Sold out since early 2015, the current-generation Porsche 911 GT3 has finally returned into dealerships with updates similar to the 991.2 911. Unveiled at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, the track-prepped 911 is making a comeback after nearly two years with revised styling, a retuned chassis, and more importantly a new drivetrain.
Not surprisingly, the race-bred coupe didn’t change much inside and out, and most of the new stuff is borrowed from the regular 911 that was upgraded in 2016. However, the revised chassis brings new dynamics, while the troublesome 3.8-liter flat-six was replaced by the slightly bigger, 4.0-liter unit from the GT3 Cup race car and the range-topping GT3 RS. The really big news about the new 911 GT3 is that Porsche finally brought the manual transmission back, giving enthusiasts a new reason to celebrate.
Developed on the same test track and manufactured on the same production line as the 911 race cars, the GT3 returns to a market that has a brand-new competitor, the Mercedes-AMG GT R. Launched in 2016, the AMG GT R is the first track-prepped car to actually compete in the same niche, something that hasn’t happened in quite a few years. Will the 911 GT3 continue to dominate this demanding segment? Let’s find out in the review below.
Much like the rest of the 911 lineup, the GT3 was updated to the recently introduced 991.2 design. Needless to say, there isn’t a lot to talk about here since the update is more about nips and tucks, but most changes are noticeable. While the front fascia wears the same nose and headlamps, but bumper was revised with a big focus on aerodynamics. The intakes are significantly larger, while the side vents sport additional winglets for enhanced downforce.
It doesn’t appear as if Porsche modified anything on the sides, but the rear end gained new taillights and a redesigned diffuser. The light units are taken off the latest Porsche 911 and have a more angular design as well as a new LED layout. The diffuser isn’t radically different compared to the outgoing model, but the mild changes deliver optimized airflow. The carbon-fiber wings also sports minor changes, the license plate has a different shape, while the side air vents are significantly larger.
All told, the new 911 GT3 isn’t that new, but I can’t say I was expecting major changes. Porsche rarely takes the revolutionary route on its cars, so it’s far from surprising that there aren’t many details to set the new and outgoing models apart.
Same as the exterior, the interior carries over mostly unchanged styling-wise. As before, it uses a sports steering wheel based on the 918 Spyder and standard sports seats with mechanical fore/aft adjustment and electronically height and backrest adjustment. No rear seats are provided as a weight-saving measure and in order to emphasize on the car’s track-bred orientation.
Porsche offers three additional seat variants for the new 911 GT3. There’s tge adaptive Sports seats Plus with electrical adjustment of all seat functions (18-way) and sports bucket seats with folding backrest, integrated thorax airbag, and manual fore/aft adjustment. Finally, customers can opt for full bucket seats made from carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic in carbon-weave finish for the ultimate race car experience.
As far as tech goes, in addition to the Porsche Communication Management (PCM) system that includes an online navigation module with real-time traffic information, the standard equipment list also features the Connect Plus module and the Track Precision app. The latter enables 911 GT3 drivers to display, record and analyse detailed driving data on their smartphones.