Porsche GT3 Review
The GT3 is the road-going sibling of the Porsche 911 GT1. The current generation, the 911 series, has been in production since 2013. For the joy of driving purists — and of collectors — the 2018 Porsche 911 GT3 specs include both manual gearbox and dual-clutch options. Though the Porsche GT3 price (MSRP) is $143,600, adding options such as carbon ceramic brakes, heated seats and more can skyrocket the cost of a new car. No Porsche GT3 review would be complete without mentioning that the driving experience is equally thrilling on both racetrack and regular roads.
Porsche GT3 Generations
The first version of the Porsche 911 GT3 specs debuted at the Geneva Motor Show in 1999. Since then, Porsche has released several other generations. Allow us to break it down by years so you can have a better idea of each car’s attributes.
996 GT3 (1999–2005)
The 996 series has the narrow body of the Porsche 996 Carrera, but the powerful, naturally aspirated engine derived from the 911 GT1. And like its race sibling, the 996 GT3 is stripped of unnecessary weight. The 996 series has a six-speed manual gearbox and front-mounted radiators. Slim air vents for the front bumper and a massive rear wing are some of the standout features of this GT3 generation.
997 GT3 (2006–2011)
The Porsche 997 GT3 has updated suspension and improved aerodynamics, hence increased stability, compared to the previous generation. It is equipped with Porsche Active Stability Management (PASM), an automated system that improves stability and safety on uneven road surfaces. The result is increased agility on both road and racetrack.
991.1 GT3 (2013-2015)
The 5th generation of the Porsche 911 GT3 specs are those of the 991 generation. It launched in 2013 with new 3.8-liter engine, transmission, and sporty exhaust system. Its new wider body is based on the Porsche Carrera 2. A standout feature of the 2013 911 generation is the dual-clutch gearbox, a departure from the previous generations. It offers 475 hp at a screaming 9,000 rpm. After a few engine failures, Porsche redesigned the valvetrain and installed the new engines in all 785 customer cars.
991.2 GT3 (2018-2020)
In 2018, the GT3 returned to its roots, as Porsche reintroduced the manual gearbox option. The 991.2 GT3 might look similar, but the suspension and chassis is all new. Taking a page from the past, the 4.0-liter engine returned, rated at 500 horsepower. Combined with the 6-speed manual, it is the perfect Porsche. But those who don’t need all the wild aerodynamic bits now have another choice. The 2019 Porsche GT3 Touring uses a widebody to hide the massive wheels, but it is very understated. It looks like a Carrera until it blows your doors off. Also offered with a stick, the GT3 Touring is a 911R for a new generation.
Porsche GT3 Engine
The race-derived Porsche 911 GT3 specs include a flat six cylinder, naturally aspirated engine. Modern emissions laws have required the base model Carrera and Targa models to adopt turbos. The GT3 and its RS derivative are your only option for a non-turbo 911. Starting back in 1999, the 3.6-liter made 355 horsepower. In 2006, the 997.1 GT3 arrived with 409 horsepower. By 2009, advancements in engine technology allowed the 997.2 to grow from 3.6 to 3.8-liters. Power also jumped accordingly, with 430 hp on tap. Engines for the 991 series are covered above. It should be noted that the 1999-2004 era are the last to use the 356 mounting face and transmission. So it could be easy to swap this setup into a classic Porsche or VW without much work.
Porsche GT3 Transmission
If you want to choose between the Porsche PDK or Porsche GT3 manual transmission, go for models younger than 2017. All Porsche 911 GT3 specs between 1999 and 2011 have a manual transmission, and the 991.1 GT3 (2013–2017) is Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) only. Porsche reintroduced the six-speed manual gearbox as an option for the 991.2 GT3. The dual-clutch gearbox offers quicker acceleration, but the manual one is 37 pounds lighter and makes for a better driving experience. Both versions are lighter than the Turbo and 4S models because GT cars send power to the rear wheels only.
Porsche GT3 Brakes
The standard steel braking system of the Porsche GT3 comprises six-piston aluminum brake calipers on the front and four-piston equivalents on the rear axle. Choosing the optional Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB) will add over $9,000 to the price of a new car. The ceramic brake discs have a diameter of 16.15 inches at the front and 15.35 inches at the rear. The composite ceramic brakes shorten braking distances in any track or road condition. They also weigh about half as much as the steel braking system, allowing for increased agility and handling.
Porsche GT3 Design
The GT3’s overall design doesn’t differ much from that of the iconic 1964 Porsche 911. The Porsche 911 GT3 specs include 20-inch wheels with a central locking nut for fast wheel changes. Made of carbon, the rear spoiler is larger and 0.8 inch taller than that of previous versions, so it generates more downforce. The rear-axle steering, which comes standard, ensures better maneuverability at low speeds and better stability in high-speed corners. The air vents and air blades on each side improve cooling. The front end is made of a lightweight yet robust high-tech material for more downforce at the front axle.
Porsche GT3 Interior
The interior of the Porsche GT3 focuses on performance. There are no unnecessary controls on the central console, to emphasize distraction-free driving. The gear selector sits next to the steering wheel, and the gearshift paddles are placed on the steering wheel. Optional full bucket seats and sports bucket seats are available. Yet, the Sports Seats Plus that are standard on the 997 Porsche 911 GT3 specs are great as daily driver seats — they’re comfortable and offer good lateral support.
Porsche GT3 Standout Features
This race-bred Porsche is a pure thrill to drive on racetracks, therefore, it also offers a fun driving experience on regular roads, too. The driving position is spot on, and the suspension and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires do a great job at softening blows from uneven roads. Thanks to a minimalist interior and the use of high-tech materials, the 991 Porsche 911 GT3 specs a weight of about 3,153 lbs. The standout features of the GT3 include a race-inspired engine that puts out 500 hp. The 2018 Porsche GT3 0-60 in 3.1 seconds gives you thrills, and the car reaches a top speed of 199 mph and a redline of 9,000 rpm.
The newer generation of the Porsche 911 GT3 specs include both automatic and manual transmission options. This is for the joy of drivers who prefer the challenge and excitement that only a manual gearbox can provide. The suspension is adjustable for racing use, as are the toe angle, anti-roll bars, and camber. Finally, the new 991.2 chassis improve stability and steering precision. In short, whether for track or road duty, the Porsche GT3 is the quintessential sports car.