Chassis balance is excellent, but body control is the really incredible thing. There’s just so little roll, pitch or squat. When the tyres are warm and the surface even, this is a chassis you can’t ask too much of. The level platform granted by the rear axle, around which the car pivots so freely, is super-dependable; the front axle is always so eager; and the feeling of integrity uniting the two is rock-firm.
But this car is undeniably more particular about the surfaces with which it’s willing to engage than GT3s have been in recent years. The rear comes up short on travel on more testing A and B-roads and can feel tetchily firm and restive over sharper inputs. There are helper springs to try to add ride dexterity, much like a rising-rate spring might, but they can clearly achieve only so much.
Find a slightly gentler surface where the suspension has just the dexterity it needs, though, and you’re vividly rewarded. Body control becomes taut, quick- settling and perfectly controlled.
Even with the less grippy of two available tyre compounds fitted, the new GT3 set a benchmark lap time around our dry handling circuit more than a second quicker than even the mighty, 691bhp 991-generation 911 GT2 RS managed in 2018. This is a searingly rapid circuit car.
It still handles like a traditional 911 at the limit of grip, though. You manage the position of the front axle and juggle the rear mass with trail-braking and throttle loading to keep the chassis pointing where you want. But it has huge lateral grip; apparently imperturbable body control on smooth Tarmac; and brilliant chassis balance blended with high-speed stability all of an order not known to any road-legal fast 911 until now.
The steering is quicker and feels feistier than you may expect when you’re correcting the car mid-corner, and stiff suspension and the grip level often mean you have to be quick with your inputs. But the sheer track capability, drivability and pace of the GT3 remain little short of stunning.
Comfort and isolation
At least in the specification in which we tested it, the GT3 is quite emphatically a car for earplugs and not for conversations. Being bolted directly over its engine and rear wheels, the Clubsport package’s rollover bar is like a lightning rod for noise and vibration. At low speeds, the effect isn’t too pronounced, but at a quicker A-road or motorway cruise, you have to raise your voice to be heard by your passenger.
We recorded cabin noise at a 70mph, top-gear cruise at 78dBA, which is more noise than most modern cars make at maximum engine speed in third gear. At its loudest, the GT3 registered 5dBA more cabin noise than even the mighty 991-generation GT2 RS did three years ago. That rollbar amplifies the sound of longer-wave suspension movements also, so you hear every move the rear axle makes.
Cars with their back seats left in place and without the Clubsport rollover bar could be expected to be quite a bit less coarse; but whether they could get close to the habitable feel of a car that you would want to drive and use regularly is, on this evidence, far from certain.