This car comes only with the PDK 7-speed, dual-clutch, clutchless pedal gearbox. This was a very controversial decision by Porsche. This would be the first GT3 not to have a manual gearbox and clutch. It also has the basic 911’s electric steering system which I thought would be a problem, as I felt the basic cars’ electric steering had robbed the car of a lot of feeling and responsiveness, but the GT3 has totally different software and a stiffer front end. This makes a world of difference. It is hard to believe that both cars have essentially the same system!
The car also has an interesting electro-mechanical rear-steer system. At low speeds the rear wheels turn in the opposite direction as the fronts to improve response (fun to watch in the side mirror) , at speeds above 50mph, the rear wheels turn in the same direction as the fronts to improve agility and boy you do feel it. The car has a ‘dartiness’ about it, very reminiscent of a go-kart, you only have to look at a corner for the car to follow it seems.
Let us not beat around the bush. This car is fantastic, amazing, incredible, astonishing…words fail me. I have been privileged to own and drive quite a few special cars including a Lamborghini Gallardo. This is my 7th 911, I have had or driven extensively every M3 ever made, including the legendary E30 M3. This smashes them all. This is by far the best car I have ever driven and it is better by a margin I did not expect and can hardly believe. The breeding is clear. This is no ordinary 911, and it is clear from the moment you start the engine and drive the first 100m. The engine starts and then settles into an uneven idle. The engine makes many sounds that make it clear that this is a very special race-bred engine. It chunters and grinds and I initially thought the engine was broken after firing it up one morning and watching smoke billow out from the exhaust! I frantically called Porsche to report this and was casually assured that this was normal!
The car feels alive, the suspension is stiffer, you feel every bump and road imperfection, but strangely the damping and bumb absorption is far, far better than my previous 911. How did Porsche manage this feat of magic? Mind you, this is no Rolls Royce or Bentley so if the qualities of those cars are what suits you, look elsewhere. This car is most definitely not for you. This car is for the hard-core petrolhead. And I mean hard-core. In fact, I am still a bit scared of this car. Casual car lovers need not apply. The car is even shod with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres for heavens sake! These tyres according to Michelin are: “A tire designed for the track, and approved for on-road use”. LMAO!
This car is all about delivering the sharpest possible driving experience and all excess weight has been shed in the quest to deliver it.Rear seats? Binned. Bose 16 speaker system? Sorry Sir, you can’t have it. (Thank heavens they do allow the fitment of air conditioning and satellite navigation making the car easier to live with).
The maxim “less is more” has been strictly followed and has produced a car that weighs just over 1,400kg. And it shows.
So when the engine warms up and you begin to stretch its legs, first to 4000 rpm, then to 5000 rpm, then you summon the courage to wind it up to its screaming 9000 rpm redline and BOOM! it hits you! the sledgehammer punch of this car is intoxicating and completely addictive. The wail of that race bred engine at 9000 rpm makes the hair on your neck stand up and pay attention. I will never get tired of the experience.
You throw it at a corner and the car seemingly takes it with the utmost disdain. “Pah! You took that corner at only 60mph?” the car seems to be saying. The limits of this car are so high, you can only really explore its limits on a race track. I cannot wait to take it to the ‘Green Hell’, The Nurburgring, that legendary F1 race track where Nikki Lauda (one of Lewis Hamiltons’s bosses) nearly met his maker in 1976. The trip to the Belgian Grand prix in August should be very interesting, thats if I don’t fall foul of the Dutch Police again. They would throw not just the book at me, they will also throw the entire library at me.
Slowly you and the car become one, the feedback and interaction (and fun) are on another level to anything I’ve ever experienced.