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Porsche 911 GT3 India launch on October 9, 2017

3rd Oct 2017 12:48 pm

Harder, more focused 911 coupé gets a new 500hp, 4.0-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine.

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Apart from being one of the world’s most iconic and longest-running sportscars, and having its engine placed unconventionally, behind the rear axle, the Porsche 911 is also well known these days for its wide and varied variant range; globally, there are currently 22 versions you can buy. In India, however, we’ve thus far been restricted to the more mainstream Carrera range, as well as the powerful-yet-comfortable Turbo models. Come October 9, however, Indian sportscar enthusiasts will, for the first time, be able to officially buy the more driver-focused 911 GT3.

Which one is the 911 GT3?
You can identify the 911 GT3 by its unique front and rear bumpers, and its unique intake scoops on the engine cover, but more than either of those, by the large fixed rear wing. There are more functional aerodynamic enhancements here than in any of the standard models, and this contributes to higher cornering speeds.

The mechanical differences far outweigh the cosmetic ones though. Starting with the engine, which is a new 4.0-litre flat-six that produces 500hp and 460Nm of torque. The key takeaway here is that since the standard Carrera models now all use the new 3.0-litre turbocharged engine, this is the only remaining naturally aspirated motor in the Porsche 911 range. And it now makes its peak power at 8,250rpm, with a redline of 9,000rpm – numbers that enthusiasts are bound to love. And though this is technically a facelift of this current-gen 911 GT3, this one’s motor is significantly different to both its predecessors and upgraded from the one in the 911 GT3 RS and 911 R.

The 911 GT3 is, as ever, rear-wheel drive, but it has a wider track than the lesser 911 models, and also gets rear-wheel steering as standard. Apart from the seven-speed PDK dual-clutch gearbox, it is also available with a six-speed manual, although we’ll just have to wait and see if Porsche offers the option in India, where most prefer an automatic, even in a sportscar like this.

Should I buy a 911 GT3?
If you’re considering a 911 GT3, it means you want a sportscar that’s a bit more special than the standard Carrera range of models (Carrera, S, GTS and their convertible counterparts), but that you don’t want a 911 Turbo or Turbo S, which though powerful, are a bit softer and designed for long-distance touring.

The 911 GT3 is said to be firmer and more track-focused than the others, but still compliant and comfortable enough to use on the road and a little softer than the even-more-hardcore RS models. An expected price of Rs 2.23 crore (ex-showroom) would put it just below the 911 Turbo coupé in the Porsche India model range, and exactly on par with Mercedes-AMG’s GT R, which is a similarly positioned track-special sportscar. For arguably the best version of one of the most popular sportscars around, that seems right on the money.

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