It feels like it was only yesterday when everyone revvered fried-egg shaped headlight Porsche 911 was introduced with all new poke in the new avatar then known as the GT3… It was essentially what Porsche thought of a racing car for the road; harder, faster and with a bigger longing to head out to track every once in a while. Between the most disagreeable looking Porsche to today’s much sleeker and in-line with the brand character 991.2 GT3 there’s already been a gap of 20 years. And while some might argue that 20 years isn’t enough time to distinguish between 911 generations, there quite that has changed.
Type 996.1 GT3 (1999 – 2003)
This generation the one with with a lot of first – The first generation of 911 to go water cooled, the first generation to ditch the RS badging for the GT3 moniker. Underneath the new skin, there where a lot of tasty bits too – adjustable MacPherson struts at the front and multi-link at the back, uprated 4-piston mono-block brakes with 330mm discs, lots of aerodynamics including an adjustable rear wing, while also adorning a beautiful set of multi-spoke rims.
Type 996.2 GT3 (2003 – 2005)
With the facelifted 996 generation 911 came the GT3 MK2 in 2004, more commonly known as the 996.2 GT3. Porsche updated the headlights and bodywork, while increasing the power by about 20hp from the 360hp from the previous generation 996.1 GT3. The front brakes were upgraded to 6-piston from the 4 of the previous generation. This was also the first generation of GT3 that was introduced to the American market.
Type 997.1 GT3 (2006 – 2009)
The 997.1 GT3 brought with some striking changes to the racecar for the road formula for Porsche. It added Porsche’s electronically adjustable dampers to a GT car for the first time while also bringing a slew of changes to the car’s aerodynamics. The engine remained a 3.6-litre flat-six unit, but now produced 410bhp.
Type 997.2 GT3 (2009 – 2011)
The second generation of the Type 997 GT3 had it’s engine upsized to 3.8-litres from the previous 3.6-litre and now put out 430bhp. The 997.2 was also the first GT3 model to feature an axle lift system to make the car more practical to be driven on different parts of the world.
Type 991.1 GT3 (2013 – 2017)
The 991 generation GT3 is where things really started getting technical (read electronically assisted). There was now a PDK double clutch gearbox alongside being the first GT3 model to get rear wheel steering. The engine capacity returned to 3.6-litre but it was given titanium connecting rods and forged pistons which made the engine peak out at a stratospheric 9000rpm. With power figures reaching near 500hp (475hp), the 991.1 GT3 was capable of hitting 60mph (97kph) in 3.1 seconds and if left checked, would reach its Vmax of 202mph (325kph).
Type 991.2 GT3 (2014 – Now)
All the iterations of the GT3 since its inception in 1999 lead to this. The current generation 991.2 GT3 which lives on for some more time till we see the new 992 in a GT3 guise. This time, the current generation GT3 gets a 4.0-litre flat-six engine that still revs out to 9000rpm producing 500hp, but now buyers get an option between a PDK or manual gearbox which wasn’t offered before. The 991.2 GT3 is one of the very few current production cars that offer a manual option for a car that makes 500hp.