The 2022 Porsche 911 GT3 is a perfect example of Porsche taking what it learns on the racetrack and transferring that knowledge directly to the streets. In that case, you could say Porsche is taking it to the streets. Sorry. Couldn’t resist. One of our favorite brands, thanks to the company’s legendary race cars like the Porsche 917, Napleton News was eager to have a moderate dive into the latest from Stuttgart.
The Porsche 911 GT3 Nürburgring test
If you are dealing with Porsche, you might as well get used to the fact that you are dealing with legends. Take Walter Röhrl, for instance. Back in 1999, the motorsport ace pulled off the impossible in a series production car. It was the first version of the Porsche 911 GT3. The track was the incomparable Nürburgring, also known as the Green Hell. After turning a lap on the Northern circuit of the track, timers stopped at 7:56:33 minutes. It was a sub-eight-minute run on the 12.94-mile circuit! That was unheard of!
Aware of this feat in 1999 was up-and-coming Porsche factory driver Jörg Bergmeister. He immediately claimed the GT3 was his dream car. Who would have guessed that seven generations and 22 years later, Bergmeister would be driving the latest version, along with development driver Lars Kern, to set an astonishing lap time of 6:59:927! That lap was almost a minute faster than the original record for this car. “That’s a world of difference,” said Röhrl.
What is the GT3?
Essentially, the 2022 Porsche GT3 is a race car for the street. It’s also a race car for the track too. There is more racing technology on this new GT3 than any that preceded it. Just taking a close look will bear this out. From the swan-neck rear wing, the refined aerodynamics and rear diffuser to the double-wishbone front axle, the 911 GT3 is a pure thoroughbred.
Best of all, though, is the sound. “Exhilarating,” says Röhrl. “No car lover can resist it.” It’s coming from a naturally-aspirated 4.0-liter six-cylinder boxer engine that delivers 502 horsepower and 346 lb-ft of torque. The engine is the same one found in the new track-only 911 GT3 Cup race car. The Boxer is matched up to a 7-speed Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) transmission. For those who like a little more engagement from their transmission, a six-speed manual gearbox is available. A dry-sump oil system guarantees positive oil flow to the engine even when subjected to intense lateral and longitudinal loads. All told, the 911 GT3 will run 0-60 mph and tops out at 197 mph. On the track, of course.
The 911 GT3’s space-aged chassis.
Based on the 911 Carrera body, the GT3 is now 1.9 inches wider. It features more lightweight materials in the body than ever before on a 911 GT3. The hood, rear wing and fixed rear spoiler are all carbon fiber reinforced plastic.
The gap between race and street car gets tighter with the double-wishbone front suspension straight from the 911 RSR racer. It offers more direct and precise steering than before. At rear is a multilink axle, but it has been enhanced to provide more extensive capabilities than before. The GT’s all-new suspension does not share any common parts with the current 911 Carrera models.
The Porsche 911 GT3 rides on a staggered set of 20-inch front and 21-inch rear alloy performance wheels. They are GT-specific, with front wheels half an inch wider than those from the previous GT3. Despite the increase in size, they are now about 3.5 pounds lighter than the wheelsets they replace. Porsche also offers a street-legal set of track tires used previously on the RS models and now for the Nürburgring record run.
Credit for the GT3’s handling and speed goes to the aerodynamics found on the new model. Start with a new front fascia that includes intakes for improved cooling as well as an adjustable front spoiler lip and front diffuser that can be adapted to various settings depending on the driving it is being subjected to. Specially-developed air curtains are here as well to help smooth airflow over the wheels.
The most striking visual, though, has, and always will be, the “swan neck-supported” rear wing that has become a sort of trademark on this racing/street family of Porsche cars. This rear spoiler is fully adjustable and, even in normal mode, provides 50-percent more downforce than that from the previous GT3. Even more incredibly, when the front and rear spoilers are adjusted to their track settings, the result is an increase in downforce of up to 150-percent.
What’s Inside the Porsche 911 GT3
The interior of the new Porsche 911 GT3 is that of a purpose-built race car. The first clue is the GT3 Multifunction Sport Steering wheel upholstered in Race-Tex material for improved grip while driving in anger. It’s also the first time the steering has included a drive mode switch, so the driver won’t have to remove their hands to change mode.
Four-way Sport Seats Plus are standard, while 18-way Sport Seats Plus and carbon fiber Full Bucket Seats are available as extra-cost options. Another race car giveaway is the PDK gear lever, an adapted version of the manual transmission gearshift lever. It’s a new design that allows for manual up- and downshifts without the use of paddle-shift levers.
A GT-specific “Track Screen” function is also part of the GT3. Designed to reduce the amount of information seen on the screen surrounding the analog tachometer, it helps the driver to focus on the task at hand rather than any extraneous gauges that don’t matter so much while driving in a high-performance fashion.
The Porsche Chrono Package is available at extra cost. It is different than the Sport Chrono package, adding an analog stopwatch on the dashboard and instrument cluster. It can be analyzed by the driver in the car or afterward via a Porsche Smartphone app.
The End Result.
Porsche’s efforts were not in vain. The Porsche 911 GT3 lapped the 12.944-mile course of the most demanding racing track in the world in 6:59:927 minutes. Almost in Porsche’s backyard, this test track was where the 2022 911 GT3 managed to lap the Nürburgring Nordschleife a full 17 seconds faster than its predecessor.