Porsche have stuck to the proven formula of a naturally aspirated 6-cylinder boxer engine, mated to a manual transmission sending power to the rear wheels. The high performance versions of the 911 started in the 1970s with the Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7.
But in 1999, for the first time, it was not named “RS”, for Race Sport, but named GT3 in reference to the GT class in which the motorsport versions were to compete.
The current generation 911 GT3 can also be ordered with a discreet Touring Package, in which the fixed rear wing is replaced by an automatically extending spoiler. “Touring Package” was a reference to the more restrained version of the 911 Carrera RS 2.7 from the 1970s.
With race car driver Walter Röhrl at the wheel, the first generation 911 GT3 completed the 20.8 kilometre Nürburgring Nordschleife lap in less than eight minutes, setting a new benchmark for road-going sports cars.
The race versions of the Porsche 911 GT3 have written motorsport history. The 911 GT3 has achieved countless class wins as well as numerous overall victories in the major endurance races, including the 24 Hours of Spa, the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 24 Hours Nürburgring, which it won seven times starting in 2000. Its recipe for success are the experience and innovations from motorsport incorporated into the development of the next generation road car. Around 80 per cent of all 911 GT3 ever produced are regularly driven on the race track.
On the 50th anniversary of the Porsche 911 in 2013, the fifth generation 911 GT3 made its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show. The engine, transmission, body and chassis were completely new. The drivetrain consisted of a 3.8-litre naturally aspirated engine with 468 hp, mated for the first time to a Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) dual-clutch transmission. Also for the first time, this was complemented by active rear axle steering. By way of introduction, the new 911 GT3 completed the Nürburgring Nordschleife in just 7:25 minutes, more than half a minute faster than the first 911 GT3 on its record lap in 1999.
The current generation Porsche 911 GT3 991.2 has 500 hp, an MSRP starting price of CAD $163,300, can accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 3.9 seconds and has a top speed of 320 km/h, 318 when equipped with the PDK. The 911 GT3 RS has 520 hp, a base MSRP of $213,400, can accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 3.2 seconds and has a top speed of 312 km/h.