- 2021 Porsche 911 GT3 officially revealed
- 375kW 4.0-litre flat-six retains its 9000rpm redline
- Six-speed manual translates to no weight gain over the outgoing model
- 6-minute 55.2-second Nurburgring time, some 17 seconds quicker than its predecessor
The wraps have at last been lifted off the 2021 Porsche 911 GT3, after a lengthy drip-feed of teasers, accidental leaks and media previews – and it'll land on Australian shores in the second half of this year.
Let's start with the details you're likely most interested to hear: powering the new 911 GT3 is an updated version of the highly-acclaimed 4.0-litre naturally-aspirated flat-six, sending 375kW and 470Nm to the rear wheels through a choice of seven-speed dual-clutch automatic or optional six-speed manual transmission.
Porsche claims a 3.4-second sprint from zero to 100km/h with the PDK – or 3.9 seconds with the manual – towards a top speed of 318km/h or 320km/h depending on the gearbox fitted, with the higher speed achieved with the three-pedal option.
Compared with the outgoing GT3, the new 992-generation car develops 8kW more power, yet claims identical 0-100km/h sprint time (in auto guise, with the outgoing manual claiming 3.9 seconds) and top speed figures.
Under the skin, the German brand's Motorsport division has fitted the road model with GT3-first double-wishbone front suspension – rather than previous 911 GT3s MacPherson struts – derived from the outgoing 911 RSR racer.
Filling the arches are 20-inch front and 21-inch rear centre-locking, forged black alloy wheels – 1.6kg lighter than the units fitted to its predecessor – wrapped in 10mm-wider available Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R tyres. They hide steel or carbon-ceramic brakes, depending on options.
European media drives prior to launch indicate the steel stoppers will measure 408mm up front (up 28mm over the outgoing model), and 380mm at the rear. Meanwhile, the carbon-ceramics measure 410mm on the front axle.
Despite the new 911 GT3's larger alloy wheels and wider body – thanks to the 992-series chassis that it's based on – it's "on par" with its predecessor in the weight department, tipping the scales in at 1418kg with a manual or 1435kg with the PDK auto – just 5kg portlier than the 991 model.
The weight saving – or rather, lack of weight gain – is thanks to a variety of lightweight elements including a carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic material for the front 'bonnet' and rear wing, lightweight glass windows, lighter brake discs, no rear seats and the aforementioned lightweight alloy wheels.
An optional sports exhaust system saves 10kg over the standard set-up, and features "infinitely" adjustable flaps to enhance engine sound on the way to the 4.0-litre mill's 9000rpm redline.
Matching the race-bred chassis is an aggressive aerodynamics package, headlined by a 'swan-neck' rear wing which sees the support struts attached to the top of the main wing plane, rather than the bottom, streamlining the flow of air underneath and increasing downforce.
It's joined dual 'bonnet' vents, a wide front air intake (with a matte black surround), a front splitter, deeper side skirts and a more aggressive rear diffuser housing a pair of exhaust tips.
The aforementioned front splitter and rear wing can both be manually adjusted to "significantly increase the aerodynamic pressure for high cornering speeds".
Despite the extent of the GT3's fixed aerodynamic aids, Porsche claims that, thanks to the brand's learnings from motorsport, they develop 50 per cent more downforce than the old GT3's aero package in their normal positions, with that number increasing to 150 per cent when the wing and splitter are in their most aggressive modes.
The result of the new 911 GT3's powertrain, chassis and aerodynamics improvements? A 17-second quicker lap around the famed Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit in Germany, posting a 6 minute, 55.2-second time around the shorter 20.6km layout, or a 6-minute, 59.927-second lap around the full 20.8km lap, the latter mandatory for lap record attempts around the circuit since 2019.
The new model's time around the 20.6km layout – set in the hands of racing driver Jörg Bergmeister – is even 1.2 seconds faster than the 6-minute 56.4-second lap recorded by the outgoing 911 GT3 RS in 2018, which wore the same Cup 2 R tyres as today's non-RS GT3.
Inside the cabin, the new Porsche 911 GT3 borrows heavily from lesser variants of the 992-generation 911, though benefits from GT3-specific upgrades including race bucket seats, a unique, conventionally-styled PDK gear selector shaped similarly to a manual gearstick, and a drive mode selector on the suede-wrapped steering wheel to select between Normal, Sport and Track modes,
The semi-digital instrument cluster features a new Track display, which changes the digital displays flanking the central tachometer to display tyre pressure, oil pressure, oil temperature, fuel level, water temperature and other information critical for hardcore track driving.
It also includes a unique shift assistant system, displaying coloured, illuminated bars on the left and right of the rev counter, and a shift light "derived from Motorsport".
Available options both inside and out include a lightweight exposed carbon-fibre roof, carbon-fibre mirror caps, tinted LED matrix headlights and LED tail-lights, and Guards Red or Shark Blue (pictured throughout) wheel rim accents, while the tachometer, Sport Chrono dial, seatbelts, stitching and other trim accents can be had in a variety of colours.
Buyers can also purchase a 911 GT3-inspired chronograph from Porsche Design, featuring a titanium structure mirroring the connecting rods in the sports car's engine, and a winding rotor modelled on the car's wheels.
The 2021 Porsche 911 GT3 will go on sale in Australia in the second half of 2021.