2010 Porsche 911 GT3
2010 Porsche 911 GT3. Click image to enlarge

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Review and photos by Peter Bleakney

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2010 Porsche 911 GT3

Hohenstein, Germany – From day one, Porsche’s philosophy has been to build sports cars that are as equally happy on the road as on the racetrack. Drive your Porsche to the local circuit, thrash it like a rented mule and Dr. Ferdinand Porsche smiles at you from the beyond. Track ready and tough as nails they are.

Then there are some that are more track ready than others. The $138,100 2010 Porsche 911 GT3, which tilts heavily toward the racing side of the equation, will be arriving in Canada sometime in July. A significantly upgraded version of the 2008 GT3, Porsche felt the term “face lift” didn’t do the car justice, so it’s referred to as Generation II of this second edition 997 GT3. There were also two generations of the first 996-based GT3 (1999 to 2005). Confused yet?

The GT3’s dry-sump naturally aspirated 3.8-litre flat-six, (which is not related to the direct-injection 3.8-litre in the “regular” Carrera S) traces its lineage back to the 1996 Porsche 911 GT1 racer. It makes 435 hp at 7600 r.p.m. and 317 lb.-ft. at 6250 r.p.m. This is up 20 horses and 17 lb.-ft. over last year’s 3.6-litre version of the same powerplant. It rips to a 8500 r.p.m. redline and powers the rear wheels via a six-speed manual transmission with interchangable gear ratios.

2010 Porsche 911 GT3
2010 Porsche 911 GT3. Click image to enlarge

Porsche is going for purity here, so there is no all-wheel-drive or PDK twin-clutch transmission, which would have added another 30 kg right where this ass-engined sling-shot doesn’t need it – out back.

Visually, you won’t mistake a GT3 for a garden variety Carrera. The body is slammed (pretty sure the Zuffenhausen engineers don’t use that term) a healthy 30 mm (1.2 inches) over the new centre-lock 19-inch ultralight alloys (down three kg a piece) wearing 235/35ZR front and 305/30ZR steamrollers in the rear.

The GT3’s nose features large mesh intakes and a hood vent, while a decidedly unsubtle wing perches above ram air intakes on the rear deck. Black, twin central exhaust and three rear air extraction vents complete the picture.

The 2010 GT3 accelerates to 100 km/h in 4.1 seconds, 200 km/h in 12.3 seconds and tops out at 312 km/h (193 mph). But numbers don’t tell the full story. Twist the key and the 3.8-litre race engine barks to life and settles into a busy, guttural idle. The optional 12-kg carbon fibre buckets (we won’t get these – no side-airbags) leave your body no wiggle room – if your butt is slim enough to fit. Grab the Alcantara wheel, depress the firm clutch, slot the short shifter into first and within the first few hundred metres this car telegraphs exactly what it’s all about.

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