Currently reading: Britian's best driver's car 2021: and the winner is...
The Porsche 911 GT3 puts an end to the Ariel Atom 4's reign
Autocar
News
2 mins read
20 November 2021

In the end, nobody dissented. From the first few drives on the morning of day one, it was an obvious front runner.

What surprised those who had driven a Porsche 911 GT3 already was how well this car dealt with badly surfaced, heavily cambered roads with if not comfort then a deal more compliance than they expected. Its steering was uncorrupted. Its feedback was precise. And while today’s 911 is bigger than it used to be, it still felt more nimble and easily placed than, say, the Lamborghini Huracán or Ferrari SF90 – cars that felt like its natural rivals.

In truth, it’s not quite like those. Its engine is an event, just like them, but it is how it develops its power, rather than the quantity of it, that impresses. And on circuit, while it is extremely rapid, much, much more impressive is how that power lets you exploit one of the most fantastically well-balanced 911s there has ever been. This car lets you drive it precisely or yobbishly and seems to love it either way. Nobody who drove it thought anything else: the Porsche 911 GT3 is a superb driver’s car. Easily the best on test this year.

The lap times

Back to top

With its huge power-to-weight ratio advantage and being the only car on Michelin Cup 2 R tyres for its timed laps, the SF90 Stradale did exactly what it should have done by going almost four seconds quicker than its next-quickest challenger around the Anglesey Coastal circuit. It was the fastest car on test, and we didn’t need timing gear to know it. Having that gear, however, meant we knew where it was quickest: under power, pulling an enormous 10mph advantage into braking for Rocket. It was beaten for apex speed only once, and then only narrowly, at the Bus Stop. 

The battle for second quickest was closely fought, and probably went the way of the GT3 only because of the Atom’s tendency to lock its front wheels on the downhill run towards Corkscrew. All of our cars had the same five to eight laps to set a time, but the Atom really demanded more – and would have given a quicker lap time if we’d adjusted and indulged it. 

The Lamborghini would probably have been involved at the sharp end were it not for Sant’Agata asking us not to time the car because it could send neither proper track tyres nor technicians to Anglesey. 

Meanwhile, the intervention of rain made the times of the Mini Oselli and the Peugeot 508 slightly slower than they might have been. Elsewhere, worthy mention goes to the Caterham for the fourth-quickest apex speed around Church bend, and to the Mini for beating the heavier, more electronically governed Peugeot at both of our mid-corner speed traps. Even in 2021, light continues to be right when it comes to changing direction, although it’s clearly no longer the only way to win.

Join the debate

Comments
8
Add a comment…
jason_recliner 21 November 2021
911 is just a big VW, and feels like it. Problem is they pay the bills. And also Toyota and Honda can't release a new 86 and Type R every year.
Boris9119 21 November 2021

jason I can only suggest you own, or at least drive a GT3, doesn't even need to be a 992. If so, you would not post this misguided nonsense and would be a more rounded person for it. That's a nice way of saying you are a tool.

289 20 November 2021

This is such a boringly predictable result which works for no one except the super rich ego.

The stated aim is to find the car 'most fun to drive' .... but drive where...on a circuit or country lane.

All GT2/3 Porsches have been seen as the ultimate 'drive to track day - enjoy lap after lap fun then drive home' car. But this is track use.

It is way to fat hipped these days to exploit its ridiculous power on the UK country lanes (Welsh hill roads are not representative). Arguably a 70's 911 would be a far better companion for driver Track/Road fun with half the power and half the weight.

Then there is the SF90, a car which Monkey Harris has already slated as a step too far...too much power to be usable and way too much size. This is like navigating an aircraft carrier along UK B roads spending most of the trip burying the body work in the overgrown hedgerows in a vain attempt to retain your door mirrors.

Atom.....a more ridiculous car would be hard to find a meccano kit on wheels, with all the beauty and form of a set of step ladders. Any car where you need an all weather suit and a helmet to drive it, is not usable (nor pleasant) to drive....a Caterham is probably the minimum protection needed. Have you seen the size of the razor sharp flints thrown up on the lanes (some the size of your fist), the damage they would inflict - suit or no suit. This is a track car only if you value your life.

I am pleased to see the Hyundai i20N in the mix. Out of this set,the only logical choice.

 

But for me, and missing from the discussion, it would be the GR Yaris. Small enough to enjoy on our lanes, fast enough to embarrass serious machinery (even on big tracks like Nurburgring).

You can Club Rally it, Autotest it, Hillclimb and Sprint it. The opportunities are endless. Probably the best alrounder since the Escort Mk 1 and 2's and the Mini Cooper before it.

At £35k also, relatively, affordable, practical, doesnt need a vast heated garage with CTek charger BS and above all Fun,Fun,Fun.

 

Just Saying 20 November 2021
Brilliant comments 289.
You should be writing at the top of page for Autocar not down here!
turbinecol 21 November 2021

Yaris came 3rd last year, think they criticised it in the wet slightly. I20n is the latest hot hatch for the party this year. 

Boris9119 21 November 2021

I agree the Yaris is a contender, maybe a worthy winner. But if you drive the Yaris and this GT3 on the road and on a track, and they say you can take one home, 99% are going with the GT3, you included!

abkq 20 November 2021

Lap times and performance figures - this article should be recast as an internal memo for the magazine staff.

For the non-professional driver, it's like buying a Stradivarius violin and not being able to make full use of it.