Porsche 911 GT3 test – engine, gearbox and technical points
It’s tempting to just say “see the previous generation” for this section, as much of the drivetrain is very familiar. But that’s a good thing. Compared to the previous GT3 unit, the MDG.G 4-litre naturally aspirated flat-six engine now has individual throttle bodies and the exhaust system gains gas particulate filters, but there is a new rear silencer which is 10 kg lighter.
In other words, it’s virtually identical to the engine of the old 991 Speedster. Outputs only increased by 10 hp and 8 lb-ft to 503 hp and 347 lb-ft – tiny increases for a model with low numbers in its group of rivals, but we challenged you to drive a GT3 on the track and want an additional 200 hp.
Both transmissions are also unique in the 992 range of the GT3 compared to the Carrera and Turbo models. These are older units that have a lower ratio in both cases, but were used due to their lower weight and tighter packaging. The older PDK also has a physical shifter rather than the rocker that most 992s use, which not only gives you a second option for uphill and downhill, but is also the Porsche GT boss’ preference, Andreas Preuninger.
A lot of effort has gone into three main areas of the chassis: weight saving, aerodynamics and suspension. Things like lightweight glass, new front wheels, new rear fascia, LiFePO4 battery and carbon cover all helped to reduce weight compared to the previous generation GT3. The end result is that although the 992 is a fundamentally heavier car, the latest GT3 weighs 1435kg with the PDK box. It is barely 5 kg more than the old car.
The aerodynamics, however, are significantly better. The adoption of a gooseneck rear wing and an impressive rear diffuser has improved downforce by 50% at 200 km/h. However, the front wing and splitter are manually adjustable, and if you put them in their most aggressive settings the car generates 385kg of downforce, 150% more than the old car. In fact, it’s more than the old RS.
Still, the biggest talking point was the front suspension. It’s now a double wishbone setup rather than MacPherson struts – something only seen on 911 race cars before. This suspension design allowed Porsche engineers to increase camber stiffness and give the front tires a much more consistent surface with the road, even under extreme cornering forces. The connections are also all ball joints up front, which partly explains the large amounts of road and suspension noise.
Porsche offers two stock tire options – a Pirelli P Zero for everyday road use or a Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 for track use. Such is the Cup’s advanced cold and wet weather capabilities, these can be used in everyday driving, but the higher grip limits actually make the Pirelli the tire of choice for pure entertainment, further revealing the inherent balance of the GT3.