WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT A LAP TIME. But before we get heavy with the numbers, I think it’s worth taking a moment to appreciate the aesthetics, because this new GT3 feels like a much bigger transformation than with previous generations. Devoid of its disguises, it looks startlingly more trim and taut than a standard 992. It’s as though, in order to match the kerb weight of its forebear, it didn’t just need a strict diet but full-on surgery. The way the standard car’s bulbous bottom has been sliced into. The way the lower front looks as though it has been pulled open and a jaw removed. The deeply sunken nostrils… it’s almost brutal.
It has to be the most aggressive GT3 to date. The most RS non-RS. Just look at the rear wing. Even regardless of the swan-neck design, the pierced black supports are so much more Rennsport than any other GT3. Below it, the prominently jutting vanes of the new rear diffuser ratchet up the aero ante even further. The wheels are now 20 inches in diameter at the front and 21 inches at the rear, matching the previous RS and filling the arches like a glass left unattended under a running tap. It’s serious stuff.
The colour, too, looks a little bit Miami and a little bit Riviera, but is in fact Shark Blue (code D5C). And while it’s striking, there’s a no-nonsense air about its non-metallic flatness. It means business.
Having said all that, a quick glance at the spec sheet might make you wonder if it’s all for show. Power is up by only 10bhp (in the past it has been a 30-40bhp jump between generations), the 0-100kmph time is exactly the same at 3.4sec (with PDK) and the top speed of the manual car has increased by a whisker to 320kmph. Hardly earth-shattering gains. But the reason is the retention of the 991’s glorious, naturally aspirated, 4-litre flat-six. It’s an engine derived from the one in the GT3 R and almost identical to that found in a GT3 Cup. Leaps in power and straight-line performance have been eschewed in favour of preserving pin-sharp throttle response and a 9000rpm soundtrack to make your spine tingle. Sacrifices worth making, in our book.
But before you start to think this GT3 is simply an exercise in maintaining the status quo, it’s worth considering its ability against a stopwatch around a track. A very particular track. You know the one.
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