When I was first coming of age as a “Car Guy” I loved the 996 GT3. To my eye it was the first 996 to look “right,” and it was powered by that wonderful Mezger six. To a teenager, what could be cooler than a factory hot-rod 911? Since the early 2000s the GT3 has evolved dramatically, and has made itself a staple of performance car comparisons, and a perennial enthusiast favorite. The latest version, which we saw in the flesh at the NYIAS, is just starting to make the rounds with automotive journalists. Before you read further, watch at least part of the video below. I urge you to just listen to this Porsche before you read any further. It’s maniacal.
No, it’s not a Mezger. What it is, is an evolution of the current breed of direct-injection flat-sixes. Thanks to a new race-car style rigid valvetrain, the new GT3 revs to 9000RPM, and produces nearly 500 horsepower. Further optimization in the engine to reduce friction and increase airflow has made the engine not only more powerful, but more tractable as well. Per Jethro, the two scoops on the rear decklid feed the throttle bodies directly. This ram-air effect helps the GT3 to produce an additional 20 horsepower at its top-speed.
The video below focuses a bit more on the new GT3’s diet regimen, which includes much of the standard GT3 fare such as a rear-seat delete, and Carbon Ceramic brakes for lower unsprung weight. New for this model is a lightweight magnesium roof. Downforce is improved as well by some 20% over the 991.1 thanks to a re-positioned rear wing, rear diffuser from the 911R, and a new undertray.
In classic 911 fashion the new GT3 promises to be a bit unforgiving day to day. It is also a machine which will have a steep learning curve on track. That said, would you expect anything less from a competition derived Porsche?