The now iconic GT3 badge was first worn in 1999, when the 996.1 needed a homologation model of cars to race in the FIA GT3 cup. Directly based off the 911 GT3 Cup, which debuted the previous year in the Porsche Supercup support race on the Formula One calendar, the GT3 was the best new way to enjoy the thrills of a race car on the public road.
The GT3 variant has stayed strong throughout several generations of 911, with each car representing the best in engineering and design for the 911 of its time. If the GT3 didn’t scratch your racing itch, Porsche began offering the GT3 RS in 2003, an even more track-focused version of 996 GT3. RS is short for the German “RennSport” – meaning racing sport – and denotes the best of the best when it comes to race cars on the road. The first GT3 RS featured the characteristic red or blue wheels, and the GT3 RS stickering along the side sills, making the car an instant classic.
After the 996, we saw the introduction of the 997 generation of 911 cars, which in turn ushered in a new fleet of GT3 and GT3 RS cars, including the rare GT3 RS 4.0. Featuring a 4.0L flat-six engine, an increase from the 3.6L and 3.8L found in the standard GT3 and GT3 RS respectively, it was the largest engine offered in a street-legal 911. Only 600 cars were built, all offered in either Basalt Black or Carrera White, with a handful Pant to Sample colours. It remains one of the most desirable 911’s on the market, fetching suitably high prices.
Following on from the 997 era was the 991.1 GT3, unveiled in 2013, and featuring a new specially developed engine developing 469HP, and a new dual-clutch gearbox based on the sequential manual transmissions used in race cars. The 991.1 GT3 RS saw the return of a 4.0L engine, and included 918 Spyder style bucket seats, the Club Sport package, and plenty of weight saving techniques to push the car from 0-62mph in just 3.4 seconds. Succeeded by the 991.2 class of GT3 and GT3 RS, where the engine was redesigned to allow for a higher 9,000rpm redline and the manual gearbox was bought back as an option over the PDK if desired. A new Touring version of the 991.2 GT3 was also introduced, following the popularity of the more limited 911R, which saw the removal of the rear wing to create a more flowing design. The Touring was only available with a manual gearbox, making it a more refined drivers’ car.
Revealed in early 2021 was the most recent generation of 992 GT3 cars. Using the same 4.0L engine of its predecessor, the car produces just over 500hp and can be optioned with either a 6-speed manual or 7-speed PDK gearbox. Like the 991.2, the 992 also saw the return of a Touring car, replacing the rear wing with an automatically deployable rear spoiler, giving a more subtle look to the package. The 992 GT3 RS is the most dramatic and hardcore GT3 RS yet, featuring a colossal rear wing that produces two-times the downforce of the 991.2 GT3 RS and has a Formula One style DRS system that can be activated by the click of a button on the steering wheel.
Overall, the Porsche 911 GT3 is one of the most versatile and varied models on the market, with a variant for any and all occasions. From the more subdued GT3 Touring, to the absolutely mad 992 GT3 RS, and everything in between, you cannot go wrong with a GT3. With a rich racing history behind the model, and a plethora of personalisation options available, these are some of the most reliable and recognisable supercars money can buy.