The Porsche 911 GT3 is a street-legal track-ready coupe. The GT3 variant jumps from 0 to 60 mph in just over 4 seconds on its way to a top speed of 192 mph.
PORSCHE GT3/GT3 RS
Racing runs deep in the bloodlines of every Porsche built since the company's inception. The marque's hallmark of extraordinary performance on the finest roads of the world, in the hands of the most skilled and talented enthusiast drivers has its basis on the race track.
Not surprisingly many Porsche owners use their vehicles not only for stylish, exceedingly capable personal transportation, but also for various types of motorsports competition. The Porsche 911 GT3 and the 911 GT3 RS were created for those most serious competitors.
Blurring the lines between road and track
Essentially, the GT3 and GT3 RS are as close to road-ready, street-legal racers as any cars can be. Porsche also builds track-only variants of these cars, the 911 GT3 Cup and the GT3 RSR. Many features are shared by the road-going and racing versions, including engines, suspension components and their modified bodies and aerodynamic enhancements. No other production car built in the same volume as the GT3 and GT3 RS has such a close link between motorsport and road-going high-performance.
Essence of high performance
Bred for the driver who craves track days as much as street drives, the Porsche 911 GT3 and GT3 RS are powered by Porsche's most potent naturally aspirated six-cylinder engine: a 415-horsepower 3.6-liter with an 8400 -rpm redline. As befits a race-ready machine, the engine has a special, low-restriction exhaust system that still keeps sound levels within public-road legal limits.
The 911 GT3 and GT3 RS come only with a special six-speed manual gearbox with ratios designed to optimize the engine's extended rev range. The astounding results are the GT3's zero-to-60 mph (0-99 kph) run in just 4.1 seconds. The car continues to 99 mph (160 kph) in only 8.7 seconds, finally topping out at the test track at 193 mph (310 kph).
The lighter, even more athletic GT3 RS has been tweaked to make the zero-to-60 mph (99 kph) sprint in an amazing 4.0 seconds, charging to 99 mph (16 kmh) in 8.5 seconds. Track-proven top speed matches the GT3 at 193 mph (310 kph).
Such blistering acceleration is to be expected of a Porsche 911 meant for the race track. What may not be expected is the fact that neither car carries a gas guzzler penalty. In fact, the GT3 RS is rated by the EPA to deliver 15 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway and the GT3 is rated 15 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway. As outstanding as the GT3 and GT3 RS vehicles meager appetite for fuel is the fact that both cars produce so few exhaust emissions they are both certified as Low Emissions Vehicles, category two (LEV-II).
Unique, track-bred aerodynamics
Using what they learned in the wind tunnel while honing the shape of the 911 GT3 Cup, Porsche aerodynamicists ensured the road-going cars would enjoy unparalleled aerodynamics. Despite its wide haunches, the GT3 has a emarkably low drag coefficient of only 0.29. The wider-still GT3 RS boasts a Cd of only 0.3. More critically, the cars have stupendous downforce throughout their speed range.
The monocoque structure carries a body with aluminum front lid and doors, and a plastic composite rear decklid. The remaining major body components are lightweight, hot-galvanized steel.
Viewed from any angle, the brawny, wide-shouldered GT3 and GT3 RS look like no other 911 Coupes, though they are clearly related. The nose boasts an upper air outlet to vent heated air from the central radiator, rather than allow that air to exit beneath the car, as with other models. In the rear, besides the unique exhaust pipes, these cars are instantly recognizable by the fixed rear spoiler.
Low weight for supreme agility
Every piece of the 911 GT3 and the GT3 RS has been carefully evaluated for reduced mass and maximum strength. The results are clear: the GT3 has a curb weight of just 3075 pounds (1395 kg). The even-more lithe GT3 RS shaves 44 pounds (20 kg) from that and tips the scales at 3031 pounds (1375 kg).
Safe occupant comfort
As true race-track contenders, the cockpits of the 911 GT3 and GT3 RS differ from those in other 911 Coupes. Most critically, the cars are two-seaters. There is no rear seat. The front seats are deeply bolstered and feature special upholstery to help keep the occupants from sliding in the seats.
But in a critical way, the GT3 and GT3 RS are identical to the rest of the 911 range. The occupants are protected by six airbags. There are two frontal impact airbags and two thorax-protecting side-impact airbags, one in each seatback's outer bolster. There are also head-protecting curtain-style side-impact airbags as part of the Porsche Side Impact Protection (POSIP) system which deploy upward from both doors' windowsills.
Agility and stability
Both GT3 and GT3 RS are fully equipped to provide maximum road-holding and day-to-day comfort thanks to their Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) adjustable suspension. Each shock is individually adjusted by the system's electronic control module. The mapping software used in the PASM controller for these cars was created to give the cars a normally extremely
sporting behavior for the road with an additional handling setup for the track.
Traction, critical traction
To ensure that even the most skilled driver can extract maximum dynamic performance from the cars, the GT3 and GT3 RS have a dizzying array of traction-enhancing features. The most critical are the huge 235/35ZR19 front and 305/30ZR19 rear sport tires on special light-alloy wheels.
As with other 911 Coupes, to help save weight the GT3 and GT3 RS carry no spare tire. Instead the cars have a small electric air compressor and emergency tire sealant to allow the driver to safely make it to a service station or the pits to have the tire replaced or properly repaired. To keep the driver apprised of tire conditions, the cars are also equipped with Porsche's Tire Pressure Monitor system which constantly monitors the inflation pressures of all four tires and
alerts the driver to changes.
The tires benefit from three electronic control systems: Automatic Brake Differential (ABD), Automatic Slip Control (ASC), and Engine Drag Control (EDC). All under the purview of a Traction Control computer, there are two different sets of control maps. And, critical for the serious racer, the system can be completely deactivated.
The standard limited-slip differential offers an asymmetric limited-slip function of 28 percent under load and 40 percent in overrun, and boasts components from Carrera GT.
The four-wheel disc antilock brakes system consists of four 13.78-inch diameter rotors. All are cross drilled and internally vented. The front brakes are clamped by six-piston aluminum monobloc calipers. Those in the rear are gripped by four-piston aluminum monobloc rotors.
For those seeking even greater braking power, the GT3 and GT3 RS can be equipped with Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB) as an option.