New 2021 Porsche 911 GT3 lapped Nürburgring in under seven minutes (video)

Shaved 17 seconds off predecessor's lap time during testing


THE NEW 2021 Porsche 911 GT3 has been revealed, along with news that the track-focused sports car has lapped the Nürburging Nordschleife in less than seven minutes.

The first GT variant of the latest 992-generation 911 sees moderate power and torque increases over its predecessor (labelled the 991.2 by Porsche 911 cognoscenti), and shaves a massive 17 seconds off that car’s Nürburgring lap time, to 6 min 59.927 seconds.

The result of Porsche’s hard work is what it reckons is the “ultimate driving machine” (sorry, did you say something, BMW?): a perfect blend of precision and practicality, of efficient German engineering and an emotional driving experience.

We’ll have to wait to get behind the wheel to see if that’s true, but the fact remains that with the GT3, Porsche has a track record (pun intended) of delivering the goods.

Porsche 911 GT3 engine, power and performance

The initial 991 iteration of the GT3, released in 2013, launched with a 3.8-litre engine, before the heavily facelifted version upped that to 4.0-litres two years later.

This new GT3 comes with the 992-generation 4.0-litre, six-cylinder boxer engine from launch, which has been revamped to put out 503bhp, a moderate increase of 10bhp compared to the outgoing model.

Torque has received a comparable increase, upped from 339 lb ft to 347 lb ft, delivered at 6,100rpm, with the naturally-aspirated engine still capable of screaming its way up to 9,000rpm.

A couple of changes have been made to the engine: two particulate filters have been added in order to stay abreast of increasingly stringent emissions regulations, and weight-saving measures have then been taken to counteract their addition.

However not so much has changed as to hamper the unit’s absolutely delicious sound, as heard in the videos released by Porsche of the GT3’s Nordschleife record.

Porsche 992 911 GT3 Nurburging record in-car video

 

As is to be expected with any new car, the newest 911 is wider and bigger than the one it replaces, meaning that the GT3 versions of the car are bigger beasts, too. However, thanks to features including lighter (yet bigger) brakes, a battery that weighs 10kg less, lightweight glass and an abundance of carbon fibre, the GT3 version is just 5kg heavier than its predecessor.

This means that the incremental increase in power isn’t wasted — 0-60mph takes 3.7 seconds, and getting to 100mph takes just 4.2 seconds more. Not that it matters in most situations, but top speed is 199mph — faster than the previous GT3 RS.

Gearbox, handling and suspension

The new 992 911 GT3 is offered in both a six-speed manual guise — which weighs 17kg less, incidentally — and with a seven-speed, double-clutch PDK automatic (rather than the eight-speed unit used in the standard 911).

Power is sent to the rear wheels (no four-wheel drive option here). Rear-wheel steering comes as standard, allowing the rear wheels to turn at an angle up to 2° in the same or opposite direction to the fronts, depending on driving speed. As well as making for a tighter turning circle at low speeds, this allows for more precise cornering at a higher pace.

Meanwhile the rear axle has gained extra ball-joints for the lower wishbones, which Porsche says allows the wheels to be controlled more accurately.

At the front, Porsche has, for the first time in a production car, installed the double-wishbone front suspension from the Le Mans-winning 911 RSR, which reportedly takes pressure off the adjustable dampers and reduces the chances of experiencing oversteer or understeer.

Porsche 911 GT3 exterior design

The GT3 doesn’t deviate heavily from the standard 911 coupé, save for the addition of an aerodynamic rear wing and centrally mounted dual-exhaust, with the number plate moved up from the rear bumper. That means that it largely follows the lead of the standard model — wide haunches and big, forged alloy wheels, with a central bar that connects the rear lights.

There are, however, options available only on the GT3, including a roof made of exposed, lightweight carbon fibre, carbon fibre exterior mirror tops, darkened LED matrix main headlights and a rear light design devoid of the standard red hue. Wheel rims can also be accented in Guards Red or Shark Blue.

Interior design

The interior, like the exterior, is largely the same as in the standard 911. Additions include a track screen, which displays data including tyre pressure, oil temperature and pressure, fuel tank level and water temperature. There’s also a visual shift assistant and a motorsport-derived shift light.

Exclusive to the GT3 is also a titanium chronograph, and the interior can, like the wheels, be accented in the body colour.

Porsche 911 GT3 price and release date

The Porsche 911 GT3 starts at £123,100, and is available for purchase now, with the first deliveries commencing in May.