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911 GT3 3.8 – 475 ch

20 years of GT3: every generation tested

Mention ‘GT3’ and Porsche’s now-legendary moniker conjures a host of vivid adjectives: Loud. Unrestrained. Pure. Mechanical. Fast.

Porsche’s GT3 is already considered an icon – an exemplary feat given it’s only just turning 20 years old. Launched just before the turn of the millennium, Porsche’s new 911 model line had already positively asserted itself by breaking the Nürburgring lap record for production vehicles with a time of seven minutes and 56 seconds, thereby firing its way straight into the hearts of admiring enthusiasts.

Built to homologate Porsche’s FIA race cars, the GT3 was originally built for the UK and mainland Europe only, yet the line-up has since flourished into a worldwide motoring phenomenon, each new model a highlight within its generation of 911. 

Total 911 has gathered all six generations of GT3 for a special test, as we relive two decades of a special sports car perennially at the peak of its class. Beginning, of course, with the 996 of 1999…

For the full group test of every generation GT3, pick up your copy of Total 911 issue 178 in shops now or get it delivered to your door via here. You can also download a digital copy with high definition bonus galleries to any Apple or Android device.

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Porsche 991 GT3 – La sportive de la famille !

Dans la famille scalpel à bitume, je voudrais la mère… la reine mère même ! Oui, la Porsche 991 GT3, on pourrait croire que c’est une 911 en jogging. Perso, je la vois plus comme une caisse tout juste civilisée pour pouvoir aller sur la route et chez le boulanger chercher le pain ! Parce […]

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Tuned 996 C2 Dices with GT3s in France

It’s hard to fathom that what for a long-time was considered the « redheaded stepchild » of the 911 family can, if driven well, casually dice with the latest and greatest thoroughbreds in the Porsche stable. A 991 GT3 ought to casually show the aging, 3.4-liter 996 its heels, but Guillaume Artufel’s 996, aided by his wonderful driving skills, remains in contention with cars costing ten times as much at the high-speed Circuit Du Var Luc in Southern France.

There are a few choice modifications that help this 3.4-liter 996 keep up. GT3-style seats help keep Artufel stable while hurtling down the former AGS-Formula 1 test track, KW coilovers offer some stability, Federal semi-slicks provide the stick, and as it’s a fairly focused track toy, it sports a cage. Other than that, it’s a plain-jane 996.

So, how does such a simple car run down a pair of well-driven GT3s? Artufel’s a masterful driver, and never looks flustered behind the wheel. Though he’s driving the Porsche to the edge of adhesion in hairpins and fifth-gear kinks alike, he never looks like he’s trying; he exudes calmness in the cabin.

It could be his tires, but he simply looks to trace tidier lines and show greater confidence in the high-speed sections, where he’s able to wrangle the red 997.2 GT3. Considering how this red car has some 150 horsepower on the camera car, straightline speeds are incomparable, but the 996 shows similar poise and, perhaps spurred on by a bit of underdog’s bravado, Artfuel likes nipping at the GT3’s bumper when he can. That said, the GT3 looks far more stable in the fast direction changes, though Artufel’s second-nature countersteering helps there.

Though the 996 slides at speed (5:05 and 6:08), it still behaves nicely and doesn’t surprise Artufel.

Even more impressive that a 991 GT3 joins the fray and fails to walk away for a long time. The 991’s combination of a broader powerband and a PDK gearbox gives it the ability to waltz away from the red car in a straight line, but due to Circuit Du Var’s narrow confines and a likely discrepancy in driving talent, it takes a long time to find a way around. Meanwhile, Artufel’s comfort behind the wheel helps him observe the fracas from a friendly distance, and, incidentally, demonstrates how wonderful these often-overlooked Porsches are with the right modifications and the proper touch.

Nipping down the inside, Artufel gives a friendly and audacious honk.

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2017 Porsche 911 GTS Faster than 991.1 GT3 at Nurburgring, 7m 24s

If you still needed convincing of the fact that the new Porsche 911 generation is properly fast, this might just do it. Additional proof just came from the Nürburgring Nordschleife, where the new generation Porsche 911 Carrera GTS clocked in faster than the 991.1 GT3. With a lap time of 7 minutes and 24 seconds […]

2017 Porsche 911 GTS Faster than 991.1 GT3 at Nurburgring, 7m 24s

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Sales Debate: How will the manual 991.2 affect the GT3 market?

After the launch of the 991 GT3, everyone thought that the manual gearbox had been confined to Weissach’s history books. But now, with the 991.2 almost certainly set to come with the option of a clutch pedal, how will the new car affect the GT3 market? We ask the experts to lend their opinions.

“It’s a really hard one to make a call on,” says Parr’s Lawrence Stockwell. The independent specialist’s customers fall into one of two camps according to the head of PR: those who want the latest and greatest (“as long as it’s faster and better”), and those who prefer raw mechanical feel (“the purists”).

The former will prefer the 991.2 with a PDK transmission, while the manual gearbox may not be enough to appease the latter according to Stockwell. “I still think there is a question mark over the level of electronic involvement on the car. I don’t think the manual transmission is the fixer,” he explains.

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“I think it will help to restore people’s confidence but I still feel as though there is not a lot of love for the 991.” Therefore, the Parr man believes that “as far as values go, it’s [the 991.2’s] not going to have a massive effect” on the GT3 market.

RPM Technik’s Sales Manager, Greig Daly, disagrees about the level of love for the 991.1 (“it’s a fabulous transmission and a great car in its current guise”). He does agree with Stockwell though that the initial readjustment on the GT3 market will be minimal.

Assuming that stock availability is the same as the last generation, “you won’t be able to get hold of one because they’ll all be sold,” explains Daly. This means he expects the 991.2 GT3 to hit the used market at around £140,000-£160,000, knocking the Gen1 991s back slightly to “the early £100,000s.”

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But what about the 997.1 and 997.2 GT3s behind that? “I don’t really see that affecting them in the short to medium term because they’ve got a Mezger engine and race pedigree,” Daly says, perhaps validating Stockwell’s argument about the 991’s different character.

It may halt their appreciation but, as the RPM Sales Manager points out, “they’ve not really been moving” anyway. Instead, both Daly and Stockwell feel it won’t be until the sales split between manual and PDK becomes evident that the market will see any movement.

The Parr man concludes that, “the purists will want the manual gearbox and, maybe, initially those cars will fetch a premium. When the new car sales start revealing how many of each are being sold, then it will settle down.” It’s only once it has settled down (maybe a year down the line from launch) that the market will make any adjustments, according to Daly. Until then, we’ll just have to wait and see.

For market advice on any generation or style of Porsche 911, check out our full selection of sales debates, where we ask the 911 experts the pertinent market questions so you don’t have to.

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