As you, dear readers, remind us, Porsche and MOTOR kind of go hand in hand. It’s a more than amicable relationship, yet it’s still one based on top-quality product – period. Claiming Performance Car of the Year has become quite the habit, with the venerable 911 being the main beneficiary. We’ve conducted numerous tests and completed epic road trips with GT3s. Previous editor Dylan Campbell christened a then just-released Miami Blue 991.2 GT3 on a trip to Falls Creek, with a detour to Winton Raceway for good measure.
Memories like that, and many more, have helped cement the GT3’s place in our hearts. Whatever the premise, the foundations are built upon two ket characteristics: engaging handling and robust reliability. Each generation of the GT3 has only served to deepen the appreciation of something that has become more than a mere car, it’s a living legend. The 992-generation has managed to move the GT3’s own game forward thanks to an entirely new front suspension and small tweaks to the sonorous 4.0litre flat-six engine.
On paper, the $369,600 992 911 GT3 has no right to be in the same conversation as the $609,650 McLaren 765LT. Proportionally, it’s Golf GTI versus Porsche Cayman. Yet figures don’t do all the talking. yet its how these two cars go about their business that renders them of similar ilk. Forget the fact Woking’s offering is endowed with a twin-turbo V8 of the same capacity as the Porsche. Put to the back of your mind that the icon from Stuttgart, with 375kW and 470Nm, is down 188kW and 330Nm. That’s because how broadly this pair makes you smile is, well, a very close-run thing.
While McLaren road cars has been an entity for a far shorter period, it doesn’t mean the appreciation is any less important. And I must admit, on a personal level, I have a crush on the 765LT. I remember the first time I saw it, just before Covid became a global pandemic, in a huge hangar. It was in a disused area on the outskirts of London – an interesting location for McLaren to choose to unveil its latest Longtail product. The car itself hypnotised me in a way I hadn’t expected. I was captivated, with wide eyes and a dropped jaw, its race-car intent only thinly disguised, but in a more consumable way than the function-over-form Senna.
Knowing the devilish efficiency of the original 720S, something Andy Enright experienced on the Great Ocean Road for sister title, Wheels, I couldn’t help but imagine what this would be like. Especially given it has an extra 33kW, up from 530kW, and is now 80kg lighter than the 720S with a kerb weight of 1339kg. It’s like sharpening the blades of an already sharp razor. The 765LT is a monster with two carbon-tub seats. And fast-forward to the here and now, I can’t wait to get in the driver’s seat.
But first we’ve organised to weigh both to see how close they come to the factory claims. The Porsche bumps onto the scales and stabilises at 1480kg. Full of fluids, 61 per cent of that heft is over the rear axle. It’s also 45kg more than the value claimed by Weissach for the PDK version. The McLaren’s turn: 1413 kg, of which 59 per cent is on the rear axle, againsta quoted DIN weight of 1339kg. In short, with more horsepower and less kilos, the 765LT offers an unbeatable power-to-weight ratio of 420kW/tonne (261kW/tonne for the 911). However, it’s time to see how all this translates to the road. The Porsche is up first.
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This is the bit right here for the power users of MOTOR. See, most think you win a year’s free subscription for penning Letter of the Month. Not so. You get 12 free editions of the world’s most exciting performance car magazine for directing a story about your worst in-car dining experience to the email address up there. Get to it!
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WITHOUT ITS ROADSTER, PORSCHE MIGHT NOT EXIST TODAY
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