Porsche 997 GT3 Gen1: ultimate guide
There’s no doubt that buyers after the cream of 911s were spoilt for choice when it came to the 997 generation, a range that encompassed the mighty Turbo and the seriously focused GT2 that somehow managed to push more than 500bhp through its overworked back wheels.
But if turbocharging didn’t appeal when it came to performance then Porsche had an answer in the form of the GT3. The nametag was first seen back in 1999 when it adorned the rump of the 996, a car that would qualify – appropriately enough – for the GT3 endurance racing category.
So successful was the formula that the 2006 Geneva Show saw the launch of the latest 997 variant that arrived in the UK in August that year.
Wedged beneath the new bi-plane rear wing was a 3.6-litre motor that had been carried over relatively unchanged from its 996 installation, although power had increased from 381bhp to 415bhp at a howling 7,600rpm, with torque up by 20Nm to a peak of 405Nm.
Output was slightly over 115bhp per litre, and the rev limit was also raised, action not being curtailed, until 8,400rpm was showing on the tachometer.
Essentially, the engine was the water-cooled bottom end from the 996, but topped with the latest cylinder head design, featuring four valves per cylinder and ‘Variocam’ variable valve timing on both inlet camshafts.
Using rotary-type adjusters to tweak the timing according to load and engine speed and controlled by the Bosch Motronic ME7.8 management system, it improved driveability as well as contributing to those hugely impressive headline figures.
The engine featured lightweight pistons with titanium con-rods along with specially lightened tappets and hydraulic adjusters, and there were revisions to the lubrication system.
To read more about the Porsche 997 GT3 Gen1, as well as our awesome 25 Years of Carrera 4 group shoot, pick up your copy of Total 911 issue 111 from the Imagine Shop now. Alternatively, download it to your digital device from Great Digital Mags.