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Porsche 911 GT3 launched in Malaysia

4th November, 2017

Porsche had a long history of building sportscars designed for both road and track, and perhaps the best example of this would be the 911 GT3. The GT3 designation has been around for a couple of generations already, and is used to denote one of the most extreme form of the 911 model available within the range.

But with this new generation, the 911 GT3 has received such a large technological overhaul that it may very well be as quick as the previous 911 GT3 RS. Sime Darby Auto Performance (SDAP) has just launched the new 911 GT3 from an estimated RM1.7 million (before adding insurance) and this time with a 6-speed manual option as well. This is important to note as the previous 911 GT3 was a PDK-only affair without a manual option available.

This new 911 GT3 has a completely new engine that pushes the limits of performance and engineering. Despite having a capacity of 4 litres, it isn’t the same engine that’s found in the 911 GT3 RS. Critics around the world have found it surprisingly potent despite not being in an RS model.

It develops an impressive 500 bhp and, with a chassis weight of just 1,430 kgs, it can sprint to 100 km/h in just 3.4 seconds. The top speed is claimed to be 318 km/h but you would need to find a long enough piece of road to see that on the speedometer. If you do opt for the manual option, the sprint to 100 km/h takes 3.9 seconds instead but the top speed can be 320 km/h.

While Porsche calls this 911 GT3 a “new generation”, it still sits on a 991 platform. That’s not to say that there haven’t been numerous changes under the skin; Porsche has put an extensive amount of work in developing and improving the chassis based on the lessons they’ve learned from the previous 911 GT3 and from their racing programs.

Compared to the regular 911 Carrera S, the 911 GT3 sits 25 mm lower and comes with rear-wheel steering. Dynamic engine mounts help to provide extra control over the balance of the car, without compromising comfort during every day driving.

Overall looks are sharp with the front end having massive intake ducting while the rear is dominated by a large wing sitting above the rear bonnet. It’s a bit sharper and more angular than its predecessor but still not quite as crazy as an RS model would be with dive planes and other aerodynamic additions.

On the inside, there have been a couple of changes as well to keep things looking relevant. The steering wheel is borrowed from the 918 Spyder, while the Porsche Sport Plus seats help to hold both the driver and passenger tight when putting the 911 GT3 through its paces.

Seat height and headrest are adjusted electronically, which means the seats are not as light as they potentially could be. These seats are surprisingly the lowest of the 4 options available – owners can opt for an adaptive version of the Sports Seat Plus that comes with 18-way electronic adjustment, or sport bucket seats with manual adjustment, or even full on carbonfibre reinforced plastic full bucket seats. Which seat is for you will really depend on your tolerance for discomfort and your purpose for the car.

It’s definitely a very exciting model for Porsche, and many Porsche enthusiasts value the GT3 for striking that middle ground between a regular 911 Carrera S and a full-blooded 911 GT3 RS. It’s a car that can be used for a larger range of situations but is still aggressive enough and competent enough on a track to keep things enjoyable.

Modern Porsches are also a far cry from the rather ‘wild animals’ that old 911s were known as, using technology and advances in engineering to help improve the overall driveability of these cars. While perhaps not as exciting as older 911s, these modern models are definitely far more effective and quicker around a track in any condition.

But again, one thing to bear in mind is that this is what Porsche has achieved with their GT3 variant, and it still leaves room for plenty of improvement that can be met with the GT3 RS. Expect the new GT3 RS to have more power, more aero, and an even more aggressive chassis balance to maximize its potential as a track weapon.

It’s also less likely that the new GT3 RS will have a manual option as its pure track-focused design brief would abhor a manual gearbox that introduces elements of human error compared to a PDK dual clutch gearbox.

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