Just one look and anyone can see what all the pent-up excitement is about. The latest version of what many consider the best production Porsche 911 made has just been revealed, and will soon be available to purchase.
As aggressively penned as any 911 yet, the 2022 GT3 starts with nostril-like air intakes on its sharply sloped hood, continues with carbon-fibre formed diffusers front to back, and finishes with a massive swan-neck spoiler atop its classically shaped rear deck lid. All the extras are designed to create as much grip-inducing downforce as possible without detracting from top track speed. The former is 50 percent greater with its default setup, while some adjusting can allow for 150 percent more downforce at 200 km/h.
Whether engrossed in all the photos released by Porsche’s PR division, imagining catching sight of one slowly cruising down Robson Street on a Friday night, or better yet, witnessing it tear up the tarmac on the famed Nürburgring Nordschleife racetrack (check out the videos below), the new 911 GT3 is pure, unadulterated performance, where form wholly follows function in every respect, yet it’s still beautiful.
As breathtaking as the 911 GT3 is visually, performance is the real reason to pay your respects. The upgraded 4.0-litre horizontally opposed six-cylinder now puts out a mind-boggling 502 horsepower and 346 lb-ft of torque without turbos. Yes, it’s once again naturally aspirated, a GT3 hallmark and the only 911 to shun turbocharging, but garnering supercharged V8-levels of power from a flat-six sans turbos is the stuff of legend, as is its ability to rev past 9,000 rpm.
To be fair to its predecessor, the old engine spun up to 9,000 rpm too, while the new one only gains 10 horsepower, but in doing so it crosses the magical 500 horsepower threshold that makes it all the more alluring. Porsche turned to its previous track cars to bump up power, installing six throttle butterflies, while the engineering team also lightened the twin particulate filter-infused exhaust system of European-spec models.
An older version of Porsche’s paddle shift-actuated seven-speed Doppelkupplung (PDK) dual-clutch automated transmission comes standard, the previous generation chosen due to being 18-kilos lighter while still providing lightning-quick shifts. A rev-matching capable (it can be completely deactivated) six-speed manual remains a no-cost option, its availability paying tribute to Porschephile purists that make up the majority of Canadian GT3 owners. In fact, an impressive 68.7 percent of the outgoing model (last sold for the 2019 model year) were purchased with manuals in Canada.
The six-speed is an anomaly amongst manually-shifted 911s too, at least these days. Back in 2019 it also came in the Speedster, while a version can still be had in the 718 Spyder and 718 Cayman GT4, although all other 911 models only offer seven-speed manuals and/or PDKs. It’s a classic less-is-more scenario, as this particular six-speed has long been lauded as one of the best manual transmissions Porsche has ever made. Nevertheless, 100 km/h arrives in just 3.4 seconds when fingers are flicking the PDK’s steering wheel paddles, while 200 km/h takes just 10.8 seconds from standstill.
The manual’s heavily biased support actually says a great deal about GT3 owners. Rather than choosing the faster 573-horserpower 911 Turbo or even quicker 641-horsepower Turbo S, GT3 buyers opt for driving pleasure above all. This is where the new model’s new double-wishbone front suspension enters the scene. Pulled over from the Le Mans-winning 911 RSR race car, its application in the new GT3 is a 911 production car first. It provides the basis for a stiffer spring setup and higher camber rigidity that better isolates the shocks from disconcerting transverse forces resulting in greater agility overall.
Together with a five-arm rear suspension featuring additional ball joints for the lower wishbones, plus spherical bushings and a special set of dampers, the GT3 not only makes for the ideal track car, but it’s now better than ever for civilian life, whether you’re dodging inner city traffic or conquering one of BC’s fabulously winding mountainside two-laners.
To that end, faster responding front and rear dampers join standard rear-wheel steering, the latter capable of pivoting the rear wheels up to two degrees in the same or opposite direction, depending on whether they’re aiding high-speed stability or helping to better manoeuvre in tight situations, such as alleyways and parking lots. Additionally, the previous GT3’s already sizeable 380 mm front brake rotors have increased to 408 mm, while weighing in 17 percent less. Just like these stronger brakes can save the GT3’s driver from an overly ambitious passing manoeuvre, a front axle lift system has been integrated to save the carbon fibre front spoiler from scrapes and scuffs.
The GT3’s unique hood is made from carbon fibre reinforced plastic to lower mass even more, as is the spoiler, rear fenders and that sizeable wing mentioned earlier, while a CFRP roof can be added for those wanting to take even more weight off the top, thus, along with standard lightweight glass, reduces the car’s centre of gravity. Likewise, Porsche offers “road-approved circuit rubber” for track stars, plus (depending on the market) you can even order your GT3 with a rear roll cage via a special Clubsport package. Cutting poundage even more, the new standard battery is a significant 10-kg lighter than the old one. The end result is a power-to-weight ratio of 2.8 kg/PS for the manually shifted model.
Speaking of extras, a Touring package will also be available that swaps out the big rear wing for a more subtle adjustable spoiler. The previous version was only available with the manual transmission, however, so this alternative look may not be for everyone.
Proof of a job well done is already registered all over the internet, with the GT3’s 6:59.927-minute Nürburgring Nordschleife lap time slotting it just outside of top-ten production car status. Four of the cars that beat it are Porsches, the fastest being a 911 GT2 RS with a stellar time of 6:47.25, followed up by GT3 RS that managed a lap in a mere 6:56.4 minutes, while a 918 Spyder was just a hair quicker at 6:57, as was another GT2 RS at 6:58.28. Still, for a naturally aspirated 911 to sidle up next to these superstars is impressive, while its performance surpasses every Ferrari, McLaren, Corvette, GT-R, and most Lamborghinis and Mercedes-AMGs that have ever attempted to master the “Green Hell”.
Suede-like Alcantara once again makes its presence known in the new GT3, even wrapping the steering wheel rim, while a unique set of sport seats are perfectly designed for track use or the daily commute. They come complete with slots for shoulder harnesses, enhancing the interior’s motorsport look and functionality.
Deliveries of the new 2022 911 GT will start this coming fall, so make sure to contact Porsche Centre Vancouver now in order to claim yours. You can call us at (604) 736-7911 or visit the dealership at 688 Terminal Ave, Vancouver.
Also, be sure to check out all the GT3 videos Porsche has provided below:
The new 911 GT3: Time is Precious (2:35):
The New 911 GT3 at the Nürburgring (1:33):
The New 911 GT3: Onboard at the Nordschleife (7:33):
Story credits: Trevor Hofmann
Photo credits: Porsche
Date Posted: February 28, 2021