Preview: Porsche 911 GT3

Reviews I By Winding Road Staff I March 04, 2013
This is the Master Landing Page for the Porsche 911 GT3. From now on, as we further review this car, we will be updating this page with whatever fresh content we create. Future drive reviews, updated specifications, videos, and other relevant information will all be found right here, in one convenient spot.
This, friends, is it: the 911 GT3. Porsche’s first hardcore, lightweight variant of the new 991 chassis looks like it’ll be a real track-day charmer.
Sitting in the back of the car is an uprated version of the flat-six found in the back of the 911 Carrera S, providing an extra 75 horsepower, for a grand total of 475 ponies and an impressive 125 horsepower per liter of displacement. There’s also 324 pound-feet of torque on offer. Equally impressive is the GT3’s 9000 rpm redline, which should result in an entertaining screamer of an engine, developing peak horsepower at 8250 rpm and peak torque at 6250 rpm.
A point of contention for “driving purists” will be the GT3’s choice of transmission. It’s a seven-speed, PDK dual-clutch unit that promises lighting fast shifts. Operation is done through the console-mounted lever or a pair of paddles mounted behind the Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel. As of this writing, there’s no word of a manual gearbox being available in the GT3. Nod your heads and weep with us.
While we can sit and bemoan the lack of a manual transmission, we can’t argue with the results. 60 miles per hour arrives in 3.3 seconds. Let’s just say that again: 0 to 60 in 3.3 seconds. That’s around a tenth of a second faster than a 562-horsepower Ferrari 458 and is four-tenths faster than a V-10-powered Audi R8. Top speed sits at a lofty 195 mph, making the GT3 the fastest variant of the still-young 991.
Being a track-focused car, the GT3 needs to perform well on the track. Fittingly, it’ll zip around the Nürburgring in “under 7:30 minutes.” There’s no mention of exactly what its Ring time is, but a sub-7:30 is faster than a large majority of cars, including Porsche’s own Carrera GT, GT2, and GT3 RS.
Part of its speed on the track may also be down to its new active rear-wheel steering, a first from Porsche. Basically, the system takes into account the car’s speed, and turns the 20-inch rear wheels in either the same or opposite direction of the fronts in order to improve stability and handling.
We’d hardly describe the GT3 as an economy car, but its starting price of just $130,400 is downright impressive. We aren’t sure how long we’ll be able to say that, though, as Nissan is in the midst of preparing a Nismo GT-R, and American competitors Dodge and Chevrolet are hard at work on a sportier Viper and Corvette, respectively. Regardless of the future, the 911 GT3 promises to be a hugely entertaining vehicle for the lucky few that are able to pick one up. The 2014 Porsche 911 GT3 goes on sale in the US towards the end of 2013.
Please scroll down for the official press release from Porsche.
World premiere at the Geneva Motor Show
Atlanta. The new Porsche 911 GT3 premieres this week at the Geneva International Motor Show. The completely-redeveloped fifth generation of the 911 GT3 occupies the top position among Porsche sports cars with naturally-aspirated engines. With an impressive lap time on the Nurburgring Nordschleife of under 7:30 minutes, the 2014 911 GT3 benefits from a new engine, transmission, body and chassis. The car now sprints from zero to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds on its way to a top track speed of 195 mph. The 2014 911 GT3 will go on sale in the United States late in 2013 and will be priced from $130,400, not including a $950 destination charge.
As a technical highlight, the 911 GT3 features the first active rear-wheel steering in a production Porsche, as well as optional full LED headlights. The new GT3 brings to everyday driving many of the properties of a sports car developed on the track, and preserves the highly emotional fun factor.
The powertrain of the new 911 GT3 is composed of a 3.8-liter boxer engine yielding 475 hp (125 hp/liter) featuring a 9,000 rpm redline and a specially developed Porsche dual-clutch transmission (PDK) which drives the rear wheels. The six-cylinder engine is based on the same engine as the 911 Carrera S, although they share only a few common parts. All other components, particularly the crankshaft and valve gear, were specially adapted or designed for the GT3. For instance, Porsche designed titanium connecting rods and forged pistons for this engine.
The Porsche dual-clutch transmission in this application has been specially developed for the 911 GT3: the characteristics are based directly on a sequential gearbox from racing, thereby providing further performance and dynamic advantages to the driver.  Highlights include shorter gear ratios with closer spacing, even faster shifting, and shift paddles with shorter travel and increased tactile feedback, which now allow the driver to place the PDK in neutral simply by pulling on both paddles at the same time.
For the first time, Porsche is employing active rear wheel steering to achieve even higher steering precision and improved lateral dynamics. Depending on the speed, the rear wheels steer in the same or opposite direction of the front wheels, improving stability and agility. Other new features that improve driving dynamics are an electronically controlled, fully variable rear differential lock and dynamic engine mounts. Contact with the road is made by new 20-inch, forged alloy wheels with center-locking hubs in place of conventional wheel bolts.
The 2014 911 GT3 is based on the light yet stiff body of the current generation 911 Carrera, which employs a hybrid steel and aluminum construction; however, it comes with unique front and rear parts specific to the GT3. In addition, the 911 GT3 is 1.7 inches wider than a 911 Carrera S in the rear. Another distinctive feature is the large, fixed rear wing, which contributes to the exemplary aerodynamics.
By combining low air resistance with even more power, the 2014 911 GT3 sets new performance standards. At full acceleration from standstill, the 60 mph mark is reached after just 3.3 seconds, and on the track 124 mph is reached in less than twelve seconds.
About Porsche Cars North America
Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (PCNA), based in Atlanta, Ga. is the exclusive U.S. importer of Porsche sports cars, the Cayenne SUV and Panamera sports sedan. Established in 1984, it is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Porsche AG, which is headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany, and employs approximately 220 people who provide parts, service, marketing and training for 190 dealers. They, in turn, work to provide Porsche customers with a best-in-class experience that is in keeping with the brand’s 63-year history and leadership in the advancement of vehicle performance, safety and efficiency.
At the core of this success is Porsche’s proud racing heritage that boasts some 30,000 motorsport wins to date.
2014 Porsche 911 GT3
Engine: Flat-6, 3.8 liters, 24v
Output: 475 hp/324 lb-ft
0-60 MPH: 3.3 sec
Top Speed: 195 mph
Weight: 3152 lb
Base Price: $130,400
On Sale: Fall 2013
From Evo‘s video review by Jethro Bovingdon:
“The way this thing revs, the noise and the power at the top end are just unbelievably addictive.”
“This PDK box is just transformed from other Porsches. It’s just quicker, punchier. It just works so much better.” Jethro doesn’t miss the manual transmission as much as one would think.
The balance of the GT3 is great, as is the cornering grip, making the handling very precise. Despite this, the electric steering feel in the new GT3 is not as good as in the 997.
While slower in the straights than the McLaren, the GT3 was slightly faster around the track in this comparison, thanks to is good braking, fast transitions, and grip.
Bovingdon’s opinion is that the Porsche feels more special than the Nissan GT-R.

Porsche 911 GT3 – Evo Review

Feast For The Senses


+ Sympatico: "Shut up and drive" says Porsche GT3 boss (interview with Andreas Preuninger)

+ Update: Porsche 911 GT3 – Evo Video Review

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