Don’t expect any big changes in the performance or characteristics of the powertrain. With an all but unchanged power to weight ratio, the new GT3 is a scant tenth of a second quicker to 62mph, and tops out at the same 198mph (199mph for the manual). But it would be hard to pinpoint what you might modify to improve the experience further. The engine is one of the finest ever conceived, its sound above 7,000rpm special in a way it hard to find the words to describe. And while some may prefer the three pedal option, for fans of paddles none could ever change more swiftly or sweetly than these.
The night and day difference with this GT3 is how it handles. Those modifications to the suspension, aero and front track combine with wider tyres front and rear to give this car an appetite for track work no previous non-‘RS’ GT3 could conceive.
Even on your way down the pitlane you notice how much more quickly the car responds to the steering. There’s no rubber in that front suspension, it’s all Rose-jointed just like a racing car. Combine that with the widened front track and the result is a car with a most un-911-like ability to get into a corner.
Indeed the 911’s longstanding limitation in this regard coined the oft-used ‘slow-in, fast-out’ motto of all safe 911 drivers. No longer. Fast in, even faster out should be the new mantra. Such is the car’s desire to sniff out the apex, it actually makes you realise you’ve been almost subliminally managing 911s in the past, being conservative on entry because you know payback is coming when you get to use all that delicious traction on exit. You just don’t need to drive the GT3 like that. It feels about half way to a mid-engined machine by comparison.
And then there’s the aero. It’s not enough to dramatically raise the speed at which the car can tackle a quick curve, what it brings instead is confidence, because the car feels so firmly planted. There’s no vagueness, no wandering off line, it just goes where you want. It makes the limit at high speeds a far less scary place to be. No wonder the car is 17 seconds a lap quicker around the old Nürburgring, call it 12 when wearing the same tyres.
So what’s the downside? On track this is a different kind of fun, more a sense of inner admiration – even awe – at the machine’s abilities than a belly laugh at its eccentricities. Yes, you can absolutely slide it until its Michelins melt, but this is less of a natural state for it these days. It needs provocation.
More significantly, its ride is determinedly stiff on the public road, which really erodes its suitability to daily driving. Some will tough it out because it’s more hard than harsh, but that everyday usability – a key component to many GT3 customers – has been degraded.