Porsche Celebrates 20 Years of the 911 GT3
First launched 20 years ago, the GT3 has always bridged the gap between street-legal and track-only cars. The very first model essentially took the standard 911, lowered it by over an inch, improved the bodywork for enhanced high-speed stability, and threw in an engine that shared its roots with the overpowered, Le Mans-winning Porsche GT1.
The resulting combo was undeniable. In the hands of Walter Rohrl, it set a sub-eight minute lap time around the Nürburgring and quickly became the talk Europe’s enthusiast scene. In 2003, the 911 GT3 finally made its way to the United States with an extra 20 horsepower, wider tires, a new rear wing, and larger front brakes.
History of the Porsche 911: Learn more about Porsche’s most iconic car
Ten years later, on the 50th anniversary of the 911, Porsche unveiled a new 911 GT3 boasting a 3.8-liter, naturally-aspirated engine that, for the first time, was paired with the now-famous Porsche Doppelkupplung dual-clutch transmission. Combined with rear axle steering, the car was more than half a minute faster than the original 911 GT3 around the Nürburgring.
Today’s 911 GT3 is the quickest of them all, with its 4.0-liter flat-six engine that puts out over 500 hp in the RS model, and Nürburgring lap times gradually approaching the sub-seven minute mark. In fact, the 911 GT3 RS would put many bonafide race cars from 1999 to shame, all the while offering more comfort, luxury, and convenience than any luxury car from the same time.
It’s undoubtedly expensive, but among driving purists who can afford it, there’s no question the 911 GT3 is something of a no-brainer.
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