2022 Porsche 911 GT3 Track Review

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Porsche’s 992 GT3 has arrived in Australia and we roll straight out of pit lane to test the seventh iteration of the motorsport-inspired lineage.

Three Shark Blue 992 GT3s await us in pitlane of Sydney Motorsport Park and they look amazing, body drawn down tight over big wheels and squared-shouldered Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 rubber. So much has already been written about the new GT3 (and I’m sure will continue to be written) so I’ll provide only the briefest of recaps. The 992-gen GT3 weighs 1435kg when fitted with the seven-speed PDK of our example (1418kg with the no-cost optional six-speed manual). Its 3996cc flat-six makes 375kW at 8400rpm, 470Nm at 6100rpm and it’ll rev to nine grand. Among the raft of detail improvements, the two big technical changes are the swan-neck wing and the adoption of double wishbone suspension on the front axle. Porsche claims that the PDK GT3 will accelerate to 100km/h in 3.4 seconds (3.9sec for the manual) and on to a 318km/h top speed (320 manual). And it’s set a 6:55.2 Nurburgring lap time.

As this is a circuit-only test, the Porsche team has already configured the drive modes to the max-attack Track setting. Even rolling out of pit lane there’s a tense race-car feel to the GT3, like all slack has been removed from every control. It’s a sensation that’s amplified by the locked-in feeling of the carbonfibre-shelled bucket seats (an $11,250 option but a must-have in my opinion). I’m sat low and snug, Alcantara-wrapped and perfectly round 360mm steering wheel jutting towards me, brake pedal aligned for left-foot braking. It’s an environment that encourages you to get to work.

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The pit lane at Sydney Motorsport Park merges into the exit of turn one, so the GT3 has stormed deep into third gear by the time I’m blending right for the run to turn two. The out lap blurs as the sensation come thick and fast, but it’s immediately obvious that the new car is something special.

The previous-gen GT3 was an astonishing bit of kit on road or track. That the new car is noticeably more involving, more stable and just plain faster than what was already an incredible high watermark is a hell of an achievement.

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All of the brilliance of the 992 GT3 coalesces for me scything through turn one. Like Stoner Corner at Phillip Island and The Chase at Mount Panorama, it’s one of the fastest corners in Australia motorsport. The GT3 hammers down the Brabham Straight, devouring third, fourth and fifth gears and peaking at nearly 250km/h before the tireless brakes dissipate 70km/h.

Our car is running the standard steel brakes rather than the optional carbon-ceramics but they are hugely impressive as you might expect of 408mm front rotors with six-piston monobloc fixed calipers and 380mm rears with four-piston monobloc fixed calipers. The pedal never wavers throughout the day and there’s feel and feedback to brake hard right to the ABS threshold and then bleed pressure as you approach the apex. I always tend to brake to the apex, floating a car in without trying to ask too many questions of the chassis and tyres and it’s a technique that the GT3 relishes. In fact, of all the 911s I’ve driven on track, this GT3 requires the least amount of neutral time to allow the chassis to settle.

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Much has already been made of the effectiveness of the double wishbone front end, but there’s such balance across both axles that the car never feels like it’s dominated by either end. And that’s how the GT3 feels touching the inside kerb of turn one with its left front Cup 2 as the throttle pedal begins to arc back towards the carpet. It’s a life-affirming sensation with both ends of the GT3 on the edge of slip but still feeling in total control.

In slower corners, such as the tricky double-apex turn two which you approach at over 200km/h, you don’t need to be as patient with the front end as you did with the previous car. It sits so flat here that you can get it back to the second apex without ugly stabs of understeer or having to reset the throttle.

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I’m a little tentative on the exit of turn three, failing to use perhaps half a metre of exit tarmac and slightly compromising the approach speed at turn four. Still, the GT3 is doing well over 170km/h as the braking marker flashes by and the track drops away. While I get light in my belts, the GT3 remains totally planted, compressing hard into its springs and taking the firm steering input to tuck the nose to the right. Five and six are great corners that can be attacked hard and the GT3 smears microns of Michelin here each lap, again feeling right on the limit but serenely in control. Later, when the dark clouds finally burst, I have a sizeable slide through five that reminds me even the genius of a GT3 has its limits.

Again, I am losing a tenth or so on the approach to Corporate Hill with a strange pause on the throttle. It’s not a lift, rather a hesitation to go to 100 per cent throttle. I feel like I’ve let the GT3 down.

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I’m back on it for the remainder of the lap, and experiment with second and third gear through the hairpin at turn eight, settling on using the third and leaning on the engine’s surprisingly muscular torque delivery. Like turn one, the complex at 9-10-11 really highlights the gains of the new GT3. It’s ultra-stable carrying brake through the change of direction and the front end stays planted and settled for the long approach through 11 in preparation to charge back onto the straight.

Each lap, the GT3 delivers frantic pace but it does so in a calm and involving manner. It’s not asking you to merely operate it at high speed, but requires you to invest in the process, learning where it requires a little patience and when you can throw caution to the wind. I don’t suspect I’d ever grow bored of learning more of its ways in which to extract even more of its well of performance.

Porsche wants $369,600 for the GT3, regardless of whether you opt for the manual, PDK or even the wingless Touring variant. While there’s no denying that’s a lot of money, the GT3 is an astonishingly capable and entertaining, and in real terms represents astounding value for money. To find faster and more focused cars, you need to look at cars such as the McLaren 765LT ($609,650), Lamborghini Huracan STO ($596,000) or Nissan GT-R Nismo SV ($393,800). Of course, you could try to get you name down against Porsche’s recently released Cayman GT4 RS at $300,800.

Jesse Taylor

Final Verdict:

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