this new car is quicker, faster, and more powerful than the previous-generation GT3. We estimate that the new 991-based GT3 will get to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds, compared to the 3.8-second time we achieved with the most recent GT3 (the 997-based car). And the new car should be able to cover the quarter-mile in 11.8 seconds at more than 120 mph. Porsche claims that the new car tops out at 196 mph. That’s a largely meaningless distinction compared to the 194-mph top speed of the previous GT3, but still admissible information for braggarts. The new GT3’s 3.8-liter flat six now uses direct injection and produces 475 horsepower and 325 lb-ft of torque, up 40 hp and 8 lb-ft compared to the 997-based GT3. Based on the engine out of the latest Carrera S, the new GT3 version uses forged pistons, forged titanium rods, hollow valve stems, a 12.9:1 compression ratio, and a dry-sump oiling system with seven oil pickups. The engine redlines at a spectacularly high 9000 rpm. Its power peak arrives way up at 8250 rpm (compared to 7600 for the last GT3). Bummed out that even BMW M cars use turbochargers instead of mad revs to produce power? Then this is your car. Oh, its mill also is 55 pounds lighter than the unit it replaces.
A more radical technological departure from previous GT3 is the new car’s seven-speed dual-clutch PDK automatic. It used to be that the GT3 was offered only with manual transmissions, based on the premise that its buyers likely knew how to drive. Now that dual-clutch provides better, more-foolproof performance on the track than the manual, its inclusion in this car seems only right. We’d still like at least the option of rowing our own. The dual-clutch auto has only two modes of operation: “sport” and “racetrack.” Its ratio spread is 4.5, down from 6.3 in the regular Carrera PDK (indicating that its gear ratios are more closely spaced). The GT3 also has a shorter final drive than the standard Carrera (3.97: vs. 3.44). That should keep the maniacal six on the boil.
The most radical departure for the new GT3 might be the in the steering department, where the old GT3’s splendid steering is replaced by an electric-assist unit based on the standard Carrera’s. We’re cautiously optimistic. Oh, and there is the small matter of Porsche adding a four-wheel-steering arrangement to the GT3. Now, that’s new. The system uses two actuators to steer the rear wheels up to 1.5 degrees. At low speed (below 30 mph) the rear wheels steer in the opposite direction of the fronts to improve maneuverability. Above 50 mph, the rear wheels change course and point in the same direction as the front to aid high-speed cornering and stability. The GT’s track stretches an additional half-inch up front and 1.5 inches in the back. Naturally, to accommodate all of this, the GT3 wears a wide and curvy body.
Those rear wheels (and the fronts) are 20-inches in diameter, up from 19s worn by its predecessor. Despite the increased size, Porsche says the wheel/tire assemblies are lighter than the old one. They are, of course, center-lock wheels for added sweetness. The GT3 uses a suspension very much like that of the standard Carrera but with stiffer springs. It’s standard PASM (Porsche Active Suspension Management) system uses firmer damper settings. Overall, the GT3 rides 1.2 inches lower than the Carrera.
It just wouldn’t be a GT3 without a big ol’ wing on that back. And this GT3’s got one—a big, fixed unit that, along with the splitter on the nose, produces more downforce than the previous car. How much, Porsche isn’t yet saying.