Porsche celebrates 20 years of the 911 GT3. This now iconic model first debuted in 1999 at the Geneva Motor show on the 996 generation. The focus was to eliminate every feature that added unnecessary weight to the car in pursuit of ultimate performance.
Sound deadening material, rear seats, rear loudspeakers, and the sunroof were completely removed, while air conditioning and a CD player/radio could be optionally deleted or included in the car at no cost. This was a modern 911 at its most pure form, complete with a naturally aspirated engine, manual transmission and rear-wheel drive.
These measures made the 911 GT3 one of the fastest and most athletic cars you could drive on the road legally. Since its debut, race-tuned versions of the 911 GT3 have won numerous endurance races including 24 Hours at Spa, Daytona and even 7 endurance victories at the Nürburgring.
Here are some highlights of each generation of the 911 GT3.
Porsche 911 GT3 (996.1 and 996.2)
- 3.6-litre water-cooled, naturally-aspirated flat-six engine
- Power was raised from 360PS to 380PS for 996.2 facelift with Variocam technology
- Set a record on the Nurburgring among street-legal sports cars
- Ground clearance lowered by 30mm thanks to new suspension
- Improved braking mechanisms (Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake System optional in facelift)
- Manual gearbox from the 911 GT2
- Various chassis settings could be tuned for specific conditions
- Fixed rear spoiler
- Protective cage, fire-retardant fabric bucket seats, fire extinguisher and more in optional ‘Clubsport’ spec
Porsche 911 GT3 (997.1 and 997.2)
- Power went up to 415PS
- Engine displacement went from 3.6-litre to 3.8-litres in 2009, power went up to 435PS
- Porsche Active Suspension Management debuted on the 911 GT3
- A new spoiler, new underside panels
Porsche 911 GT3 (991.1 and 991.2)
- Debuted on the 50th anniversary of the 911
- Completely new engine, transmission, body and chassis
- 3.8-litre flat four still naturally aspirated, produced 475bhp
- Manual transmission now replaced by PDK
- Rear-axle steering debuted
- Half a minute faster around the Nurburgring than the original 911 GT3
- 991.2 facelift brought in larger 4-litre engine with 500bhp and 6-speed manual option
- Touring Package was offered with manual option only and active aileron instead of fixed spoiler