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Porsche 911 GT3

We were invited to Stuttgart by Porsche for a 70th anniversary celebration drive in the Black Forest in three of their phenomenal cars.

Story: Aspi Bhathena
Photography: Porsche

There are quite a few premium car brands in the world and, in that mix, Porsche stand out as special over the rest. In most cases, it is the brand that comes first and then the cars they make, but in the case of Porsche, it is somewhat different where a car defines the brand. They have quite a large portfolio of models and most of them top their segments; starting with the big SUV, Cayenne, to the luxury sedan, Panamera, and the entry-level sports cars, Boxster and Cayman. However, the car that defines the brand is the 911 series.

This year Porsche are celebrating their 70th anniversary and we were invited for a celebration drive to Stuttgart to drive the 911 range on the roads in the Black Forest. We had three different variants of the 911: the 911 GT3 with seven-speed PDK gearboxes and six-speed manual box while the GT3 RS and the GT2 RS had the seven-speed PDK boxes.

After a quick breakfast there was another feast awaiting us: this time it was not a German breakfast, but German beauties in the form of five 911s parked outside the Move and Pick airport hotel, ready for the drive in the Black Forest.

Porsche 911 GT3

The 911 GT3 is probably the car that will be most suitable for India, so I decided to concentrate on the GT3 rather than the GT3 RS and GT2 RS. The red GT3 looks stunning from whichever angle you look at it. At the front, there are big air intakes in the air dams that dominate the front end while the rounded rear of the car is dominated by the big fixed spoiler.

The interior is well-appointed with Alcantara leather-wrapped multifunctional steering and a driver-focused cockpit. The leather seats with double stitching are comfortable and give ample lateral support.

The 911 GT3 has the traditional boxer flat six engine. This 3,996-cc DOHC four-valves-per-cylinder motor has a compression ratio of 13.3:1, it produces 500 PS at 8,250 rpm and 460 Nm of torque at 6,000 rpm. The flat six motor is mated to a seven-speed Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) gearbox. The power is put down on the road via Porsche Torque Vectoring plus (PTV+) with controlled rear differential lock system.

The front suspension set-up is lightweight spring-strut axle (MacPherson type) and the steering electromechanical power steering with variable steering ratio plus rear axle steering. The rear has a lightweight multi-link suspension with wheels independently suspended on five links. The adjustable sports suspension packs lightweight springs, the Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) variable damping system with sports tuning and lowering.

Porsche 911 GT3

The braking is taken care of by a dual-circuit brake system with front and rear cast iron composite cross-drilled and internally ventilated rotors with six-piston aluminium monobloc fixed calipers at the front and four-piston aluminium monobloc at the rear. The car is equipped with 265/35 ZR20 tyres at the front and 325/30 ZR21 ones at the rear.

During my career, I have driven countless number of cars but when one gets behind the wheel of a Porsche 911, it is always a special feeling. After sliding into the car, I inserted the key fob and twisted it to the left to get the naturally aspirated engine to life. The engine literally burst into life with a roar from the exhaust. A small tug on the gearshift lever and the car was in drive mode and we were rolling. The first thing I noticed was that the brakes felt ineffective till they came up to working temperature.

As we navigated through some morning traffic and roadworks, the autobahn opened up and the unrestricted sign meant that it was pedal to the metal and we were on our way with the analogue speedo needle soon going past the 260-km/h marker before I had to lift off because I came up to some slow-moving traffic. After driving for 50 kilometres on the autobahn, it was time to head into the Black Forest to sample some winding backroads. The GT3 literally came into her own, sprinting from one corner to another with the agility of a cat. Selecting the manual mode with the paddle shifters you can hold her in the gear and the exhaust sound from the flat-six engines at 9,000 rpm is like music and intoxicating at the same time.

Porsche 911 GT3

If that was not enough, select Sport mode and the GT gets a totally different character with suspension stiffening up, the electro-mechanical steering becomes even more direct, the power delivery becomes stronger, and the exhaust sound is something to die for. The 911 GT3 is truly an amazing car that can be used every day and it can give that adrenaline rush that very few cars in the world can deliver.

 

About the author: Aspi Bhathena

 

 

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