Anyone who knows anything about the Porsche 911 line-up knows that there are no shortage options. Now, we’ve already covered the lower end of the 911 range in another video, but now we’re going to look at the opposite end of the scale with this, the 2018 911 GT3.
Ok, so on the outside you can tell straight off that this is no ordinary 911. In fact, if anything it looks like it’s been lifted from the track and had all the advertising stickers removed. Just take a look at the aerodynamics with that imposing rear spoiler, those meaty wheels and brake callipers and of course the GT3 badging. It’s not all there for show either, the materials in the bumpers are now lighter, and there’s more ventilation to cool the engine.
On the road
So, let’s start with the really important stuff, namely the way it drives, and let’s be honest it was never going to be bad, this is a 911 after all, and the GT3 has always been plugged as one of the most driver-focussed models in the lineup. This one, according to Porsche though, is the best one ever.
Unsurprisingly this is the most powerful and fastest GT3 to date, but it comes with one significant change, it’s now available with a six speed manual gearbox as well as a PDK seven-speed auto.
Now in a way, this is something of a backward step as the last generation was only available as an auto, but the decision to go for a stick shift will please driving purists, despite the fact that it’s around half a second slower to 60mph from standstill. It’ll do the dash in an impressive 3.9 seconds and keep going to a top speed of just short of 200mph.
It really is a proper drivers car, the manual box is simply sublime, the gear changes are positive and smooth and boy does it rev, and rev, and rev, in fact if you’ve got the bottle it’ll keep going to 9,000rpm. The manual does lose some of the tech you get in the auto, like Porsche Torque vectoring, but in reality, you’d have to be a complete anorak to notice the difference.
In fact the engine, along with many of the other parts come from Porsche Carrera Cup racing cars, which makes it a proper racing car for the road. Power takes the form of a straight six, naturally aspirated 4.0-litre pumping out 493bhp and 460 newton metres of torque. That’s about 24bhp more than the 3.8-litre of its predecessor.
Now technically, this isn’t an all-new car, instead, lots of ‘tweaks’ have been made to improve performance and handling. As well as the reworked engine, aerodynamics have been improved to increase downforce, without affecting drag. The steering and suspension have also been improved just to sharpen things further.
The question is, can you live with it day in day out. The ride is quite firm and it’s not quite as refined as other 911s, largely due to the removal of some of the soundproofing. But you really can forgive it that. It’s exactly what you’d expect for this type of car.
In the cabin
Now the GT3 is a strict two-seater, the rear seats that can normally be found in a coupe are now replaced with scaffolding. But it does mean there’s a bit more space for storage.
There isn’t much of a gap between this extremely figure-hugging seat and steering wheel, so the less nimble of drivers may find themselves groaning a bit getting in and out. The wheel is fully adjustable though so once you’re seated you wont find it hard to get the right driving position. Talking of the steering wheel, it is just that, a steering wheel, there are no buttons to control the radio, the nav or even the cruise control.
The boot, which is up front, is surprisingly spacious too, it’s deep and square, but opening it isn’t as easy as some of its rivals with more conventional boots at the back.
So, could this the GT3 be the best 911 on sale right now? Well, there’s definitely an argument to say just that. Ok so it might not be as quick as the PDK automatic, but there’s a case to say it’s more involving, more engaging and ultimately more fun.