2022 Porsche 911 GT3 First Test Review: Well, Isn’t This Just Super Special

Test days that include a new Porsche 911 GT3 don’t come around often. Since 1999, when we tested the first 996-generation GT3 R race car, MotorTrend has “run the numbers” on just 11 GT3s, including the even more track-focused GT3 RS models. The latest, all-new 992-series 2022 Porsche 911 GT3 we recently reviewed is the 12th installment of the GT3 developed by the company’s famed GT division, and if you’re wondering how the new GT3’s numbers measure up to those of its outstanding predecessors, well, hold on to your balaclava. 

Acceleration: 2022 911 GT3 Defeats 2018 911 GT3 (and a Bunch of Others)

You might not necessarily feel the acceleration differences between the 500-hp, 339-lb-ft 991.2-generation GT3 and the 502-hp, 346-lb-ft 2022 911 GT3, but our test data reveals them. 

One of the car’s largest advancements seems to have come from Porsche’s further development of its benchmark launch-control system. It now revs to 6,000-6,200 rpm, and it still brings the clutch plates together masterfully. The result is a zero-wheelspin launch to 30 mph in 1.0 second, or 0.3 second quicker than the previous GT3. (The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Z51 is the only other rear-wheel-drive car we’ve launched this effectively; all others with a 1.0-second or quicker sprint to 30 mph had the advantage of AWD.) This initial holeshot advantage over the old 911 GT3 grows to 0.4 second by 60 mph (2.7 versus 3.1 seconds), which the new GT3 holds for the rest of the quarter-mile run (10.8 versus 11.2 seconds).

A “10-Second” Quarter Mile?!

By the way, the 2022 Porsche 911 GT3’s sub-11-second quarter-mile performance with a naturally aspirated 4.0-liter six-cylinder engine is exceptional. The only other non-turbocharged cars to crack the remarkable 11-second threshold featured either two electric motors (Tesla Model S/Porsche Taycan), a V-10 engine (Lamborghini Huracán/Audi R8), or a V-12 engine (Lamborghini Aventador/Ferrari 812 Superfast/Ferrari Enzo). For extra perspective on the achievement, consider this: Those V-12s boasted respective displacements of 5.2, 6.0, and 6.5 liters. Hat tip to Porsche for this quarter-mile accomplishment.

Quick? Sure, But There’s So Much More

According to our scales, the 2022 Porsche 911 GT3 MotorTrend tested is 34 pounds lighter than the last. What’s more, the new GT3’s tires (Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2R N0; 255/35 20 97Y front, 315/30 R21 105Y rear) are wider and stickier. There was no surprise, then, when we verified the new GT3 stops shorter than the old. With both cars equipped with the optional carbon-ceramic brakes, the 2022 Porsche 911 GT3 stopped from 60 mph in 93 feet, versus 99 feet for its predecessor. 

There’s also more grip on the skidpad (1.15 g versus 1.07 g), and the new car produces a quicker figure-eight lap time (22.3 seconds versus 22.7). Only the 2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS boasts better stopping and handling credentials within the lineup, and there’s no doubt a 992-series GT3 RS on its way.

The GT3 Is the Lodestone of the Porsche Family

We’ve loved the GT3 ever since Porsche introduced it. This homologation special is the center-locking hub of the widely varied Porsche 911 wheel: Several spokes emanate from the GT3 to support the 911 Carrera, Cabriolet, Targa, GTS, and Turbo models. Even the weaponized, track-focused GT2 RS owes something of a fist bump to the pure-joy GT3. 

Indeed, the 2022 Porsche 911 GT3 remains the purest expression of the entire model range, and of Porsche overall. Its naturally aspirated high-revving flat-six sits over the rear axle. It remains steadfastly rear-wheel drive. The standard transmission is still a DIY six-speed manual, though the twin-clutch automated-manual PDK makes it quicker. The car is built to be light, responsive, confident, and to connect its driver to the machine—just like every other Porsche, but this one is where it all comes from. It’s a pleasure to see how something so eminently capable and communicative becomes even more so with each new generation. Test numbers, the seat of our pants, and the adrenaline coursing through our bodies after driving this car once again back up its pedigree and capabilities. 

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