There are Porsches, and then there’s the Porsche 911 GT3. If any Porsche epitomizes what the brand stands for, it’s this one, a sports car “with a soul that’s born in the Motorsport,” said Kjell Gruner, president and CEO of Porsche Cars North America.
And for 2022, it receives a host of updates.
At its heart is a naturally aspirated 4.0-liter, horizontally opposed 6-cylinder engine that’s virtually identical to the unit found in the 911 GT3 Cup race car. Generating 502 horsepower and 346 pound-feet of torque through a standard 7-speed Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) transmission or an available 6-speed manual transmission, the engine debuted in the limited-production 2019 911 Speedster and has been further updated for the new 911 GT3.
Porsche says the GT3’s standard driveline runs 0 to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds with the PDK. Redline is a screaming 9,000 rpm; top track speed is 197 mph. But the GT3 is more than a powerful driveline; it’s the closest approximation of a street-legal Porsche race car. And as you’d expect, losing weight is going to cost you money.
Porsches performance improvements
The new GT3’s double wishbone front axle, which it takes the design of from the 911 RSR and 911 GT3 Cup cars, improves steering precision and control through corners. The GT3’s rear axle is a still a multilink design, but Porsche increased the number of ball joints used throughout the suspension to increase the GT3’s capability.
Behind the GT3’s 20-inch front and 21-inch rear forged alloy wheels — both wider than before — are cast iron disc brakes that are 17% lighter, although Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes are optional, and cut weight by half compared to the standard units. It’s shod with high performance summer tires specifically designed for the new model: 255/35ZR 20s up front and 315/30ZR 21s in the back.
All these additions, large and small, result in some impressive numbers, with the new 911 GT3 lapping the 12.94-mile configuration of the Nürburgring in 6:59.927 minutes, besting the previous GT3 by more than 17 seconds, according to Porsche.
Goes fast, looks amazing
All of this goodness is cloaked in a 911 body that uses a front track that’s by 1.9 inches wider but doesn’t weigh significantly more due to the carbon fiber hood, rear wing, and fixed rear spoiler, along with lightweight, insulated glass.
As you’d expect, the front fascia is designed with integrated cooling intakes, and an adjustable front spoiler and front diffuser. There’s also a rear wing that’s mounted from swan neck pylons to improve aero, which can be manually adjusted for road or track use, increasing aerodynamic downforce by as much as 50 percent.
Inside, you’ll notice that the interior is derived from the eighth-generation 911, but there are some noticeable differences. There’s a GT3 multifunction steering wheel that includes a drive mode switch for the first time, and a PDK transmission lever that looks much like a manual transmission gearshift lever. This allows for manual shifts that feel more natural than using paddles, although the latter are quicker on the track. Four-way Sport Seats Plus are standard; 18-way Sport Seats Plus are optional, as are carbon fiber bucket seats that are 26 pounds lighter than the standard seats.
Aiding and abetting driver concentration is a GT-specific Track Screen that reduces instrument cluster information to the bare essentials. Tire pressure and water temperature are always visible on the left; the right side can be customized. Porsche’s Chrono Package is optional but includes a GT-only analog stopwatch on the instrument panel, and a digital stopwatch in the instrument cluster.
The new 2022 Porsche 911 GT3 is expected to arrive in U.S. in the fall 2021. Pricing and option availability was not announced.