 R motor. The engine is dripping with racing pedigree and delivers the sound plus response which any turbocharged motor cannot ever hope to give.
Of course just like any new model change, the new GT3 is faster and quicker. This one is actually faster than the outgoing 911 GT3 RS! It does 0-100 km/h in just 3.4 seconds while the PDK gearbox equipped version can do 320km/h. Yes, Porsche will sell you an automatic GT3 but the purist choice is the 6-speed manual.
In terms of design the new GT3 sticks to the original formula. It does not sprout scissor doors and is tame in comparison to the other exotic stuff in the market. However the sense of purpose which radiates from the GT3 gives it immense presence.
More than absolute power the GT3 is about precision and lightness while that principle has been taken to an extreme here. The front bonnet is made of carbon fibre-reinforced plastic while you have lightweight glass windows, special brake discs and forged light-alloy wheels. There is a new lightweight sports exhaust system which does its bit by being 10 kilograms lighter.
Inside it isn’t barebones or basic but there is the same sense of focus being sprinkled in here. You will never find a lavishly trimmed 911 GT3 cabin like a standard 911 or a Turbo S. The sense of lightness along with the “hardcore driver’s car vibe” is very important for a GT3 to have.
New to the GT3 though is a track screen which removes the plethora of digital displays to just the left and right of the central rev counter, which reaches up to 10,000 revs. Along with that is information such as tire pressure indicator, oil pressure, oil temperature, fuel tank level and water temperature.
Pricing for Canada hasn’t been released yet. We expect deliveries to start from the end of this year while do not expect much change from $170,000 if you decide to buy one. You will have to wait though as the number of driving enthusiasts far outweigh the cars that the Porsche GT department can make.
So while the new GT3 can be accused for being more of the same, truth is, we would not have it any other way. It is the flag bearer for the pure driver’s sports car after all!