Any nagging doubt that the fiercest ‘991’-generation 911 yet would have altered during its pigeon-step into production is duly eradicated within moments. Comparison with the previous ‘997’ GT3 will be protracted but, truthfully, the change in Carrera template brings the current 911 more often to mind. It is that car’s supple athleticism which has been preserved, distilled and re-administered to a stiffer, leaner and wider body.
Likewise, the agility and potency simmering somewhere below the 991’s unruffled surface have been brought steadily to boil by not only the far sharper chassis set-up, but also the notably better means of aiming it down the road. Quite how Porsche has engineered such sinewy resistance into its electrically powered steering rack remains a mystery, but it is the fleshy weight, hint of kickback and measured eagerness that keeps both hands wedded to the Alcantara-clad wheel, and so compulsively involved at all speeds.
Around this desirable cake, the Clubsport’s embellishments orbit like proverbial cherries. The bucket seats feel a little broader than before and certainly better cushioned. The lightweight carbonfibre-reinforced plastic shells still want for a bit more shoulder support, but your hips are largely invulnerable to lateral excess.
With no structural part to play (save for holding up the roof if you dump the car on it), the scaffolding’s effect is chiefly spatial – robbing the rear of a useful perch, yet brimming it with utilitarian swagger and a useful dose of extra confidence should you choose to challenge the limits of the GT3’s mighty grip.
Should I buy one?
So broad is the GT3’s appeal now that opting not to include the Clubsport’s auxiliary items is understandable, given that the standard seats are likely to prove more comfortable, and the cage-less car more practical.
But we’d remain in the sizable minority predicted by Porsche to keep the faith. While the GT3’s talent may now stretch to accommodating a commute at one end, it hasn’t detracted from the model’s supreme ability at the other. Because a track is still required to consistently and best explore this, and the Clubsport is marginally better prepped for doing so, it pips the stock version at the post. Five and a half stars, then.
Porsche 911 GT3 Clubsport
Price £100,540; 0-62mph 3.5 seconds; Top speed 196mph; Economy 22.8mpg; CO2 289g/km; Kerb weight 1430kg; Engine 3799cc, six-cylinder, petrol; Power 468bhp at8250rpm; Torque 325lb/ft at 6250rpm; Gearbox Seven-speed PDK