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The 911 GT3 delivers an endlessly rewarding driving experience with its agility, deftness and stunning 4.0-litre naturally aspirated engine.

10 Jul 2018


The GT3 moniker has always been reserved for a special breed of 911s, high-performance models infused with a level of racing pedigree (hence the GT3 nomination, named after the FIA GT3 class). First introduced in 1999 with the 996 GT3, the latest iteration is this car - the 991.2 GT3.

991.2 what?

This is the facelifted version of the 991-generation Porsche 911, hence 991.2. The running joke is that when you've seen one 911, you've seen them all, but the GT3 sets itself apart, largely thanks to that massive wing at the rear. The GT3 sits 44mm wider and 23mm lower compared to a 911 Carrera, further emphasising its dominating presence.

Sitting lower and wider than a standard 911, the GT3 is a visually imposing model

The leather/Alcantara interior is expectedly raw and track-focused. Our car came with full bucket seats and the optional Clubsport Package, which adds a roll cage bolted to the body behind the front seats. All these highlight the car's track-focused character, which is precisely the point.

A monster on the track, then?

Yes, the GT3 delivers a much more intense experience all around. The steering is so much sharper and more precise than a standard 911. It turns in instantly and reacts instinctively to your inputs. The car is light, too, which means it changes direction with ease, and displays a remarkable agility that's dumbfounding.

The carbon rear wing is situated 20mm higher than the previous model, generating additional downward pressure on the rear axle

There's also a ton of mechanical grip, allowing you to really attack the apex on corners, and to greedily chase after the perfect racing line. The chassis, too, is fantastic. It's been retuned, with optimised spring and damper tuning. There's great balance, and you are keenly aware of what is going on at all times. The rear-axle steering also provides you with great cornering stability.

And somewhat surprisingly, the GT3 is actually forgiving, assuming you have the electronics on. Even if you get a little untidy and out of line (which this writer did), it immediately responds to keep all four tyres on the tarmac instead of out on the grass.

The 911 GT3 offers unmatched sharpness, delicacy and balance in corners

And of course, the engine. The naturally aspirated 4.0-litre flat-six engine, producing 493bhp and 460Nm of torque, is pure wizardry. It's powerful, responsive and so willing to rev to its 9,000rpm redline. Yes, there are more powerful 911s available (the Turbo, for example), but that cannot be compared to this engine's immediacy of response, with power meted out exactly as your right foot demands. Pair this to a lightning-quick PDK transmission, and 0-100km/h takes just 3.4 seconds. 

One could argue that the sound is even better. There's nothing like the wailing of a flat-six 4.0-litre engine pushing 9,000rpm. It's intense, exciting, incredibly loud, and just flat-out special. It's the sort of sound that makes you want to just live on the limiter, a sound you can never tire of.

Hearing the GT3 screaming down the back straight in Sepang, you could be forgiven for thinking it's a full-blown race car. And you wouldn't be too far off - the engine is almost a carbon copy of the one in the GT3 Cup car. 

It sounds like a full-blown race car...

That's certainly what Porsche had in mind designing the GT3, but this isn't a track-only model. Yes, this car is so much sharper, so much more delicate, and so much more exciting than every other car we drove at Sepang, but the crazy thing is that you can use this car on the road. It's outrageous. 

The cabin delivers enough creature comforts that you could reasonably use this car daily

While we never got to drive this car on normal roads, it feels like it would cope well. The suspension is firm but never jarringly harsh. The bucket seats still have enough cushioning for longer drives. Yes, it's a very stripped back car, but creature comforts are still available to you.

For instance, our particular car came specced with a Bose surround sound system, cruise control, as well as the optional pneumatic lift system on the front axle, which allows the front of the car to be lifted by around 30mm.

The bucket seats offer excellent lateral support, especially important given the aggressive way the GT3 is able to attack corners

Is it worth the money?

Absolutely. You could easily make the case that the entirety of the GT3's pricetag is justified for the engine alone. It's an absolutely stunning piece of kit, all the more special as naturally aspirated engines are increasingly falling by the wayside. 

But more than that, it's so raw and visceral, the 911 GT3. It's a car that delivers a greater experience than your inputs. It takes whatever you give, and makes it better. It rewards driver involvement, and delights you every moment you are driving it. In fact, you can even spec it with a manual gearbox if you want. 

The 911 GT3 delivers a stunning and immersive driving experience

There's literally nothing bad you can say about this car, other than the fact that you'll never be able to fully exploit its entire potential (in Singapore, at least). It's so much better than you are, but that in turn pushes you to be better. It's a challenging, but thoroughly and unendingly rewarding driving experience. 

The 911 GT3 may not be the outright fastest 911, but it is the Porsche 911 in its purest, most distilled and most magnificent form. It's bloody brilliant.  

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Car Information

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Porsche 911 GT3 4.0 (A)
Rate it

Price

: $671,688

Engine Type

:

6-cylinder Boxer

Engine Cap

:

3996cc

Horsepower

:

368kW (493 bhp)

Torque

:

460 Nm

Transmission

:

7-speed (A) PDK

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

3.4sec

Top Speed

:

318km/h

Fuel consumption

:

7.8 km/L

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porsche  porsche 911  911  911 gt3  porsche gt3  porsche 911 gt3  sepang