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  • [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.

  • And I think there is a small portion of the marketplace

  • that will feel disenfranchised, and might not

  • go out and buy the car.

  • My guess is that for every one that doesn't buy it there

  • might be three or four that do buy it because

  • of what it's become.

  • What does that tell me about the GT3?

  • It probably tells me more about my beliefs in cars, and