Porsche 911 GT3 review

What is it?

Porsche's 991-series GT3, essentially a race car for the road.

Hang on, didn't that come out ages ago?

Well, yes, overseas media drove it about 18 months ago, but then came a couple of much publicised engine failures caused by faulty conrod bolts. The fix was a relatively simple one, but it had to go through Porsche's durability regime again, hence the delay.

Is it worth the wait? 

What do you reckon? Porsche is yet to build a duff motorsport model and the new GT3 continues that trend, though it is a different beast.

How do you mean?

It's the first GT3 not to use the iconic 'Metzger' flat-six, there's no manual option, it's bigger in every dimension and there's tricky tech like four-wheel steering.

It's the fastest GT3 ever (0-100km/h in 3.5sec, 315km/h flat out) but also by far the most civilised. The trademark chatter at idle is gone and you have to drive it at the absolute edge of adhesion for it to display any hint of rear-engined 911-ness.

Purists will bemoan this as further dilution of the 911's character, but in reality it means those of us not blessed with Walter Rohrl's driving skills can drive the new GT3 harder and faster with fewer penalties.

There's immense grip, the brakes are tireless, the gearbox without fault (on track at least) and the 350kW/440Nm 3.8-litre flat-six howls its way all the way to 9000rpm redline time after time after time.

A question mark stills remains over the new GT3's road manners as our first drive took place exclusively on track, but in the environment it was designed for it's pretty much perfect. No other road car can endure this level of sustained punishment.

Is it the best 911?

Not sure yet. If you regularly hit the track, then absolutely, at least until the 'RS' version arrives. And if you buy a GT3 and don't hit the track regularly, then what the hell is wrong with you?

As a road car the new Carrera-based 911 GTS could be the sweeter package, but we're yet to drive it locally. Once we've sampled both it and the GT3 on the road we'll report back.

For a more detailed first drive of the new GT3 check out our February issue on sale December 31.

Specs:
Engine: 3.8-litre flat-6, DOHC, 24V
Power: 350kW @ 8250rpm
Torque: 440Nm @ 6250rpm
Weight: 1430kg
0-100km/h: 3.5sec (claimed)
Top speed: 315km/h (claimed)
Price: $293,600

Get your free weekly report from the world of fast cars - subscribe to the MOTOR newsletter!