Why It Matters
“There is no substitute.” Most every automotive enthusiast can tell you which company uses that phrase, but they can also tell you that every year there are new contenders intent on proving otherwise. Porsche sees itself as the top dog (as do countless fans of the brand), and to remain at the top it must continue to build outstanding products, products that shoppers truly can find from other manufacturers. The 911 GT3 satisfies that requirement by offering a six-cylinder engine with an eye-popping 415 horsepower (sans turbo or supercharger assist), reduced weight and ride height for improved handling, and a style that is uniquely Porsche. There may be other sports cars and supercars, but the GT3 proves, there is no substitute.
What’s Under the Hood
For the 2007 911 GT3, engineers have managed to crank 415 horsepower at 7,600 rpm and 300 lb.-ft. of torque from a 3.6-liter, naturally aspirated six-cylinder engine that achieves and EPA-rated 17/24 mpg and LEVII emissions status. Selecting Sport mode unleashes an extra 18 lb.-ft. of torque between 3,000 and 4,000 rpm. Featuring dual overhead cams, 24 valves, and variable-valve timing, the 3.6 does its part to push the 3,075-lb. GT3 (more than 400 pounds lighter than the 911 Turbo) to 60 mph in only 4.1 seconds, with a top speed of 193 mph. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, as are a locking differential, 13.78-inch vented and cross-drilled rotors, traction control, and Pirelli PZero Corsa tires measuring 235/35R19 up front and 305/30R19 out back.
What it Looks Like
It may be hard to recognize, but the GT3 sits more than an inch closer to the ground than a 911 Carrera, a design characteristic aimed at improving handling. Likewise, the exterior has been massaged in the quest of speed, with a revised front fascia and lower spoiler to increase down force, vents for radiator and brake cooling, and a rather large rear wing which provides even more down force, and, as a result, improves handling and stability at high speeds. Distinctive alloy wheels measure 19 inches, though the rear rims are roughly 50 percent wider than those up front.
Featured inside the GT3 are top-notch materials, all the comforts of daily commuter, and safety items such as six airbags. This two-seater includes deeply bolstered bucket seats with Alcantara inserts, a premium sound system, cruise control, a power moonroof, keyless entry, and as a nod to its performance intentions, a reduced weight battery and less sound insulation material. There’s a special GT3 badge inside the rear window, and if selected, the seatbelts and leather seat stitching can be done in red. Armrests on the doors and between the seats add a level of comfort, and the center instrument panel puts all primary controls within easy reach.
What Porsche Says
When discussion turns to the 2007 911 GT3, Porsche describes the car in this way: “For serious enthusiasts, the dream has always been a roadworthy race car – an automobile offering the power, the response and the agility of a purpose-built competition vehicle, along with the amenities, reliability and practicality required for everyday driving. The 911 GT3 delivers on every single point.”
What We Think
The car pictured here, which is the car Porsche showcased at the 2007 Chicago Auto Show, carried a sticker price of $124,040. Big money, to be sure, but as one staffer noted, it’s a screaming deal when the payoff is a top speed of 193 mph. Comfy and purposeful sedans are nice and all, but it’s cars like this that get kicking ourselves us for not opting for more lucrative professions. Plus, 415 horsepower from a non-turbocharged 3.6-liter six-cylinder is simply amazing. Indeed, it’s a great package, one that actually starts at about $106,860 including destination. Raising the price on this one were items such as bi-xenon lamps ($1,090), ceramic brakes ($8,840), red wheels ($1,915), red stitching ($940), and heated front seats ($480).
Photos courtesy of Thom Blackett and Porsche