A new GT3 model from Porsche is always going to get petrolheads in a spin – even if the new model in question is essentially only the slightest change of ingredients from a familiar recipe. And the changes to the 911 GT3 are modest – at least they are to the untrained eye – but who cares when it’s one of the greatest, naturally-aspirated sports cars money can buy?
The German car company, never one to miss an opportunity for self-promotion, has released pictures of a prototype of the 992-generation 911 GT3. And behind the bluster and blurb is a simple takeaway: the road-going racer is faster than ever.
Under the engine cover is the same 4-litre, naturally aspirated flat-six cylinder engine from the Porsche 911 Speedster, tweaked to help it meet emissions regulations, and fitted with a PDK gearbox. It produces 503bhp, which means the motor delivers an impressive 125.7bhp per litre. And if that doesn’t grab you, the thought of revving the motor to 9,000rpm ought to.
Although the 992 body used for the latest GT3 is larger than the outgoing 991-based model, Andreas Preuninger, director of Porsche’s GT models, claims it won’t be any heavier. Thin glass, polycarbonate windows and panels, limited sound proofing material, a carbon-fibre bonnet and the exclusion of back seats all help in the quest to keep the weight off the hips of Porsche’s performance car for purists.
Beneath the surface, the most significant change is a new, double-wishbone front suspension arrangement that Porsche has carried over from its Cup and RSR racing models. At the back, the GT3 gets a multi-link-set up with rear-wheel steering.
In a change of direction, literally, the vast rear wing is now suspended from above, rather than mounted on stilts – a trick borrowed from the racing versions of the car – and a flat floor and expansive diffuser all help keep the car stable at speed. So much so, the company talks of increasing downforce by 50 per cent without any impact on the drag of the car.
Talking of stability at speed, Preuninger has said he wants the car to dominate the derestricted sections of the German autobahn, telling Autocar that “We live in Germany with autobahns and I want it to accelerate heavily until you see a ‘three’ as the first of the triple digits. After that I don’t care.” The days of bragging of such speeds are, dare we say it, doubtless numbered.
With all the usual trappings of a GT3, the interior looks both inviting and ever so slightly intimidating. Air conditioning will come as standard, helping keep a driver’s brow free from beads of perspiration.
The new GT3 goes on sale early next year, and while the price is still to be confirmed, it’s likely to be in the region of £150,000. It might be getting faster, but it’s also getting more expensive.