There are not many manufacturers out there that have been producing the same model, in different guises, for decades but the 911 is that rare beast. In production since 1963, the 911 has been hailed as the perfect design and has been in use as a road car, a race car and a rally car ever since.
In an never ending search for the ultimate hardcore variant, the GT3 arrived in 1999 and was named after the FIA race class for which it was designed and over 14,000 have been sold as road cars since its inception. The latest GT3 is a monster.
The engine comes with 4.0-litres, 493bhp and 339b ft. Porsche says this is a new engine that appears in the GT3 Cup racers and is built for a spine-tingling 9000rpm redline, a height it can reach thanks to axle-mounted rocker arms, a stiffer crankshaft and bigger bearings. Serious stuff.
Although supercars these days are expected to arrive with 700bhp plus, the GT3 makes do with only 493bhp but still manages to rocket to 60mph in 3.9 seconds and to 100mph in less than 8 seconds and all the while you are entertained by that magnificent roar emitting out of the back end.
Although straight line speed is very entertaining, it’s the winding B roads that bring this behemoth alive. It corners so flat that it appears to defy the laws of gravity and all common sense. Downforce plays its part with redesigned engine scoops and a rear wing on which you could serve dinner for eight.
The drive is outstanding in just about every area and the rear axle is remarkable, making it so sure-footed that it encourages the driver to push the limit. Do this with caution as the car will quite easily overtake the limitations of your talent and whatever you hit, it will be hit hard and fast.
The PDK twin clutch gearbox is stunning and offers instant response but praise be to all that’s holy, there is a honest to god manual gearbox available. I would take that every day over the PDK but that would be more for sentimental and re-sale reasons rather than practicality as the engine is so well mated to the PDK box that it would almost be shame to part them. But at last, a manufacturer has listened to their market and offered a manual.
Driving the GT3 is a little addictive but not quite as addictive as the sound track. Pop it into sport and the sensory soundtrack offers something out of an MGM blockbuster movie.
I drive over 100 cars a year and many delight and amaze but it is not until you return to the 911 that you realise that many supercars are chasing that illusive dream – to be like the naturally aspirated GT3.
Model tested: 911 GT3
Performance: 0-62mph 3.9 seconds
Top speed: 199mph
Economy: 21.9mpg combined