HIGHLIGHTS: The 2017 Porsche 911 GT3 comes with a 4.0-liter flat-six derived from the company's race car making a nice, round 500 hp and 339 lb-ft of torque. That power is channeled to the rear wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission or a six-speed manual. Top speed is 198 mph with the manual, though 0-60 times suffer: The PDK with launch control does the sprint in 3.2 seconds, the manual musters a time of only 3.8 seconds. Michelin Pilot Super Sport Cup 2 tires are standard, lightweight carbon shell seats and carbon-ceramic brakes are optional. European versions can also be equipped with a roll cage included in the Clubsport option. American buyers will have to install one themselves.
The new GT3 comes standard with rear-wheel steering, allowing it to conquer a racetrack with the grace of Baryshnikov. The big flat-six ignites with a few pops from the twin central exhaust pipes before settling into a low, metallic gurgle at idle. It doesn't hit peak power until 8,250 rpm; the redline is at 9,000. It's quick from launch (control) up to 3,000 rpm, blazingly fast between 3,000 and 6,000, and it's a screaming Sidewinder missile after that. Still, the optional carbon-ceramic brakes ($9,210) stop this thing like a parachute, allowing you to go deeper and faster into corners than physics could predict. Yes, PDK is both quicker and faster around a track, but we still say the manual is the one to buy, thanks to perfect clutch weight and great shifter action.
BASE PRICE: $144,650
OUR OPINION: This, and the 911 R, are the ones to choose from if you're a well-heeled enthusiast. Why doesn't it have seven manual gears like the basic 911? The GT3 doesn't have time for cruising, so no need for a cruising gear. Look for our full review of the 2017 Porsche 911 GT3 next week.
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