Further expanding the 911 line-up in India, Porsche today launched the all-new 911 GT3 sports car in the country priced at Rs 22,329,000 crore (Ex-showroom). Currently, one of the most potent 911s in the country, Porsche India started accepting bookings for the new Porsche 911 GT3 early this year, right after the car’s global unveiling, which happened at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show. The new Porsche 911 GT3 is essentially built for some exemplary track performance and gets a bulk of changes over its predecessor.
Porsche 911 range comes from updated flat-six engines with the 911 Turbo and Turbo S using a 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged motor that now produces 533bhp and 572bhp respectively. The Carrera twins use a similar twin-turbo unit good for 370bhp on the Carrera Cabriolet and 420bhp on the Carrera S models. All engines come paired to Porsche’s 8-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic transmission that has been updated for quicker shifts.
The front remains true to the typical Porsche 911 design. Low slung bonnet that scoops upwards towards the windscreen and broad muscled shoulders on the sides for the headlamps. Porsche call this the wing design. There is an LED DRL ring that run around the whole headlamp and looks like a halo around it. The twin projector up and down look like a futuristic double barrel bazooka. The Side indicators are on the corners of the bumper. The grill is on the bumpers and has a valley type design the bumpers too have a chrome strip to bring in the premium feel.From the side Porsche has tried to mix sport with elegance. There is a bold shoulder line they runs through the lower side of the window. This runs from front to back. You get the feel that there is no B-Pillar in the car. From far and as it rained some time back I get the reference that at stand still the Porsche 911 looks like a frog ready to leap forward. The rear windscreen is big and I wonder why is it small in the Macan as it is an SUV and needs more visibility. The wrap around taillamps are sharp and the powerful LED make it look like Lazer blades from a Star wars movie.There is a grill which is again typical of Porsche rear or mid mounted engines for cooling and that is just below the glass. The rear bumper scoops in and then jets out for a more sportier feel and the exhaust pipes on each side are again big like cannons ready to fire. In between the taillamps is the Porsche 911 Carrera Badging.
Like mentioned above, the newly launched trim gets an extensive black treatment inside the cabin for a sporty yet classy appeal. While the regular variants are available with an option to personalize the cabin with different color schemes and cosmetics. Its interiors are made using premium leather material and is emphasized by metallic inserts. It has a sleekly structured dashboard that is equipped with several advanced aspects like an AC unit, an infotainment system and a sophisticated central console. The AC vent surround, door panels, dashboard and the central console are decorated with thick metallic strips. Also, it features a three spoke multi-functional steering wheel that is covered in leather and is engraved with company’s badge. Its cockpit is fitted with ergonomically designed seats with integrated headrest, which are electrically adjustment. These seats have been covered with high quality leather upholstery. The 911 Carrera range of variants comes with a luggage storage space of 145-litres and a total fuel tank capacity of 64-litres. While the Carrera S models have 125-litres of boot volume and a decent fuel storage capacity of 68-litres. The car maker has equipped this model series with several utility based features like smokers package, floor mats, storage net in front seat footwell and ISOFIX child seat mounting on front passenger seat.
This luxury model is available with several innovative comfort features as standard. The list includes a two zone automatic air conditioning system featuring separate temperature settings for passenger and driver along with air quality sensor and residual-heat function as well. It also features an integrated cluster featuring five round instruments along with a high resolution 4.6-inch TFT color display and an on-board computer. It provides information regarding engine speed, oil pressure, vehicle speed, oil temperature, coolant temperature and fuel level. The company is also offering this model series with features like leather seats, electrically adjustable and foldable outside mirrors featuring heating function, power windows with one touch operation, heated rear screen, three 12V power sockets and a key remote for central locking and luggage compartment lid release. It also comes with optional features like heated seats, cruise control system, fire extinguisher, seat ventilation, light design package and Preparation for Porsche vehicle tracking system. On the other hand, the latest variants are now blessed with PCM communication system featuring a navigation module along with an automatically dimming of rear view mirrors and cruise control system as standard.
It’s here where the main novelties come into the spotlight. For starters, the previous 3.8-liter flat-six engine was replaced by a larger, 4.0-liter unit. The swap is far from surprising, as the 3.8-liter caused quite a few issues in the previous model, prompting Porsche to issue a massive recall after a few engines caught fire.The 4.0-liter flat-six is shared with the GT3 Cup race car and is rated at 500 horsepower and 339 pound-feet of torque. That’s a 25-horsepower and 15 pound-foot increase over the previous GT3 and makes the new sports car as powerful as the GT3 RS. The seven-speed, dual-clutch PDK transmission remains standard and pushes the 911 GT3 from 0 to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds, a tenth-second quicker than the outgoing model. Top speed has increased from 195 to 197 mph, too.However, the really big news is the optional six-speed manual. Requested for many years by purists, the manual finally made a comeback on the GT3 some years after Porsche said it’s unlikely to offer a high-spec 911 with three pedals. But before any of you purists pop the champagne, you should know that the manual GT3 is slower, needing 3.8 seconds to reach 60 mph. Top speed, on the other hand, is slightly higher at 198 mph.
DRIVING DYNAMICS ;
As ever, the 911 is a super-competent handler with loads of grip available. Yes, you could be a hooligan with it and slide it around corners on a race circuit, but it’s so sharp and well balanced, it actually encourages you to concentrate on getting a better lap time. Lament the electric steering all you want, it’s probably the best one in existence with the sharpness, weight and feedback it gives you. And even in this two-wheel-drive version, the grip is so immense, it’ll make your eyeballs hurt. Then there’s the other controversial bit of tech – optional rear-wheel steering, which until now was only available on the Turbo and GT3 models. It steers the back wheels ever so slightly when you turn the wheel, to tighten the turning circle and let the 911 corner sharper. It feels like witchcraft, but boy does it work! It goes into corners faster, stays more composed through them and comes out the other side with less drama too. One could argue that track-driving enthusiasts will prefer the more natural feel of the standard setup, but for the average driver, this will only help corner faster.
The car offers ventilated ceramic disc brakes all around that keep rotating mass low and offer high efficiency. Safety features include ABS, airbags, traction management system, emergency brake assist, stability management etc.
Porsche has hit the nail totally plumb on the head with its most cherished sports car, and went straight back to the highest point of the class. The 991-era Porsche 911 is a triumph. There is a couple of complaints, yet in truth they’re more like quibbles. The movement quality on the manual could do with a frisson of honing, the torque bend on the 3.4 could be a bit more extensive and the parsimonious standard hardware rundown leaves a partially severe taste in the mouth. On that last point couple of recommendations: collapsing entryway mirrors, voyage control, a multi-capacity guiding wheel and Porsche’s phone module are every sensible choice. On the other hand, in the frame division less is by all accounts more. Typical dampers, with no controlling or move bar alternatives, leaves the 911 an exceptionally genuine driving, drawing in sports auto.