Track-day special enters its third decade in wickedly purposeful Mk7 form

The Porsche 911 GT3 still feels like a recent development in the near-six-decade history of the sports car on which it’s based. But what a reputation it has carved out for itself since Weissach’s very first, 996-generation GT3 homologation special emerged in 1999.

There might not be a more sought-after performance derivative anywhere else in motordom than this. The GT3 has become the kind of car that dealers get allocated in mere handfuls; that are offered to only the most favoured customers; that are collectable like little else at the price; and to which the normal rules of depreciation, which usually make cars like the GT3 more accessible to the rest of us, hardly seem to apply.

The 992-generation 911 already has lightweight aluminium body panels. The GT3 adds a bonnet in carbonfibre- reinforced polymer (saving 2.5kg) and composite plastic side-window glazing (saving 4.7kg)

And here comes another one. The new 992-generation GT3 represents a major technical departure for the track-ready 911. Porsche’s GT division describes it as having been “developed closer to motorsport than any other GT3 before it”, and the evidence of exactly what is meant by that, which we’re about to describe in the usual detail, is written all over its bodywork as well as underneath it.

This car has a level of track- devoted purpose unknown to its predecessors. It’s absolutely no half-measure. Truly specialised and uncompromising, it’s the sort of car that a firm like Porsche might make if it knew that the clock was ticking on hardcore, truly driver- and track- focused, piston-engined cars of its ilk, and that the good old days had been suddenly numbered.

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No statement of such has been made by Porsche, of course. As far as we know, its plans for the GT3 continue indefinitely – and let’s hope they do. But this car has an emphatic, hierarchy-upsetting presence about it. Read on to find out why.

The 911 line-up at a glance

The Porsche 911 model range only gets more complicated with time. There are cloth- top cabriolet and four-wheel-drive versions of all Carrera models. The only variants not offered are a rear-wheel-drive Targa and either a Turbo or an entry-level Carrera with a manual gearbox. Expect more GT versions in time as well.

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