Eventually, the engineers at Porsche will only be able to get so much performance out of the 911 platform. Some day, someone in Stuttgart will say, “That’s as far as we can go with this.” Someday, but not today. Because the 2022 Porsche 911 GT3 is here, and, mein gott in himmel!
“Whether it’s a customer enjoying their favorite twisty back road or taking to the track, the new 911 GT3 promises to be among the most exciting and rewarding cars we make,” said Kjell Gruner, President and CEO of Porsche Cars North America, and I, for one, will not argue with him in the slightest. Look, I’m not that much of a Porsche guy, but facts are facts, and the immutable fact here is that the latest GT3 is a staggering performer.
Basically, it’s a naturally aspirated 4.0-liter, six-cylinder boxer engine that redlines at 9,000 rpm and cranks out 502 horsepower and 346 lb-ft. of torque. That is a lot for such small displacement, not to mention that’s a redline you used to only see on motorcycles. The new mill is said to offer an “extremely sharp” throttle response due to its six independent throttle bodies. Porsche says the engine is virtually identical to the unit found in the new 911 GT3 Cup race car, which makes complete sense and is also completely cool.
South of the engine, you will find a seven-speed Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) transmission that was engineered and tuned specifically for the 911 GT3. The PDK is the standard transmission, but all of you neo-Luddites out there can settle down because a six-speed manual is also available if you like to roll your own. Other details found on the GT3 plant are new pistons and a dry-sump system that uses seven suction stages to return oil to the external tank.
In case your wondering, this adds up to a zero to 60 mph time of 3.2 seconds, and a top track speed of 197 mph. You have to admit, that is highly impressive for something that started as a hot-rodded Volkswagen over 60 years ago.
Architecture & Chassis
Getting to that level of performance, the engine is aided and abetted by judicious use of lightweight materials that allow the new 911 to weigh almost virtually the same as its predecessor, despite there being lots of new tech along for the ride. The hood, rear wing, and rear spoiler (it’s a bi-plane setup) are all made of carbon fiber. Lightweight, noise insulated glass on all of the windows – an old Porsche trick – also helps hit the weight targets.
The chassis setup, which, incidentally, does not share any parts with the current 911 Carrera, features a double-wishbone front axle derived from the 911 RSR and 911 GT3 Cup cars, although it was adapted for road use. The new front axle, according to Porsche, offers more direct and precise steering. Cornering stability also improves according to Porsche, allowing for higher cornering speeds and better mid-corner control over uneven pavement.
Brakes, always a Porsche ace card, are cast-iron discs measuring a colossal 408 mm in diameter in front. Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes are also available as an additional cost option with even bigger rotors, 410 mm in the front and 390 mm in the rear. Wheels are GT-specific forged alloy jobs, 20 inches in diameter in front and 21 inches in diameter in the rear. Said rims come wrapped in high-performance summer tires that are 255/35ZR 20 (front) and 315/30 ZR 21 (rear).
If that’s not enough (and, really, when do you have “enough” grip?), then you can tick the option box for the street-legal track tires that were used to set benchmark laps at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife. Oh, and if you’d like, you may also specify Shark Blue or Guards Red pinstriping on the wheels.
Aerodynamics & Wing Positions
Aerodynamics were also squeezed for all they were worth for the 2022 Porsche 911 GT3. The new front fascia includes integrated cooling intakes and an adjustable front lip spoiler along with an adjustable front diffuser that can be dialed in for track use. Specially developed side skirts optimize airflow around the wheels, while at the back, you’ll find swan-neck supports for the rear wing and a large diffuser.
The new GT3 bests the old dog 911 GT3 and its aero numbers by 50 percent, even with the rear wing in the “normal” position. If you crank things all the way up (Porsche calls it the “performance” position), you get an overall downforce increase by up to 150 percent.
2022 Porsche 911 GT3 Interior
The interior is just as track-focused as the outside. The GT3 gets a 360 mm diameter Multifunction Sport steering wheel with Race-Tex upholstery as standard equipment. For the first time, the steering wheel includes a drive mode switch for choosing between driver-configurable settings by simply turning the dial.
The standard chairs are four-way sport seats, but there are 18-way sport seats and carbon fiber bucket seats there for the asking. By the by, the carbon fiber buckets will save you roughly 26 lbs. compared to the standard seats. Inside the GT3 is the PDK gear selection lever, designed for manual upshifts and downshifts without using the paddles if you’d like.
The GT-specific “Track Screen” reduces the amount of information down to the “bare essentials.” Meanwhile, the Chrono Package, which is available as a no-cost option, features an analog stopwatch on the dashboard and a digital stopwatch in the instrument cluster.
Pricing & Availability
The 2022 Porsche 911 GT3 is now available for U.S. customers to configure and order with a starting MSRP of $161,100. Tack on another $1,350 for delivery, processing, and handling. According to Porsche, the new 911 GT3 should be at U.S. dealers this fall.
Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He is the author of Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in paperback or Kindle format. Follow his work on Twitter: @TonyBorroz.