Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles [CAR ENGINE] I don't suppose any car this year will require less introduction than this. Come on, people. It's the new GT3. [CAR ENGINE] And so this is the new GT3 being driven up a hill somewhere in Europe. Wow. What to make of this car? Well, let's drive it fast, and try and explain some of what's going on. I've got all the systems switched off at the moment. I've got the PDK gearbox in normal, that's what's advised. I've got the sports exhaust on, and I'm shifting gear myself. This is quite a car. Revs to 9,000 RPM. Rear-wheel steering, well, that's something new for me. Because if I do this-- then the steering goes to absolutely fixed. [CAR ENGINE] It's incredible, the calibration work they've done. The chassis is a massive step on. We've got a wider front track. The car just turns so much better than the 997 version. And because of the four-wheel steer working now, actively, it's much more agile. Much more agile. Steering, well, we'll touch on that again in a minute. The steering is superb compared to the normal 901. There's a lot more weight. I just feel more connected. Now, let that engine go. 8. That's 9. The last 500 RPM. Wow. Just wow. Interestingly, when I'm driving like this, I'm not actually thinking, where's my manual gearbox? But that does come. I assure you, that does come. This isn't quite one of our normal videos. It was a smash and grab effort, shot on my own, hence the camera sitting in the passenger seat most of the time. Because we had a chance to drive an engineering car very early, and I grabbed it. But before we delve further, let's have a look around. You really need to see this thing in the flesh to appreciate how much punchier it looks than a base 991. That protruding chin-line, the big splitter element, and some gaping intakes give the 991 GT3 a menace that's missing in the base car. You'll need the optional front axle lifter in town, as well. The car uses the wider 991 body shell, which is almost all aluminum. And the claimed curb weight is 1,430 kilograms, which has got people screaming it's too heavy. But then, it does now have a PDK jaw clutch gearbox as standard. Porsche claims it can shift in less than 100 milliseconds. There is no manual option. I'll repeat that. There is no manual option. The box itself is heavier, but the new motor is lighter than before. It's a 3.8-liter flat-6, based on the Carrera motor, and it produces 475 horsepower at 8,250 RPM, and 325 foot-pounds of torque. The limiter is set at 9,000 RPM. The claimed 0-to-100 time is 7.5 seconds, which is naffing fast. The ring lap time is 7 minutes, 25 seconds, on both OE tires, the Dunlop and the Michelin. These are the optional 20-inch forged rims, which look achingly gorgeous, and are beautifully dished at the rear. For the first time, there is an OE Dunlop tire, measuring 305/30 at the rear and 245/35 at the front. The rear steering works in the opposite direction to the front wheels below 50 miles an hour, and in the same direction above that speed. So at low speed you get a shorter wheelbase feeling, and at high speed a longer wheelbase feeling for stability. The interior's pretty subtle. This car has the club sport pack, which gives you a bolt-in rear cage and a fire extinguisher. The carbon buckets have fixed backs. All the control surfaces are Alcantara covered, except this engineering car has a leather wheel. And there's enough GT3 badging to remind you that you're not driving a Carrera, although you should be shot if the way this thing demolishes a road doesn't decide this for you. There are some funky GT RS gadgets, too. This performance meter thing I didn't really understand. And the G-meter is a bit pointless, too. But then, people love toys. Me, I'm kind of more interested in the way the new GT3 drives. Now, I've thought long and hard about how to approach this car. How I should approach it as a journalist, how I should approach it as a previous GT3 owner, how I should approach it as a GT3 fan. [CAR ENGINE] And I've reached this conclusion. I think I need to separate the factual from the philosophical, OK? So I'll deal with the factual first. This is what I see as the facts of the situation. A company like Porsche-- any company that makes sports cars that's a sort of pioneer, a market leader, whether it's a Ferrari, or a Maserati, or a BMW, an Audi, a Mercedes AMG,-- they have to improve on the car that they replaced, right? So the new GT3 had to identify what the old 997 GT3 did, and do those things better. [INAUDIBLE] lack of knowledge of those cars, I spent quite a bit of time in them. And the way I saw it, the following things were not very good. The front axle grip, at times, wasn't what you wanted it to be. It was a bit of a problem. You found you had a lot of understeer. Getting the car into a corner was a problem. You had quite an aggressive differential that added to that understeer, but then gave you quite severe oversteer after that neutral point. So the front axle of the car was always a bit of a problem. Another problem is that even though people like me loved the manual gearbox and felt it was the last of the great driver's cars, there were an unknown number of people-- I say unknown, because they never got the chance to buy one-- who wanted some paddles and didn't want a manual gearbox. And that's the way the market is inextricably going. So factual situation is this. Porsche's fixed the front axle problems on this car, for a combination of wider front track, a totally different set of kinematics, and lower arms to a normal 901 Carrera. [CAR ENGINE] And this very clever rear-wheel steer system-- we can break down how it works and the way it does things, but the reality is, on the road, you just don't notice it. You just have a steering wheel that, when you turn the car, makes this car feel a whole load more agile, and transparent, and easier to go fast in, than a 997. It just wants to go into corners. They've got a 997 GT3 here, I just jumped into it, and it feels ancient by comparison. You can't believe how much arm work you've got to put in. So, yes. In those terms, it's a massive result. The steering. Oh yeah. There are no mechanical hardware changes to this over a Carrera. It's just a calibration and software job. But by hell, if this steering doesn't appear on every single 911 soon, I'd be amazed. OK, we've got different tracks, we've got a different tire, we've got different spring and damper rates, we've got a solidly-mounted lower-suspension arms-- that all helps give us a better connection to the road. But this is, by far and away-- in fact, by a margin I can't even explain-- better than any electric power steering I've ever driven. It really is quite superb. Got a lot more weight to it. Not once today have I thought I wish it had hydraulic steering. And that's a surprise, because I thought I would. [CAR ENGINE] What about the engine? Well, again, factually, once you've driven this thing, you'll forget the Metzger ever existed. I mean it revs, and revs, and revs. [CAR ENGINE REVVING] OK, it's only 500, 600 RPM more than last time. But that last 600 RPM, the noise-- this sort of hard, mechanical valve-train noise that comes through-- that is addictive. Absolutely addictive. And it's a step change. It's something entirely new. OK, it doesn't rattle and graunch and make quite as many characterful noises as before, but this doesn't feel very related to a 901 that comes straight out of a 991 Carrera. It feels very different. Very different. How they're gonna make it reliable to 9,000 RPM over 100,000 miles, I don't know. But they're Porsche, so I'm sure they will. Let's talk about the transmission. Comfortably the best PDK that Porsche's ever made. Fast, intuitive. And just a step beyond in terms of what you can extract on the road, in terms of performance. And for many people, I suppose, enjoyment. For me, maybe not. But let me try and alter my point of reference for a minute and pretend that-- I'm in a sports car market, I'm not, you know, David Coulthard, I'm not Mark Lieb. I'm a normal driver. Well, I can extract so much more performance from this car, compared to its predecessor, you can't make a comparison. You just pull a lever, down two gears, I execute a perfect heel-and-toe, I'm into the turn-- because that front axle wants to turn-- I've gotten amazing traction from those massive rear Dunlops on this car-- it's easy. It really is easy. And it's-- you know what? Earlier, I was going quite fast on some technical roads, and I didn't once think I want a manual. Because I realized that if I had a manual I'd almost have too much work to do. Where does that leave us? Well, it leads us to the philosophical question. And that's, should I be in a car with a badge that says GT3 on the boot, and all this heritage and history, and not once have I changed gear myself in the time I've been talking to you? I've just left it in automatic, and it's been doing it all for me. Philosophically, is that acceptable? Is that the way things should be? Hmm. I'm not so sure. I think this car, objectively, is everything I hoped it would be, and better. It's so fast, it makes an amazing noise. It just takes the game to a new level. But I think a GT3-- or maybe not a GT3, but a car built by Porsche, the shape of a 911, with this engine-- should be the last bastion of the manual gear change. I think it's a massive shame that they haven't made the car with a manual gearbox. But I can't beat up what I've got here, because it's so good. It's such a good car to drive. And it is so much fun. But I do miss the fact that it's not a manual.