2014 Porsche 911 GT3 – First Drive


It has a 9000rpm rev limit. Let that sink in for a couple of seconds… With peak power developed at 8250rpm, the 3.8-liter flat-six in the new GT3 is the highest revving Porsche production motor ever built.

The 997 RS 4. had the very last incarnation from the Metzger engine, and so a heavily tweaked version of your current 9A1 direct-injection flat-six motor takes the baton and runs with it within the 991 GT3.

A long list of lightweight reciprocating and rotating parts within the engine reduce inertia, while new manufacturing processes and coatings ensure robustness.

The big numbers are 475hp at 8250rpm, with peak torque of 325 lb-ft at 6250rpm. This equates to specific output of 125hp per liter in a car weighing 77 lb more than before, translating right into aHaving an open road in front of you, the latest engine screams round the rev counter from the intermediate gears, while the brilliant seven-speed PDK transmission ensures the 475 able-bodied horses provide an uninterrupted push inside the back.

The deep baritone roar from your twin central exhaust outlets is overlaid by a fearsome battle cry of valves, induction and high-lift cams running ever faster because they convert air and fuel into forward motion like never before in the road-legal naturally-aspirated Porsche motor.

Yet the most deeply impressive aspect of the new GT3 will be the province of the seven-speed PDK, completely revised from its Carrera roots for this particular highly focused application.

Upshifts are so fast and seamless you just hear the motor drop its voice slightly while rapid forward motion continues unabated. The system also blips the throttle perfectly going down the ‘box, leading you to sound like a racer to onlookers.

Importantly, should you choose to utilize the gear lever instead of the paddles, the shifter now works correctly in manual mode; forward to get aareas of an automatic inappropriate to a hardcore sportscar have been edited out. One is kickdown, the other is the tendency to shift down if you short-shift, but then head to full throttle, giving you power over your gear selection.

The purists are screaming from the rooftops about the manual gearbox being the last link between the car and driver, but Porsche now considers them relics of the bygone era. In fact, GT model chief, Andreas Preuninger told us the PDK was just chosen late in the development and, as a purist, he had to be personally convinced beyond doubt.

During an in-house test it emerged that the dual-clutch trans was worth 4sec per lap on the Nürburgring, which is substantial. Ultimately, the GT3 is all about going fast, and PDK makes it faster, period.

To underline its superiority versus the stopwatch, Porsche test driver, Timo Gluck, recently set a benchmark time of 7min 25sec on the Ring – 7sec faster than the 530hp twin-turbo 997 GT2 and legendary Carrera GT. It’s also 2sec faster than the outgoing 500hp GT3 RS 4., and 6sec better than its RS 3.8 predecessor. And the 991 GT3 lap time was achieved having a 475hp production engine powering the 3152 lb car.

None of that more weight is in the wrong places, with all the extra 44 lb of your PDK compensated for by removal of a similar amount from the engine.

Are best left for the racetrack, although the PDK Sport button on the center console is tempting, as is the firmer setting to the PASM active damping. Sport is generally too trigger-happy for public roads and the firmer suspension is commonly appropriate for smooth roads or perhaps the racetrack. It also activates the dynamic engine mounts that tighten for optimum cornering, however.

2013 porsche 911 GT3 chassis support

2013 porsche 911 GT3 performance gauge

2013 porsche 911 GT3 cluster gauge

If you turn the GT3 steering wheel you notice it’s by far the very best iteration from the 991’s power steering, moving the car with unerring balance and stability. It benefits from electro-mechanical rear-wheel steering that enables the rear wheels to move about 1.5? , shortening the effective wheelbase at low speeds for increased manoeuvrability, and lengthening it for enhanced stability when you gain pace.

Under 30mph the machine moves the rear wheels inside the opposite direction from the steered fronts, making the car more agile at parking speed.

Above 50mph, the rear wheels turn within the same direction as the steering, pre-loading the back tires and removing their latency, where the rear often takes longer to adhere to the front.

On your way, you don’t feel anything different and, should the sensors identify you’re intentionally drifting the car, it would actually assist you toAs was discovered during high-speed testing at Nardo in Italy, an additional benefit of the rear-wheel steer is less tire wear since they don’t work so difficult.

Even though the rear-wheel steering system is a tremendous factor in the GT3’s faster lap times, the new variable-ratio limited-slip diff also plays a role in handling consistency. Allowing a wide open diff in the overrun for improved stability, it apportions traction towards the individual rear wheels with greater accuracy than before.

Extra stability at speed is conferred by a 20% rise in downforce, or 265 lb at 125mph, with a drag coefficient of .33.

The damping is actually superb, absorbent at low speeds but anchoring body movement when you’re pressing on. Actually, it rides better than a normal Carrera – no mean feat when the GT3 sits on 20×9 and 20×12 forged wheels shod with 245/305 and 35/30 track-day rubber. These are the latest generation Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres within a Porsche-specific compound.

The new 911 GT3 may be a road-legal homologation special as well as the best driver’s 911 ever, but it’s docile enough for daily use and throws the dynamic shortcomings of more expensive supercars into stark focus. It’s a stern warning to other carmakers that “exotic” is no longer an excuse for faults.