2022 Porsche 911 GT3 Track Review: The Purists Porsche
It’s finally here! After a few months of lockdown kept us from jumping behind the wheel of the new Porsche 911 GT3, we managed to fandangle our way into the cockpit of this highly anticipated road-going racecar at Sydney Motorsport Park. With a full day of driving in-store, three brand new GT3’s to play with, and a spot of good weather – there’s not much more we could ask for.
We covered the unveiling of the Australian Exclusive 70-Year Porsche 911 GT3 back in June, and quite frankly, we haven’t stopped thinking about jumping behind the wheel of one since. Since a young whippersnapper, we’ve been marveling at the visceral nature of the GT3 and it’s only got better with age. Everything from its motorsport-derived naturally aspirated powerplant to the big functional wing on the back, and now the double-wishbone front suspension, it remains a unicorn in the automotive world by staying true to the Porsche brand.
|High Point||Low Point||Verdict|
|9000RPM 4.0-litre Naturally Aspirated Motor is still one of the best ever put into a car. Still sounds great with noise restrictions.||We wouldn’t recommend driving the standard GT3 every day unless you’re happy sacrificing outright comfort for street cred and sound. Option the Touring Package for daily duties.||As simple an automotive decision as there is to make – if you have the money just get one. The hardest decision is choosing a colour.|
This generation of GT3 will eventually arrive with three different models, as was the case with the last generation. We’re seated in the first iteration, a standard model with a 7-speed PDK gearbox and all the bells and whistles you could ask for from a track-orientated car. Eventually, we’ll see an ‘RS’ model that’ll turn things up a notch (to somewhere around a 12/10) and finally, there’s the touring model that replicates the wing-less appearance of the Australian Exclusive mentioned above with a PDK gearbox now optional.
How Does the 2022 911 GT3 Drive?
|Porsche 911 GT3 Engine Specifications|
|Engine||3,996cc flat 6-cylinder petrol engine, naturally aspirated.|
|Power||375 kW / 510 PS at 8,400 RPM (10 PS higher than the previous 911 GT3).|
|Torque||460 Nm at 6,100 RPM (10 Nm higher than the previous 911 GT3).|
|Transmission||7-speed PDK twin-clutch gearbox or 6-speed GT sports manual transmission.|
|Acceleration||0 – 100 km/h in 3.4 seconds (3.9 seconds with manual transmission).|
|Top Speed||318 km/h (PDK; 320 km/h with manual transmission).|
What’s the Engine Like?
Everyone’s love for the 911 GT3 starts with the engine, take one listen and you’ll find out why. The sound the car produces from its motorsport-derived 4.0-litre flat-six is simply intoxicating as it climbs to the 9000RPM redline. Power numbers themselves haven’t changed much from the previous generation, and at 502-horsepower they don’t jump off the page as they do with a 911 Turbo, however, that was never the goal with a GT3, and customers know as much.
Not only does it sounds great, but the engine is full of character. As is the case with a highly-strung race motor, you won’t forget its heritage, never really happy sitting below 3000RPM it begs for you to rev the pants off and clip redline every now and then.
The motor encourages good driving behavior, rewarding you for correct corner speeds with tiny throttle inputs mid-corner that set you up for a clean corner exit right in the powerband. Unlike a turbo motor, tiny stabs of the throttle to keep the car in the rev-range and the nose tucked in are rarely met with big powerslides and unforgiving oversteer. As you exit the corner, grabbing a gear on the PDK gearbox is as satisfying as driving gets while you approach 240km/h on the main straight of Sydney Motorsport Park.
The GT3 is all about driver engagement, feedback, and purity. You won’t find a car on sale today that achieves all three of these factors to such a degree. On paper, you might snicker at the fact all cars were optioned with 7-speed PDK boxes for our track day, however, the car is so responsive and talkative when pushing at the limit we’d argue it’s the pick of the bunch.
Cars have just become too fast for manual transmissions when piloted by all but the best driver. On the street, as a weekend toy, or as an investment piece in a collectors garage, the manual gearbox is another story… but on a racetrack, give us the PDK every day of the week.
Another thing, the PDK is still the best automatic transmission you can buy (shift in under 100-milliseconds).
Suspension and Steering
Our first order of the day was a few warmup activities, starting with a quick slalom. This was a great way to warm up the tires and learn the characteristics of the car – after all, it’s not every day you jump behind the wheel of a Porsche GT3.
After taking the first cone head-on, you’re instantly reminded that Porsche still claims the title of best electronically assisted steering on the market – simply outstanding.
New for the 992 model GT3 is the double-wishbone front suspension that helps the front of the car stay flat and balanced through the mid-corner while reminding the chap behind the wheel what the word balance really means under braking and lateral correction.
Considering this is a track review, we’ll have to keep our thoughts on the individual drive modes a secret until its time to test them out on the street, however, on a perfectly smooth racing track we’re happy to report ‘track mode’ was neither too stiff nor bouncy. In fact, the way the GT3 could take the hit of a hard apex or undulation mid-corner at 200km/h at turn 1 of Sydney Motorsport Park was just one of many ways it reminds you – this is a road-going racecar.
Is the New Porsche GT3 Nice on the Inside?
Interior highlights on the new GT3 include:
- GT3 multifunction sports steering wheel with Mode switch.
- Dashboard with analogue rev counter and track screen.
- 10.9-inch full HD touch display of the Porsche Communication Management (PCM).
- Lap trigger optionally available through Porsche Tequipment and records lap times automatically.
- Optional Clubsport package with roll bar.
- A wide range of Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur personalisation options.
What are the Drivers Displays?
In keeping with the theme of a track day special, the driver’s displays are a highlight of the cabin. The gauge cluster standouts out with a large analog tachometer sitting front and center that highlights the 9000RPM rev limit. On either side of the tachometer are two digital displays that can be customised for individual preference, but we utilised the car’s ‘GT mode’ that only shows the important stuff.
In the middle of the vehicle, the centre console is wrapped in Alcantara and the gear selector is replaced with a pseudo gear stick for the PDK models as opposed to the toggle button found in other 911 models across the range – this is far more satisfying to shift ‘manually’ with.
A track day orientated vehicle it remains, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a Porsche. While some manufacturers look to delete everything outside of a steering wheel, seats and pedals, Porsche keeps weight reduction to areas that matter most while not sacrificing too much comfort.
The front seats of our test vehicles were carbon fibre buckets, the steering wheel is wrapped in grippy Alcantara, and the seat belts are colour matched to the paint color of the car. You won’t fit anything in the back seats outside of a small dog, and the sound that is emitted from the rear of the car, such as, stones from the ultra-sticky tires, to the induction noise of the engine itself could become rather cumbersome on a daily commute. Sound deading is mostly removed, and as such, we recommend sticking to the Carrera 4S, GTS, or Turbo models if you’re looking to drive this one more than 4 times a week. We’ll be testing the GT3 on the road soon, so keep your eyes peeled for that one.
We won’t get into the ins and outs of the infotainment system on the GT3 just yet as our full on-road review will be hitting early in the new year, however, you’ll find a 10.9-inch touchscreen sitting in the middle of the dashboard surrounded by Alcantara. A Bose premium stereo is optional.
Should You Buy a 2022 Porsche 911 GT3?
In simple terms, the answer is YES. If you have the money it’s as simple as walking down to your local Porsche Centre and essentially begging the dealer manager to get your name put down for one. You might have to wait, or in the worst-case scenario, you miss out and have to put your name on the waiting list for a GT3 RS when they eventually unveil the car later in the lifecycle.
When it comes to track-orientated vehicles like this, competitors’ options won’t extend far beyond the 2021 Mercedes-AMG GT R or the recently unveiled Maserati MC20. In the case of the Merc (which you can actually buy), it offers a completely different driving experience that chooses V8 grunt and the outright power over the pure finesse that comes with a Porsche. We will note that the driving position in the AMG GT R is something to behold, and it’s up there from an experience perspective. Ultimately, the 911 GT3 is an awesome ‘second car’ whereas the AMG GT R is a great fourth or fifth in a big collection.
We’ll take one in Yellow, please.
Warranty and Service Pricing
In Australia, you’re looking at a 3-year / unlimited-kilometre warranty for the new Porsche 911 GT3. Service intervals are 1-year / 20,000-kilometre (whichever comes first) and the pricing varies from state to state due to different labour rates. For an indication of service pricing, you can visit the Porsche website or your nearest Porsche Centre.