The new 992-generation Porsche 911 GT3 goes all in on RS parts (and looks) as standard, not only to step up the track-ready road car game but also to keep the bigger platform’s weight somewhat under control. However, under all its carbon fiber panels, the most exciting component of this highly advanced package has to be the naturally-aspirated 4.0-liter flat-six, which Porsche says is virtually identical to the 510-horsepower 911 Cup race car engine, minus the exhaust and management software. That translates to individual throttle bodies and plenty of lightweight titanium parts inside for 502 horsepower, 346 pound-feet of torque, and a redline at 9,000 rpm on the road.
Thanks to its new front suspension, wider track, bigger brakes and wheels, plus an aero package producing up to 50 percent more downforce, the 2022 Porsche 911 GT3 is nearly 17 seconds quicker around the Nürburgring’s Nordschleife layout than the previous GT3 generation. In fact, not only is the base GT3 now faster than the hybrid 918 Spyder, but it’s also more capable as a track car than the previous GT3 RS. The only Porsche road cars still showing better lap times than the 2022 GT3’s 6:55 (without the additional 984 feet that was added lately) are the twin-turbo 991.2 GT2 RS models, including the wildest one known as the RS MR tuned by Manthey Racing. Somehow, that’s a 6:40 affair.
While Thomas Mader, Porsche’s project manager for road car engines, fine-tuned the 4.0 on the dyno, the GT team led by Andy Preuninger and Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser went to set a lap time with drivers Jörg Bergmeister and Lars Kern doing their best at the Nürburgring. Why them? Bergmeister got the nickname “Mr. 911” by racing six generations of the car at the highest levels. Lars Kern is called “Mr. Nürburgring” because as a Porsche test driver, he’s managed to set more records around the Nordschleife than anybody else, including in the seat of the GT2 RS MR back in 2018.
As a result, on Sept. 15, 2020, a dry Tuesday in the Eifel mountains, two black 2022 GT3s went for it, singing their 9,000 rpm songs for a little over 6:59 around the longer layout.
With the competition going not only twin-turbocharged, but also electrified for the ultimate in both efficiency and performance, the GT3 manages to keep its naturally-aspirated engine and even the option of a tight six-speed manual gearbox.
Just keep in mind that for setting lap records, Porsche will always recommend the PDK, which is lighter now thanks to having seven gears instead of the standard 911’s eight.
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