One Lap Around Sepang Circuit With The New 992 Porsche GT3!

Keeping up with Porsche can hurt the brain.

At one point the company is winning races with some of the greatest race cars of our generation with full fledged internal combustion engines.

And at another point, the company is building the most efficient and fun to drive electric cars the world has seen.

It almost seems like the company is caught in a conundrum of sorts. But it is definitely a future proof approach to the current problems faced by manufacturers.

Porsche has not lost sight of its roots either, as this writer found out during the recent Porsche World Road Show that took place at the Sepang International Circuit (SIC) recently.

Part of the event included a single lap around SIC with the GT3.

But of course there was a lead car. Porsche Malaysia doesn’t trust local motoring journos to go out on their own after some local publications couldn’t return the Porsches given to them in the same way they received it. Putting it lightly there.

I don’t blame their distrust. I was just happy to get to drive the GT3. One lap or not. Lead car or not.

The Porsche GT3 is the road going race car you want but without the extremities of the GT3RS or the manic attitude of the GT2.

It doesn’t have the roll cage of the RS, or the bullish attitude.

But it still has the eagerness, that front end whose only responsibility is to steer and as such feels like a living, breathing extension of your arms.

This time though, in 992 guise, the GT3 feels like it knows what you are about to do even before you know it yourself.

Perhaps this is telepathic  character that has been engineered into the car from decades of racing.

And since the GT3 is essentially a race car for the road that actively participates in various race series around the world, you can think of the 992 GT3 as a moving, roaring archive with the collective knowledge of racing drivers from all around the world.

And the result is one of the greatest driving experience you will ever have.

It is the summary of an engineering marvel of an engine, perfect handling and tyres that will stick to a wall when hot.

But in the 992 GT3, you can add advanced aerodynamics to the mix because it features strategically placed vents and a new, massive rear wing that sucks and pushes the car down in corners.

What this ultimately results in is a car that goes anywhere your nose points without a moment of hesitation.

This wild handling is also assisted by the fact that the GT3 now comes with double-wishbone suspension at the front, or as the Americans put it, a control-arm front suspension.

This suspension is not new technology, the GT3 Cup car has been using it for yonks!

But it is now available in a road going 911 for the first time in 58 years.

The engineers will tell you that the benefits of a double-wishbone suspension is that the entire surface of the tyre is now in contact with the road. Rather than only parts of it reaching the surface.

So when the entire tyre is being used to steer the car, you get super quick reaction time to the tiniest steering input. Making the front end feel like it were on rails.

Then comes the engine.

Based on the same engine that powers the 911 GT3R, 911 Cup and the 911 RSR, the flat-six engine is race proven, a proper race champion that has been slightly modified for road legality.

The 4.0-litre naturally-aspirated engine puts out 502hp and 470Nm of torque.

It enables the GT3 to accelerate to 100km/h in just 3.4 seconds. And it tops out at an amazing 320km/h.

It offers a sound that can only be described as hypnotic, and Porsche made no effort to dampen the sound save for some carpeting that makes the interior a little more comfortable for day to day use.

The race-based engine offers race based technology such as six individual throttle valves per cylinder. The result of this is an engine that responds to every flex of your toe.

The engine is mated to a seven-speed twin-clutch gearbox (a six-speed manual is also available).

Shifts are of course mili-second quick. Porsche’s PDK gearbox has been around since 2008 and has been continuously refined over the years for speed, accuracy and durability.

The interior is of course the same as every 992 generation 911.

What I truly like about the new generation 911 is the instrument cluster.

While marque’s like Ferrari have digitised the entire meter panel, Porsche has stayed true to its roots; the rpm dial is still analogue and still sits prominently at the centre of the meter panel.

I appreciate that, and while I understand the advent of digitisation, I am grateful to Porsche for keeping the analogue rpm dial.

GT3’s have always offered an amazing driving experience with an race-derived engine and handling that mimics a race car.

The new 992 GT3 is no different, yet takes it a notch further.

While it is available with the usual massive rear wing and aero wings around the car. The new GT3 is also available in something called the Touring Pack.

The Touring Pack will appeal to the gentleman racers who prefer their GT3 without the functional but potentially an eye sore of a rear wing.

Those who want to leave their racer boy image behind but can’t seem to shake off their love for an engaging drive.

In its place is an electronically adjustable rear wing that neatly tucks back in place and sits flush with the body work when not in use.

While the world embraces new technology with electric cars and some that can even drive themselves. The Porsche GT3 is proof that some things should never change, because no matter how advanced technology becomes, none can replace the driving experience a GT3 offers.

The GT3 is now available in Malaysia with prices starting from RM1.78 million.

A car stirs the soul, a motorbike is the soul. Keshy has been a motoring journalist for over a decade and has written for and founded a number of Malaysian motoring titles including Piston.my, Bikesrepulic.com, Motomalaya.net and other mass media titles.

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