The motorsport-derived Porsche 911 variant celebrates 20 years since debut



Porsche celebrates two decades of the 911 GT3. The first 911 GT3 reached a top track speed of 187 miles per hour.

20 years ago, Porsche introduced a new 911 model the 911 GT3. Named after a class of endurance racing cars, the motorsport-derived variant focused on-track performance and a particularly visceral driving experience by offering motorsport technology for the road.

Porsche 911 GT3 First (996.1) and latest (991.2) generations

Porsche 911 GT3 First (996.1) and latest (991.2) generations; @Porsche

It was one of the first production cars to officially lap the legendary Nürburgring-Nordschleife in less than 8 minutes, with rally legend Walter Rӧhrl going around the famous track in just 7:56.33 minutes – a sensation at the time. The car distinguished itself from rear-wheel-drive 911 Carrera models through a 30 mm reduction in ride height, pronounced front fascia, visible side skirts, and a fixed rear wing – all designed to reduce lift while still delivering a very efficient 0.30 drag coefficient.

A high-revving naturally-aspirated flat six engine closely related to the engine used in motorsports, rear-wheel drive, lightweight construction, upgraded aerodynamics and track-focused suspension and brake systems have been defining characteristics of this model throughout its 20 year history.

The original Porsche 911 GT3 was powered by a 265 kW (360 PS) 3.6 liter naturally-aspirated flat six engine that was derived from the Le Mans winning Porsche 911 GT1 race car and revved up to 7,800 rpm. Mated exclusively to a six-speed manual transmission carried over from the 911 GT2 (993 generation), the first 911 GT3 reached a top track speed of 187 miles per hour. The track-focused model also featured staggered 18-inch wheels and tires, larger brakes compared to the 911 Carrera, a standard limited slip differential, and an upgraded suspension that allowed for greater mechanical adjustment of anti-roll bars and suspension geometry for closed-course track setup. Taking advantage of weight savings measures such as the deletion of air-conditioning and rear seats, the 911 GT3 weighed just 2,976 lbs. (1350 kg).

All six generations of Porsche 911 GT3

All six generations of Porsche 911 GT3; @Porsche

Porsche 911 GT3 Today…

More capable and diverse than ever before, the 911 GT3 represents the beating heart of Porsche’s commitment to building pure, uncompromised sports cars.

7:12.7 minutes: The lap time of the current 911 GT3 represents roughly 45 seconds of improvement at the ‘Ring compared to the original model. A world of difference. The new 4.0-liter engine develops 500 hp and a healthy 346 lb-ft of torque. A new crankshaft, larger main bearings, thicker connecting rod bearings, plasma-coated cylinder liners as well as a new oiling system that supplies oil directly into the feeder bore of the crankshaft take the durability of the engine to new heights.

Porsche 911 GT3 -996.2, 997.2.991.2 generations-2019

Porsche 911 GT3 -996.2, 997.2.991.2 generations-2019; @Porsche

Porsche 911 GT3 - First (996.1) and latest (991.2) generations

Porsche 911 GT3 – First (996.1) and latest (991.2) generations; @Porsche

Porsche 911 GT3 - 996.1, 997.1, 991.1 generations

Porsche 911 GT3 – 996.1, 997.1, 991.1 generations; @Porsche