You should think of the GT3 as another flavour of Porsche’s ultra high-performance 911s. If the new Turbo is designed to be a continent-shrinking sports car, then the GT3 is a spikier proposition: sharper, more agile, more brutal in the way it delivers its performance and also happier on a track – if that’s where you decide to exploit it.
So, there’s no four-wheel drive, no turbocharger and fewer creature comforts.
The GT3 is powered by a naturally aspirated 3.8-litre flat-six engine, which sends 475bhp to the rear wheels. Controversially, it also all goes through Porsche’s seven-speed PDK automatic gearbox, meaning there’s no manual ’box option for the first time in a hardcore 911.
Plenty of attention has been paid to the chassis, though. There's a multitude of new suspension components and the GT3 is 30mm lower than the standard 911. Like the Turbo, it also has Porsche's new four-wheel steering system, which is designed to improve both low-speed manouverability and high-speed agility.
The new 911 GT3 is also marked out by its more exuberant looks, including its split-rim alloy wheels and a unique front-end design. Inside, there’s some added cabin flourishes, and while other 911s have two small rear seats, the GT3 is a strict two-seater.
What is the 2014 Porsche 911 GT3 like to drive?
In the past, GT3s have been powered by what's effectively been a development of the company’s racing engines. This new one, though, has a engine that's related to the six-cylinders in other 911 models.
Mind you, it’s the motor that really sets the GT3 apart. It’s wonderfully free-revving – all the way up to a heady 10,000rpm – and superbly potent and flexible all the way through the rev-range. It's very loud, too, especially when you’re approaching the red-line.
There’s little need for three-pedal purists to worry about the gearbox, either. It offers even sharper and crisper gearchanges than PDK versions of the standard 911 Carrera – either in 'normal' mode, or ‘track’, where the shifts are even more brutally quick.
Elsewhere it also ups the ante over standard 911s. The GT3 feels more agile, seemingly serves up more traction and grip and has sweeter, more intuitive steering.
Just as welcome is that it feels more stable at speed than the last GT3 because most of the characteristic nose-bobbing sensation has been ironed out.
What is the 2014 Porsche 911 GT3 like inside?
The main difference is that are no rear seats. In their place are two shelves which serve as stowage space.
Apart from this, the GT3 feels much like any other 911. You get the same brilliant driving position – athough you sit a little lower than normal and you also suffer slightly worse rearward visibility, courtesy of the GT3’s large tailgate spoiler. You also get a special steering wheel and sports seats.
As with all modern Porsches there are lots of buttons on show, but at least they are well ordered and make sense once you’ve learned what they all do. Likewise, the standard infotainment system is a little tricky to get the hang of, and you have to pay extra if you want Bluetooth or a DAB radio.
Should I buy one?
The 911 GT3 is a committed purchase. Other 911s are either cheaper, less abrasive or easier to live with – or all three of these things.
However, if the notion of what is currently the sharpest, most invigorating 911 on sale really appeals to you, only the GT3 will do.
In fact, we’d be advocating sampling one even if you’re dead set on entering Ferrari or McLaren ownership.
What Car? says..
Porsche 911 GT3
Engine size 3.8-litre petrol
Torque 324lb ft
0-62mph 3.5 seconds
Top speed 196mph
Fuel economy 23.0mpg (official combined)