RE: Porsche 911 GT3 (991.2) : Review

RE: Porsche 911 GT3 (991.2) : Review

Thursday 27th April 2017

Porsche 911 GT3 (991.2) : Review

What's louder - a flat-six screaming to 9,000rpm, or the howls of protest from those unable to buy one?



Look, I'll never be able to own one either. Does that make me cross? Not really. OK, I speak from the privileged position of having driven the newย 'gen two' 911ย GT3. But I'm no closer to having one outside my house than any of those embittered types dominating the discussion of the car since its Geneva unveiling. And boy are they furious that the supposed true enthusiasts are apparently barged off The List by the hated investors, flippers, and best mates of the dealer principals.

If you're still angry about this may I politely suggest that you set up another thread and rage together at the injustice of supply and demand, the basic fact more people want aย GT3ย than Porsche is willing or able to build, and that life JUST ISN'T FAIR sometimes. Better you do that than read about how the car actually goes, because that's only likely to make you more upset.

Right, have the pitchfork brigade gone now? Good. Let's talk about the car.ย 

Here we go then!
Here we go then!
Business end
Hopefully you're up to speed with the 991.2 911ย GT3ย by now. If you're not here's the fullย 6,000-word geek-out from my chat with Andreas Preuninger. Highlights from that include his promise of a new and distinct 'gen two sound' from this car's motorsport-derived 4.0-litre flat-six. If by that he means it feels like your head is inside the crankcase as it revs to 9,000rpm and shrieking pistons, cams and valves are going to make your ears bleed then he's right.

Basically if you like violently loud music, played by sweaty men with long hair and low-slung guitars, then you're going to love theย GT3. At full chat this is a full-on assault on the senses that'll leave your palms a bit sticky and your ears ringing with the joyous sound of a very, very high-revving naturally-aspirated motor screaming up to a sky-high redline.

It's shocking to realise theย GT3ย is now the only 911 in the range with an atmospheric engine. Perhaps that's one reason for the broader customer pool and heightened interest in what was onceย a very niche product in the 911 range. PDK helpedย democratise theย GT3ย for those who'd never have gone near previous examples, or perhaps said "sod that, I'll have a Tiptronic Turbo" when they stalled it against the hair-trigger clutch on the dealer forecourt. That nature restricted previous GT3s to those who really, really wanted them. But post-991 anyone could purr around town in a winged'n'caged 911 living the 'because motorsport' dream,ย GT3ย now seemingly the automotive equivalent of putting on your gym kit to visit Starbucks.

Slightly different, still very much a GT3 though
Slightly different, still very much a GT3 though
You even lift, bro?
This new one seems an appropriate response. It's back, angrier and louder than before, and if you want that manual gearbox you can now have one. Just not in our test car, which despite all the hype arrived from Germany with PDK.

If you managed to get past the opening paragraph of ourย GT3ย unveiling story without throwing your coffee cup across the room at the injustice of it all, you'll have understood there's a lot more to this new version than meets the eye. The front-end styling has been cleaned up a tad and the vent on the rear valance moved up onto the engine bay lid. Fundamentally it's the sameย GT3ย though, but with brakes, steering, springs, dampers and control systems all fettled and tweaked for detail improvements.

The bigger upgrades are in aero and that engine. Where the first genย GT3ย had the same underbody as the regular Carrera, 'tricks' learned from the wingless R have been added to this one and increased downforce by 20 per cent with no extra drag. Looking at that long, fast right-hander at Anglesey that's rather reassuring. Because if it goes wrong there they'll be calling the lifeboat, not the recovery truck.

Here's where the big change lies
Here's where the big change lies
Tricks of the trade
That engine is the real star though. Now a 4.0-litre, it matches the RS and R for capacity but has a broader power band - and greater appetite for revs - having ditched hydraulic valve adjustment for purely mechanical operation. That reduces oil pressure and friction, improves response and frees up 9hp on its own. And contributes to that 'gen two sound' Preuninger is so proud of.

This is a properly visceral car too. You're not even out of the pitlane before the focus and seriousness envelopes you and sets you on a path to rinsing every last ounce of performance from it. Even into the first corner and on cold Cup 2s. The manual will be interesting in this car, given it's 17kg lighter in the rear and has a more direct feel from its mechanical limited-slip diff, according to Preuninger.

Whisper it, but PDK actually suits it rather well though. This is a dual-clutch transmission unlike any other in a regular Porsche, savage in its shifts in PDK Sport and with an audible hiss and clank of actuators and mechanical bits that sounds and feels more like a race sequential. Which is probably no accident. The lower ratios are nice and close too, meaning you're constantly up and down through third, fourth and fifth and enjoying the epic reach of that motor in every single one. ย 

After all that we get a PDK. Tsk...
After all that we get a PDK. Tsk...
Noise terror
Everything about this car signals intent, from the stiffness of the cage-reinforced shell to the splatter of gravel in the arches. As part of efforts to keep the weight to the same 1,430kg unladen as the gen one there's less sound deadening, hammering home that hardcore vibe. It turns in with an assertiveness you just don't get in play-it-safe Carreras, the four-wheel steering speeding the rotation into the turns on slower corners and addressing that traditional 911 front-end push. The weight and response are very good by EPAS standards and the calibration very smart but the more flowing, natural feel of the 996 and 997-era cars is long gone. It's as good as you could hope for though. And, oh my god, THE NOISE!

The 4.0 has noticeably more grunt than the 3.8 and is tractable enough to haul from a higher gear than you might otherwise have chosen. But the temptation to flick the left paddle and drop into the noisy bit of the powerband is hard to resist and you'll still have plenty of revs to play with as it rips around to 9,000rpm. Those final 3,000rpm - yes, the best stuff STARTS at 6,000rpm - are just incredible and a reminder that no matter how good turbo engines get, they'll never set the neck hairs on end like this. True, it's not the afterburner acceleration you get from a forced induction motor, but the sheer reach of that powerband more than makes up for it - the accuracy with which you can meter it delicious and the response addictive. I mentioned the noise, right?

"Why are you drifting? I am a speed machine!"
"Why are you drifting? I am a speed machine!"
In driving style this is a proper 911 too, in that the front end needs settling before you commit to the throttle if you're to avoid understeer. Your options for that are various though. Trail the brakes in or lift a tad and theย GT3ย quickly asserts that famous pendulum effect, from where it's your decision on how to proceed. Preuninger's assertion that the safety nets are a 'loose bungee' is no understatement either. Even on a dry track and on warm Cup 2s if you provoke theย GT3ย you need to be ready to deal with the consequences. And if you're clumsy enough to require an intervention it's ugly and embarrassing, like the car is groaning in disapproval.

On your own, son
Meaning the realย GT3ย is only uncaged when you man up and turn everything off. You may be on your own but this is how the car was developed and it's actually easier to be smooth with the corrections when they're all your own work. Attempts to showboat for the camera are met with mixed results - this isn't theย GT3's comfort zone - and it's far better in that glorious transient realm where you're slowly winding off the steering, rather than grabbing armfuls of opposite lock.

Getting one? You're going to love it
Getting one? You're going to love it
The perfect high-speed corner in aย GT3ย is one where your trailed brakes nail the nose into the apex and your bravery with an early throttle holds that neutral stance all the way out to the exit kerbs, a whiff of overspeed from the rear tyres and the revs screaming towards 9K. But you absolutely need to be on your game to get that each and every corner and it's less happy in the slow ones. Chasing that sensation is what makes this car such an inspiring machine to drive hard though. At no point does PDK seem like it's limiting my involvement in what the car is doing either.

Yes, it's worth the fuss. Because in theย GT3ย lies the beating heart of the Porsche 911 and the raw spirit of what makes this unique car so captivating. To the point where the rest of the range just seems a little emasculated. Romantically you want to think THAT is why everyone wants one and they'll all be driven this way, much as the previous generations ofย GT3ย were.

And if that's not the case and the conspiracy theories about flippers, posers and favoured customers are true then you'll find me with the pitchfork brigade.


Want to see it in action? Watch our video review!


PORSCHE 911ย GT3ย (991.2)
Engine:
3,996cc flat-6
Transmission: 7-speed dual-clutch auto (PDK)/six-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 500@8,250rpm
Torque (lb ft): 339@6,000rpm
0-62mph: 3.4sec (3.9sec)
Top speed: 197mph (198mph)
Weight: 1,505kg (1,488kg, both EU with 75kg driver)
MPG: 22.2 (21.9, both NEDC combined)
CO2: 288g/km (290g/km)
Price: ยฃ111,802

Figures in brackets for manual, where different

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[Photos: Luc Lacey]

Author
Discussion

RedTrident

Original Poster:

8,290 posts

183 months

Wednesday 26th April 2017
quotequote all
I'm just happy cars like this are still being made.

j_s14a

827 posts

126 months

Thursday 27th April 2017
quotequote all
A very special car, and probably one of the last of its kind. No doubt most will be squirrelled away into private collections, carcooned for most of their lives.

Durzel

7,972 posts

116 months

Thursday 27th April 2017
quotequote all
Don't quite get the need to dedicate 3 paragraphs to attacking the readership the article is hoping to get attention from...

The stage managed availability of cars like this is a problem and it's not unreasonable for people who just want to be able to buy and enjoy these cars to moan about having to suffer the ridiculous market dynamics.

At this end of the market Porsche seems to be in the business of releasing new investment assets every year rather than selling cars to people who want to be able to enjoy them for what they are.

Edited by Durzel on Thursday 27th April 01:06

Yipper

5,964 posts

38 months

Thursday 27th April 2017
quotequote all
Struggle to see the excitement on these things. Mate has got a GT3 RS and it is just a standard dull Porker with a bit of scaffolding in the back.

suffolk009

3,995 posts

113 months

Thursday 27th April 2017
quotequote all
Durzel said:
Don't quite get the need to dedicate 3 paragraphs to attacking the readership the article is hoping to get attention from...

The stage managed availability of cars like this is a problem and it's not unreasonable for people who just want to be able to buy and enjoy these cars to moan about having to suffer the ridiculous market dynamics.

At this end of the market Porsche seems to be in the business of releasing new investment assets every year rather than selling cars to people who want to be able to enjoy them for what they are.

Edited by Durzel on Thursday 27th April 01:06
Nicely said.

My wife owns a boring Porsche, and has no interest in cars like this, but this "limited edition availability" st is very irritating.

AndrewD

6,965 posts

232 months

Thursday 27th April 2017
quotequote all
Great review and well done on getting an early video up. I have a manual car coming later this year and I am devouring any and all new reports and especially videos as the anticipation builds up.

As a previous poster said, great that cars like this still being made especially with a stick and three pedals.

stuckmojo

2,024 posts

136 months

Thursday 27th April 2017
quotequote all
You started the article by moaning about people moaning and then you get to test the pdk car?

Very poor article.

The car is still great, I'd love one with a manual.

Gus265

174 posts

81 months

Thursday 27th April 2017
quotequote all
Wow - makes it sound like the 991.1 GT3 is rubbish - so hopefully those second hand values will now plummet and I'll buy one of those!

sidesauce

1,097 posts

166 months

Thursday 27th April 2017
quotequote all
Durzel said:
Don't quite get the need to dedicate 3 paragraphs to attacking the readership the article is hoping to get attention from...

The stage managed availability of cars like this is a problem and it's not unreasonable for people who just want to be able to buy and enjoy these cars to moan about having to suffer the ridiculous market dynamics.

At this end of the market Porsche seems to be in the business of releasing new investment assets every year rather than selling cars to people who want to be able to enjoy them for what they are.
I get it. The review is supposed to be about the car is it not?
You talk about stage managed availability. Who is this a problem to? How many people are actually in a position to buy one relative to people living on the planet?

suffolk009

3,995 posts

113 months

Thursday 27th April 2017
quotequote all
sidesauce said:
I get it. The review is supposed to be about the car is it not?
You talk about stage managed availability. Who is this a problem to? How many people are actually in a position to buy one relative to people living on the planet?
You're right. And by that same reasoning - why should we even bother with reading an article about a car we can't afford - even if they were for sale to normal people.

donutskidmark

712 posts

101 months

Thursday 27th April 2017
quotequote all
Durzel said:
Don't quite get the need to dedicate 3 paragraphs to attacking the readership the article is hoping to get attention from...

The stage managed availability of cars like this is a problem and it's not unreasonable for people who just want to be able to buy and enjoy these cars to moan about having to suffer the ridiculous market dynamics.

At this end of the market Porsche seems to be in the business of releasing new investment assets every year rather than selling cars to people who want to be able to enjoy them for what they are.

Edited by Durzel on Thursday 27th April 01:06
Nicely said......+1

NigelCayless

63 posts

103 months

Thursday 27th April 2017
quotequote all
Great article! I enjoyed that, especially "the automotive equivalent of putting on your gym kit to visit Starbucks".

Dan Trent

1,862 posts

116 months

Thursday 27th April 2017
quotequote all
Durzel said:
Don't quite get the need to dedicate 3 paragraphs to attacking the readership the article is hoping to get attention from...

The stage managed availability of cars like this is a problem and it's not unreasonable for people who just want to be able to buy and enjoy these cars to moan about having to suffer the ridiculous market dynamics.

At this end of the market Porsche seems to be in the business of releasing new investment assets every year rather than selling cars to people who want to be able to enjoy them for what they are.

Edited by Durzel on Thursday 27th April 01:06
Well I hope you read the article through to the end!

But the main thing is the point has been made again and again ... and again and I must confess I'm rather bored of it dominating ANY discussion of the car itself. Which is what I wanted this review to concentrate on. It IS a valid debate and one I'll happily revisit perhaps a year down the line when the initial hype has subsided, the orders have shaken out and (experience shows) the situation often calms down somewhat. If at that point OPCs are each holding a couple of GT3s with delivery miles and a massive mark-up having been freshly traded in by evil flippers then the indignation may be justified. But let's see how it plays out, eh?

Cheers,

Dan


British Beef

1,246 posts

113 months

Thursday 27th April 2017
quotequote all
Out of all those "potential buyers" pissed off at not getting one, how many are driven to buy one by the likelihood of it appreciating vs its actual drive?

Would MOST of them be so keen to buy if it depreciated like a regular car - I bet not!!!!

But of course they will claim their desire to buy one is purely to own the ultimate drivers porsche B***sh*t !!!!

Edited by British Beef on Thursday 27th April 08:40

Bright Halo

850 posts

183 months

Thursday 27th April 2017
quotequote all
After the condescending way I was spoken to at my local Porsche dealer when I made a inquiry about a GT3 I can assure you any brand allegiance I had for Porsche has totally gone. My hard earned (finance) will be going elsewhere.



LindsayMac

529 posts

150 months

Thursday 27th April 2017
quotequote all
donutskidmark said:
Durzel said:
Don't quite get the need to dedicate 3 paragraphs to attacking the readership the article is hoping to get attention from...

The stage managed availability of cars like this is a problem and it's not unreasonable for people who just want to be able to buy and enjoy these cars to moan about having to suffer the ridiculous market dynamics.

At this end of the market Porsche seems to be in the business of releasing new investment assets every year rather than selling cars to people who want to be able to enjoy them for what they are.

Edited by Durzel on Thursday 27th April 01:06
Nicely said......+1
The very reason I gracefully bowed out from brand Porsche after 4 vehicles (3 x GT3s that were driven (tracked etc) , pissed my wife off as she fancied a Boxter!

MDMA .

5,188 posts

49 months

Thursday 27th April 2017
quotequote all
shame they won't be 111k for long frown

SirSquidalot

3,507 posts

113 months

Thursday 27th April 2017
quotequote all
Manual in speed yellow for me please! Really good article that.

FN2TypeR

6,424 posts

41 months

Thursday 27th April 2017
quotequote all
article said:
What's louder - a flat-six screaming to 9,000rpm, or the howls of protest from those unable to buy one?
We all know the answer to that one don't we?

M7arthy

74 posts

49 months

Thursday 27th April 2017
quotequote all
British Beef said:
Out of all those "potential buyers" pissed off at not getting one, how many are driven to buy one by the likelihood of it appreciating vs its actual drive?

Would MOST of them be so keen to buy if it depreciated like a regular car - I bet not!!!!

But of course they will claim their desire to buy one is purely to own the ultimate drivers porsche B***sh*t !!!!

Edited by British Beef on Thursday 27th April 08:40
+1