The Porsche GT3 has always been an iconic supercar since its launch in 1999, being a car built for the track but very much usable on the road, it became very popular and sort after.
This is still the case 18 years on, the 911 GT3 has evolved over the years and each new model Porsche produces looks sexier, sportier and more refined. No changes here then, as the 991.2 is exactly that.
If one were to glance at this new model, you might not notice much difference, that’s because the changes with this car are in the details. Under its beautiful shell are where the biggest changes over the 991 lie.
There are new, larger intakes which sit under the rear wing,these intakes send air directly into the throttle bodies and at high speeds a ram effect occurs which Porsche say boosts power by up to (26 Kw) 20bhp.
Looking closely, one would also notice changes to the rear diffuser, these changes along with the tweaks to the front bumper, and the new channels under the car which accelerates the air to the rear diffuser, give this 991.2 GT3 over 20% more downforce than the previous model. That is around 160kg at top speed, interestingly, this extra downforce does not come at a cost, as the drag coefficient has not increased, because of clever Porsche technicians.
The 2018 GT3 still features a four litre flat six, with a power output of 500bhp/373Kw and 460N.m. This may sound similar to the previous 991 GT3, but the new engine is based on the engines that are now used in Porsche Race cars, such as the GT3 R and 911 RSR. This means it features a bigger, more solid crankshaft which is drilled to allow oil to be fed into the conrod bearing. This has a number of benefits, such as being able to decrease the oil pressure which means there is less resistance, better efficiency, better cooling and better lubrication.
Further to this, the engine has new pistons, new rings and a new internal bore which features a very slippery material, this once again, reduces friction and increases efficiency.
Finally the GT3 engine also has a rigid valve train instead of a hydraulic system. The benefit of this is that the oil pressure can once again be reduced further. Plus, resistance of the whole valvetrain unit is reduced by 20%.
Previously, these systems needed regular adjustment which could only be done with the engine removed, this is not an issue for a racecar, but for a car built on the road, it kind of is. Porsche is using new technology here which means that for 300 000kms or the lifetime of the engine, it won’t need to be touched.
All of the above means the GT3 will rev to 9000 RPM and have a 0-100 km/h time of 3.2 seconds with the PDK system, or 3.8 seconds with the six-speed manual option. What? Manual? We should probably talk about that.
One of the biggest changes to this GT3 is that Porsche have included the six-speed manual transmission as an option, this is the same unit that is found in the 911 R.
This optional is at no cost, so can you choose between Manual or PDK without it affecting your bank balance and sleepless nights when you try and weigh up which is better and if one option is worth the extra cash. Obviously, the PDK system is faster and if you are chasing lap times or using this car as a daily drive (crazy) This would be the sensible option.
If you are purist, though, who isn’t to fussed with the above, manual would be the only way to go, a true drivers setup.
The suspension has also been fine-tuned, the 991.2 now features helper springs from the RS, and the interior mechanisms of the dampers have been tuned for less resistance, along with this, there is improvements with the chassis and rear axle steering has been developed further.
The 991.2 GT3 is not a new car, it’s a detailed improvement which has included much refinement over its predecessor. The goal here for Porsche seems to be that they wanted an increase in efficiency from many areas of the vehicle. The brake calipers for example, have new interior piston settings to make sure that the pads do not touch the disc at all when not applied, or we could even look at the new production processes used on the exterior bumpers which saves over 1 kg on each end of car. It’s worth noting that Porsche have also patented this production process.
It is nice to see this kind of attention to detail from a manufacturer. We have no news yet as to when this awesome vehicle will be coming to South Africa, but when it does, we’re pretty sure it will be very hard to get hold of one. It’s safe to say, then, that my favourite car just got better.