How refreshing is it to witness the launch of a new car and not have to fret about its hybrid system, the size of its batteries, or even the presence of a turbocharger. It’s an incredibly rare combo these days, but Porsche has shown it’s still possible with its reveal of one of the last naturally aspirated pure internal combustion vehicles the world is likely to ever see.
The new 911 GT3 has been on the radar for months, having been spotted testing with varying degrees of camouflage and having been teased relentlessly. Its reveal overnight hasn’t shown off too many surprises — the styling for instance looks almost unchanged relative to some of the more thinly masked test mules.
Diving into the numbers reveals an interesting core truth. The new GT3 gets a turbo- and supercharger-free 4.0-litre flat six producing 502hp (374kW) of power and 469Nm of torque. This is paired to Porsche’s supremely sharp 7-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission, ensuring a 0–100km/h in 3.4 seconds and a top speed limited to 317km/h.
The GT3 will also be offered with a 6-speed manual, possibly making it the quickest car on the planet to still offer a stick. Opt for the old-school shifter and your acceleration times go south (3.7 seconds to 100km/h) but your top speed actually goes north (320km/h).
It feels a little strange to be reporting on a new performance car powerhouse and quoting a 0–100km/h time that isn’t close to the 3-seconds flat that a lot of others seem to be chasing. But it shows Porsche’s eye is on the real prize; laptimes.
Not only has the firm unveiled its new beast — it’s also lapped it around the Nurburgring Nordscheife, recording a spellbinding 6:59.927. That’s over 17 seconds faster than the last GT3 to do the ring. The RS variant is going to be a circuit rocket ship.
More on that engine. It’s the same motor that you’ll find under the hood of a Porsche Carrera Cup racer, and it’ll hit a 9000rpm redline if you let it. Porsche claims it’s extremely sharp in terms of response, thanks to six independent throttle bodies, new pistons, and a dry-sump lubrication system.
One of the other highlights is GT3’s suspension. Along with Porsche’s decision to extend the front track by 1.9 inches, it also added double-wishbone suspension to the 911’s front end for the first time. The rear makes do with a multilink arrangement with each end sporting more ball joints than previous. Porsche says the model shares zero suspension parts with the current 911 Carrera.
Even with the generational growth and tweaks like a larger front track, the new GT3 is no heavier than the last one. Porsche claims a 1418kg weight on manual models and 1435kg on PDK automatics. More parts than ever are now formed out of carbon fibre (including the bonnet, rear wing, and more) and the windows are made out of non-insulated lightweight glass.
The new model is expected to arrive in some markets around the third or fourth quarter of 2021 as a 2022 model. A few of them get to make the globe-trotting trek to little New Zealand, too, with pricing set at $337,000.