How did the Porsche 911 GT3 get its name?
Highlights of the Porsche 911 GT3 History Article:
- The Porsche 911 GT3 was originally a homologation car for the company’s GT3 race car, hence the name
- Although it’s no longer a homologation race car, it still offers a race car-like experience and features
- A new 911 GT3 starts at $170,000, while even the cheapest used ones cost around $100,000.
Getting the keys to any Porsche 911 is a major occasion. But even within this family of rarefied sports cars, there’s one member that stands out: the 911 GT3. Whether it’s the “standard” version, the road-oriented Touring or the hardcore RS, the GT3 seems to reign supreme in the Porsche 911 lineup. At least when it comes to fan base devotion. And it has to do with how it earned its name.
The Porsche 911 GT3 is inspired and driven by racing
Porsche’s history is full of racing and sprinkled with references across its lineup. Sometimes the references are limited edition versions with historical liveries. Often, however, racing links are single product names. The base 911, the Carrera, is named after the Carrera Panamerican race, for example. And while the Porsche 911 GT3 isn’t named after a specific race, it’s named after a specific type of race.
If you think race cars are too far removed from road cars, GT sports car racing might be for you. Although GT racers are not allowed on the street, they are based on road cars. And those racing in the most popular class, GT3, come closest to their street-legal cousins. This brings us back to the 911 GT3.
In the late 1990s, Porsche wanted to enter the contemporary 911 of the 996 generation into the GT3 class. But before it could race legally, Porsche had to sell street-legal cars with similar specs. In the case of the first-generation model, they included a sportier suspension, shorter gear ratios, and a Mezger-designed flat-six with lighter internals and the 911 GT1’s dry-sump lubrication system. And because Porsche makes no sense with its titles, it named this GT3-inspired 911… the 911 GT3.
Initially, Porsche did not expect to sell enough 996.1 911 GT3s to meet the minimum requirement of 500 units. However, it ended up selling 1856 of them. Then when the 996.2 version debuted – because the GT3 RSR driver needed some updates – it too sold like an iPhone done in hot cakes. And by the time the 997 version came out, the GT3 “race car for the road” had firmly established itself as a Porsche icon.
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These days, the Porsche 911 GT3 doesn’t have to be a homologation car. However, its design is still inspired by racing. As Porsche GT Car Director Andreas Preuninger said Road & Track“”The GT3’s primary mission is to deliver impressive on-track performance and, perhaps more importantly, to delight drivers on any road and reward them with an engaging, characterful and unique experience. . “
In theory, any GT3 owner could take their car to the track and set a competitive time while having fun, then drive home. All in the same car, by the way. And because of that race car ethos, the 2022 GT3 stands out even further from its Porsche 911 sibling.
First, the 2022 911 GT3 is the only modern 911 without a turbocharged engine. Instead, like every GT3 before it, it features a naturally aspirated flat-six with a dizzying redline and real racing technology. Second, while it’s not the only 2022 911 with a manual, it’s the only one with a six-speed rather than a seven-speed. Moreover, its six-speed manual gearbox is not only the seven-speed one less: it is in fact derived from the transmission of the 911 R.
Also, while it doesn’t legalize a race car, the 2022 Porsche 911 GT3 does have race car parts. Apart from the engine components, the latest GT3 has a completely different front suspension to the standard 911, which it gets from the 911 RSR racer. It also has standard rear wheel steering as well as the first working rear diffuser ever fitted to a road-going 911. And few road cars have gooseneck rear fenders.
The 2022 911 GT3 isn’t the fastest or most expensive Porsche 911. Both honors go to the Turbo S. But the Turbo S is not “the heart of the brand”, R&T Remarks. It’s the most sparkling, focused and special GT3 of the 911s. It’s not a racing car, but it looks like one. And it makes you feel like every ride is a win.
How much is a Porsche 911 GT3 worth?
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As you might expect, the 2022 Porsche 911 GT3 still isn’t cheap. Whether you opt for the winged version or the more subtle Touring, prices start at $169,700. And while official prices for the GT3 RS aren’t available at the time of this writing, they likely start at around $200,000.
Used GT3s, however, are almost invaluable, especially the rare 997 GT3 RS 4.0. Granted, you can still find solid 996-generation cars for around $80,000 to $90,000. However, even the cheapest 997 generation examples start at around $120,000 these days. And if you want a manual 991 GT3, you’ll pay close to $200,000.
That’s the price of a race car for the road, I guess.
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