Porsche 911 GT3 bloodline

As a demonstration of automotive Darwinian theory, there’s no better image on these pages than the line-up of GT3 rumps. A sub-set genus removed from its ordinary Carrera relation, the GT3 evolved, as all the best Porsches do, in pursuit of success on the track.

Not since the 993 RS had Porsche taken its Carrera and honed it to deliver so much more, adding a layer of involvement and intensity that the standard cars simply cannot deliver. Different cars for differing purposes, the GT3 itself evolved into even more of a specialist sub-set: the GT3 RS.

Those homologation tearaways aren’t here though; today is a celebration of the GT3 on its own – a car that in 1999 wowed with its ability, taking its engine from motorsport, yet not robbing its driver of the comforts that the RS models traditionally did.

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The 996 GT3 saw no weight reduction over the standard Carrera: despite the loss of its rear seats, it tipped the scales at around 30 kilograms more. There was no thin glass, soundproofing, pull strap doors, alloy or carbon panels here; instead, the GT3 came with luxuries like air conditioning and electric windows.

The GT3’s additional performance was derived not from weight loss, but from more power. A useful 60bhp was added to the 911’s output, the 360bhp arriving from the GT3’s 3.6-litre dry-sumped flat six at a heady 7,200rpm and peak torque of 273lb/ft at 5,000rpm.

It’s an engine that has become legendary, being able to trace its roots back to the 911’s air-cooled ancestry and top-flight racing. The so-called Metzger engine shares little – if anything – with its regular 911 relations, save for where it’s positioned.

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In the GT3, that engine allowed Porsche to quote a 0-62mph time of 4.8 seconds, 100mph arriving just 5.4 seconds later. Porsche also quoted a top speed of 187mph, but that was said to be a touch conservative.

Looking at the silver 996.1 co-owned by Peter Walmsley and John Moss, it’s striking how pure and unadorned it looks. That was part of the appeal for the pair, who have a number of other interesting Porsches to enjoy.

To read more on the development of the 911 GT3, including our thoughts behind the wheel of every generation, pick up your copy of Total 911 issue 117 in store now. You can also order it online, or download straight to your digital device.

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