Frankly, the sound and the speed seen in the first few seconds of the video answers this question in my eyes. Dare I say the $60,000 or so these cars are fetching is worth it for the sound of that motor alone! But there’s more to this analog machine. [Note: I’m beginning to hate that term as it tends to be synonymous with “overpriced” these days.]
The headlights and pagoda-roof wing are not everyone’s cup of tea, but a silver GT3 is something which is meant to be driven and not drooled over. It’s about as utilitarian as a supercar can get, and perhaps the most robust of its kind. The 996 GT3 has weathered time and the elements better than its rivals, which is why they’re still an occasional sight at track days. At full chat on a race track, you might think the GT3’s age might be an issue, but it isn’t.
The 996.2 GT3 will be able to legally buy itself a vodka tonic in the next few years, but that doesn’t make it feel old or dated. Even an honest example like this one feels crisp, nimble, and eager. The short answer to the titular question is yes, but there’s more to the derided 996 than a screaming motor and a surprisingly youthful energy.
In the 996.2 GT3 there are still all the hallmarks of the old 911. The steering wheel writhes a little more in your hands. For some, that adds to the sense of occasion, while others like the quieter, docile feel of a modern electric rack. Also, there’s the long-throw shifter, the nervousness over crests, and a generally lively character that doesn’t really suit everyone. Though it manages backroads and cambers decently, it lacks some of the restraint and everyday ability that the modern GT-series Porsches have; that quality which makes them ubiquitous these days.
The 996 GT3 is one machine which wears its foibles proudly and commands a sense of respect from the driver. The driver that relishes rough edges and admires a car that’s just this side of unwieldy will find a lot of fun in the 996 GT3. When something makes the sound this 3.6-liter Mezger does, dances over surface changes, and has the temperament to frighten Tiff Needell, it’s never dull—for better or worse.