In the new Porsche 911 GT3, the brand’s most powerful genes combine to create something even stronger. Motorsport legends Walter Röhrl and Jörg Bergmeister provide expert analysis of the state-of-the-art racer for the road.
The highlight reel in Walter Röhrl’s mind plays an over 20-year-old thriller. “We never would have thought that a series production car could lay down a sub-eight-minute lap on the Nordschleife,” the motorsport legend recalls. In 1999, the first Porsche 911 GT3 pulled it off. Not least because it was driven around the Nürburgring by the two-time rally world champion himself. After 20.6 kilometres, the clock stopped at 7:56.33 minutes. It was a sensation! For Jörg Bergmeister, a 23-year-old up-and-coming Porsche factory driver at the time, there were no doubts: the GT3 was his dream car.
Now Porsche has presented the seventh generation of the high-performance sports car and, together with Lars Kern, Bergmeister catapulted around the infamous Green Hell during the final development drives. The absolute best time from four almost equally fast laps on what is now a 20.8-kilometre test circuit was set by development driver Kern: an astonishing 6:59.927 minutes (911 GT3 (WLTP): Fuel consumption combined 13.0 – 12.9 l/100 km, CO2 emissions combined 294 – 293 g/km, 911 GT3 (NEFZ): Fuel consumption combined 13.3 – 12.4 l/100 km, CO2 emissions combined 304 – 283 g/km). Roughly a minute faster than the first one. “A world of difference,” says Röhrl.
The latest GT3 incorporates more racing technology than any of its predecessors. The layout of the double wishbone front axle, the refined aerodynamics with the swan-neck rear wing, and the striking diffuser are just a few of many examples. Bergmeister, now 45, knows the components well from the Porsche 911 RSR – the GT factory racing car that delivered Le Mans victories and championship titles for Porsche.
The most powerful series 911 with a naturally aspirated engine offers an astonishing level of everyday comfort for what is a razor-sharp driving machine. What else is there to say? The final word goes to the grand master of driving: “I am often asked which is my favourite 911,” says Röhrl. “It’s always the latest one – and the next one.”