Porsche wins performance car test shock! No one was surprised when the 911 GT3 came out on top in our annual Britain’s Best Driver’s Car contest, but it certainly wasn’t for lack of decent opposition.
It saw off the Ariel Atom, which had won two years on the trot and was in with a very serious shout to make it a hattrick. A near-1000bhp Ferrari and our favourite Lamborghini for a long time were forces to be reckoned with, too.
Weissach has been on a roll lately. The closer the death of piston engines comes, the more determined Porsche GT boss Andreas Preuninger and his team seem to be to go out with a bang. The division’s naturally aspirated flat six has clearly established itself as one of the all-time great engines, a feat that’s all the more remarkable given the stringent emissions rules that any modern engine has to meet.
An engine that revs to 9000rpm is something quite extraordinary when almost every other one is turbocharged. An engine that takes on an otherworldly wail in the last 1000rpm is one to cherish. While that maniacal 503bhp six is the first thing that’s seared into your brain after even a short drive, there’s much more to the new Porsche 911 GT3.
Britain’s Best Driver’s Car is informally referred to as ‘Handling Day’, and the 911 GT3 fits that bill just as brilliantly. In plain white and with a swan-neck wing, it looks like a Le Mans refugee, so it was predictably sublime at Anglesey Circuit. The new double-wishbone front suspension gives the front end the kind of bite and alacrity that’s hard to believe from a car with most of its weight in the back.
The 911 GT3 can be placed millimetre-perfect at any speed and at practically any skill level. Somehow, though, it’s no less impressive if you want to play the hooligan.
At Britain’s Best Driver’s Car, there’s equal weighting for performance on the track and out in public, and the qualities that made the 911 GT3 formidable around Anglesey proved almost as beguiling on the roads of North Wales.
True, it feels more track-focused than before, but it’s still beautifully adjustable and super-dependable, even when you’re not giving it ten-tenths.
A Porsche, especially one fettled by the GT department, is an obvious winner for a best driver’s car competition. Some might even argue that it’s a boring choice, but even a 15-minute drive in the 911 GT3 would be enough to convince anyone it’s one of the most exciting cars of the modern era, if not ever – and that’s exactly what you want from the year’s best driver’s car