Latest version of Porsche’s naturally-aspirated 911 gains 10 horsepower, posts sub-7-minute Nürburgring time.
When the current 992-generation Porsche 911 debuted two years ago, it started anew the traditional march of model variants. First up were the core Carreras, followed by cabrios, Turbos, and Targas. Early Tuesday morning, Porsche revealed the model driving enthusiasts have most been looking forward to, however: the 2022 911 GT3.
The GT3 is the sole model in the lineup to skip turbocharging, remaining naturally aspirated just like the first GT3 of 1999. Snug in the tail of the coupe is the latest evolution of the 4.0-liter flat-six, spitting out 503 horsepower, an increase of 10 over the previous 991.2 model. Torque is up slightly as well, now coming in at a maximum 347 lb-ft of twist. Like the headline says, this screamer of an engine still revs to a wild 9,000 rpm, too.
Transmission choices include the seven-speed PDK transmission and a six-speed manual, both sending power to the rear wheels only. Pick the former and the GT3 will need just 3.4 seconds to crack 62 mph, and will double that speed in just 10.8 seconds total. Find yourself on an empty stretch of derestricted autobahn and the GT3 won’t run out of steam until 197.5 mph; the manual will pull to 199 mph. It isn’t just fast in a straight line, either: during development, Porsche’s Lars Kern set a blistering 6:59.927 full-lap time at the Nürburgring Nordschleife.
The 992 generation ushers in a few notable visual changes outside for GT3 duty. A deep front bumper features a large central opening, while above it the traditional leading edge vent of the hood is now two extractor nostrils. It’s likely the most controversial design feature of the new GT3. Like the more powerful 911 Turbo, the GT3 uses a staggered wheel setup, with 20-inch rollers up front, and 21s out back. Rubber, including optional Michelin Sport Cup 2 R track tires, measures 255/35 at the nose, and 315/30 at the rear.
Out back, a kicked-up lip runs above the single-line rear lights, with an enormous swan-neck spoiler above, looking straight off the RSR race car. The new-style spoiler contributes to a 50-percent increase in downforce in its default setting. In its high-downforce setting—which isn’t for road use, according to Porsche—that jumps to 150 percent. If you’d prefer a more low-key look, be patient: Porsche Canada confirmed the Touring package will return for the 992.
The twin exhaust tips move inboard, as per GT3 tradition, and a sizeable diffuser pokes out around them. European models use a twin particulate-filter system, but it won’t be present on NA cars.
Under the skin, the biggest news is the adoption of a double-wishbone front suspension, also like the 911 RSR. Porsche says the switch results in “extraordinarily agile turn-in behaviour and predictable drivability.” Not that the GT3 has ever been known for its lethargic responses…
In addition to the new front-end suspension, Porsche has revised the GT3’s five-link rear, with additional ball joints and unique shock absorbers. Rear-wheel steering is standard: the system turns the rear wheels up to two degrees in the same direction as the fronts for added high-speed stability, or the opposite direction to increase agility.
Enormous 16-inch (408-mm) brake discs sit behind the spindly wheel spokes. They’re up an inch (28 mm) over the last model, yet weigh 17 percent less. Weight is the enemy in the GT3: Porsche has increased the amount of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) content, crafting parts like the hood, wing, spoiler, and even the roof—optionally—out of the stuff. The curb weight is just 3,126 lb (1,418 kg) with the manual transmission, or 3,164 lb (1,435 kg) in PDK form.
Inside, the GT3 is pretty standard 992 fare, with a microfiber, fully round steering wheel framing a rev counter counting up to 10,000 rpm. (None of that flat-bottomed stuff here.) A pair of CFRP-backed sport seats is standard. Two big changes happen with the center console too: the cupholder is gone, as is the little shaver-style gear selector on PDK cars. In their place is a more substantial, traditional lever. Rejoice!
Of course, buyers will be able to tweak all manner of equipment inside the GT3, with things like color-coded dials and seatbelts. A no-cost Clubsport package is also available in Europe—no dice, North America—which includes a half roll-cage, six-point driver’s harness, and additional track-ready safety equipment.Porsche will be offering a unique watch to owners, as well.
The 2022 Porsche 911 GT3 will arrive in dealerships early autumn this year. More details on pricing and trim specifics will arrive before then.
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