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Porsche 911 GT3 Clubsport
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Porsche 911 GT3 Clubsport

Driven April 2009

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Another year, another hot 911. The GT3 is built by Porsche's in-house race shop. And that's the way it feels.

You'll recall the regular Carreras recently got a direct-injection engine and the option of a double-clutch transmission. Forget that. The new GT3 goes its own way. Its flat-six has no parts in common with the Carrera unit. Instead it's a grandson of the one on the Le Mans GT1 car. No direct injection here: it gets 435bhp without it. The extra power comes from obsessive parts optimising, and a capacity stretch from 3.6 to 3.8 litres.

The gearbox is a normal six-speed not a PDK. But even with the old-skool need to interrupt acceleration while you haul the lever, it still gets to 62mph in a banging 4.1 seconds, revving to 8,500 and sounding magical as it goes. Race engines are often rattly and harsh, but this one is Telecaster-clean.

The body's nose and tail have had masses of aero fettling. Scoops and slats gulp cool air, or belch hot. There are spoilers on the spoilers. You feel the downforce. At about 175mph on the autobahn it was bolted to the roadway like a slot car. Sorry I didn't get higher, but there was traffic. The top-end is claimed to be 193.

But this is a car for the turns not the straights. Since the last GT3 they've comprehensively revised the front suspension, and the result is a 911 that combines precision and trustworthiness at the front like none I can remember. The suspension is dead firm, sure, but down a rough backroad there's enough travel to keep the tyres on the ground.

Yup, a car built by the race shop. But a road car, and one that puts you in the heart of your fantasies. Fast, connected, utterly workmanlike in the very best sense of the word. Joy.

Paul Horrell

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