Track version of the 911, the GT3 is nonetheless sufficiently civilized. Above all, it combines rarity and unparalleled driving pleasure!
You can take in the water and come out stronger. This is what happened to the Porsche 911, whose 996 series, inaugurating the liquid-cooled flat-six, had been badly received by Porsche enthusiasts at the end of 1997. Nevertheless, its great success put its manufacturer back on the right track. Its sportiness is not to be questioned, especially when in 1999 it comes, for the first time, in GT3 version, heir to the 964 RS and 911 3.2 l Clubsport. Except that the GT3 goes further in radicality: it is intended more than ever for “trackday” use. To do this, it adopts running gear mounted on ball joints while lowering the body by 30 mm. In addition, the brakes are also adapted, while to save weight it sacrifices rear seats, sound and soundproofing. At 1,330 kg, the GT3 nevertheless weighs only 15 kg less than a Carrera 2. The main modification, it benefits from a specific block, taken from the “Mezger” of the competition GT1. This race-bred 3.6-litre develops 360 hp, giving a specific power of 100 hp/l, unheard of on a road-aspirated Porsche. For its part, box 6 derives from that of the 911 GT2. It is designed so that you can quickly change not only the sprockets, in order to optimize the staging according to each circuit, but also the synchros, which wear out quickly in track use. The GT3 tops out at 302 km/h, and driver Walter Röhrl at the wheel completes the Nordschleife in 7 min 56 sec, setting the then record for a road car. Enough to justify a high price: 632,000 F, or 128,500 € today. Without forgetting a supernatural efficiency, an intense pleasure and an incomparable mechanical melody. In 2000, the 996 range benefited from a restyling which brought new headlamps and an improved finish. The GT3 will wait until 2003 to benefit from it. On this occasion, its flat-six increases to 381 hp. The improvements also concern the front brakes, which are equipped with 6-piston calipers, enlarged discs and carbon-ceramic compounds as an option, while the spoiler is redesigned. Even more effective, the GT3 does not stop there. It gains an evolution: the incredible GT3 RS, lightened to the extreme. More air conditioning, carbon fiber body elements, polycarbonate rear window are on the program. Its trains sharpen a little more. Limited, it will only be manufactured in 200 units in 2003, just before the 996 is replaced by the 997. The GT3 was produced in small series: 1,868 units in 360 hp, 2,313 in 381 hp and 682 in RS, making it a rare car.
Very well designed and built, the GT3 is mechanically very robust, more so than the standard Carreras, with their different engine. Its problem is due to its use on the track: scrupulously check the condition of the rims, brakes and suspension ball joints, as well as the gearbox synchros. Added to this are any off-tracks, which may have distorted the chassis…
For a beautiful 360 hp with around 100,000 km, count at least €60,000, and €70,000 for a model with 40,000 km less. The 381 hp cost around €5,000 extra. These values have been stable for about two years.