The 992 Generation 911 GT series is finally here!
Porsche's 911 is a staple for the cultured sports car enthusiasts of the world. It's an ever-evolving car, and now, two years into its eighth generation, it's time for Porsche to start delivering its GT series of track-focused and race-derived cars, beginning with the GT3. According to Porsche, the 2022 Porsche 911 GT3 is the "closest connection to 911 race cars of any GT3" to date. It was revealed recently with a high-revving naturally aspirated 4.0-liter flat-six, all the racing spec hardware we expect, and a seven-speed PDK dual-clutch gearbox sending the drive to the correct pair of wheels only. There's even a manual option for those that insist on rowing their own gears.
The new Porsche 911 GT3 is a crazy new car, so it's time to delve in and explore some of its coolest features.
According to Porsche, the road-legal GT3's engine is "virtually" identical to the 911 GT3 Cup race cars' units. We've already seen this animal of an engine in the limited-production 2019 911 Speedster, but now it has revised pistons. The naturally aspirated 4.0-liter flat-six makes 502 hp and 346 lb-ft of torque while revving to an astronomical 9,000 rpm. It has a dry-sump lubrication system to ensure the engine stays lubricated when the GT3 is in the middle of corners and pushing the g-force indicator into the proverbial red. The flat-six also has six independent throttle bodies to ensure the sharpest responses to the accelerator's inputs. The PDK transmission is specially tuned for the race-spec engine, and between them, they'll thrust the GT3 to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds and max the car out at 197 mph.
The GT3's suspension system shares no components with any current 911 models. Instead, the double-wishbone front system is derived from the 911 RSR and 911 GT3 Cup cars and adapted for road use. It's the first time Porsche has gone that close to race car setup and claims there are dramatic improvements over the previous generation's GT3 model in precision and stability. The rear suspension is an evolution of the existing multi-link design but with more ball joints incorporated. We expect even better stability in corners than before and better control mid-corner, partially on rougher surfaces.
For the road, having the stickiest aerodynamics is not ideal, particularly for fuel economy on the freeway where you're going to keep speeds legal. When you get to the track, though, you want a degree of control; hence there's adjustability in the front spoiler lip and diffuser that can be set in stages. The swan-neck mounted rear wing is also adjustable in stages, including settings for road use and track performance. According to Porsche, even in its normal street setting, the downforce is 50 percent higher than the previous GT3. Setting the front and rear adjustments into the performance position then creates a 150 percent increase in downforce.
If you've ever wondered what tires Porsche used to lap the 911 GT3 around the Nürburgring-Nordschleife in a blistering 6:59.927 minutes, wonder no more. Actually, you might still wonder if you read the Porsche press releases, but they assure us the same tires were used that were previously options on the old GT3 RS model. The kicker is that now they're an option on the new non-RS GT3. A quick close of the eyes to search through the memory banks, and we recall those to be Pilot Sport Cup 2 R spec tires. Here, they're sized 255/35 R20 on the front and 315/30 R21 on the rear, and they're Z-rated to ensure that they can handle any speeds you throw at them.
Too much information when you're going pushing towards ten-tenths is a dangerous thing. Hence, Porsche has added a Track Screen setting that eliminates superfluous information for the track on the screens on either side of the analog tachometer. The display's right-hand side is configurable, while water temperature and tire pressure are always visible on the left.
The Chrono Package is a staple of the Porsche options list, but the GT3 gets its own version with an analog stopwatch mounted on the dashboard and a digital stopwatch in the instrument cluster. You can then option (because Porsche) the Lap Trigger function, which allows you to measure track times with precision and analyze and compare using the Porsche Track Precision app on a smartphone.
Tucked away in the configurator (only available on the European Porsche websites at the time of writing) is another configurator, but just for the key. Using it, you can match the side pods on the key and the stitching on the leather pouch to match your color configuration of your GT3. This isn't an entirely new thing for Porsche, but giving the key its own configurator is cool, and we hope Porsche develops even more options. A choice between Alcantara and leather for the pouch would be a great start.
Yes, "lightweighting" is now a word. At least we think it should be. Anyway, there would be little point in developing the drivetrain, the chassis, and aerodynamics for maximum performance without safely shedding as much weight as possible. The GT3's forged alloy wheels are 20 inches in diameter at the front and 21 inches at the back, but despite being larger than the previous generation, they are 3.5 lbs lighter. That's just the start. The hood, adjustable rear wing, and the fixed rear spoiler underneath it are all made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic. The noise-reducing glass is also lightweight, and four-way Sport Seats are included as standard because adjustability increases weight. You can save another 26 lbs by optioning the carbon fiber Full Bucket Seats. Overall, the 2021 Porsche 911 GT3 weighs in at 3,152 lbs, around the same as the previous version despite a wider front track and more complex suspension.