When Westford, MA drivers think of the Porsche 911, they tend to forget that it’s not a single car. There are, in fact, many variations and trim levels, each with their own charms and capabilities. One of these is a particular standout: the Porsche 911 GT3. Porsche of Nashua examines what makes it so special. 

By definition, GT models are known for their fierce track performance and — with that — excellent lap times. Andreas Preuninger, head of the design team responsible for the 2017 Porsche 911 GT3, explains that this generation represents a shift away from a focus on lap times in favor of putting the sheer joy back into driving a Porsche car. In fact, it draws many lessons from the acclaimed (and fast-selling) Porsche Cayman GT4 as well as the Porsche 911R.

Part of that is evidenced by the transmission. You’ll still be able to get the smooth, quick-shifting seven-speed PDK dual-clutch gearbox. However, a six-speed manual transmission (with mechanical differential) also returns to the car this year.

The other thing worth note is the engine. A stroked 4.0 liter naturally-aspirated flat six-cylinder engine, it shows lessons learned from several other new Porsche cars. It redlines at 9,000 RPM, delivering 500 horsepower and 339 lb.-ft. of torque. Its rigid valve train is (paradoxically) less stiff, and the lack of hydraulic actuators eliminates the need for periodic valve adjustments. The end result? Lower oil pressure and volume are required, but there’s still less resistance during engine operation. That means that it’s a highly efficient powertrain that sends more power to the tires.

There are several other mechanical changes — a new rear diffuser, new oil pump, new piston rings and cylinder sleeves, and a new intake, among other things — but what’s important when all is said and done isn’t a laundry list of parts. It’s how those parts fit, and work, together. The results speak for themselves.

Many of these improvements were inspired by, or cribbed directly from, the Porsche 911R. That car was a strictly limited edition (only 991 were built). While the 911 Porsche GT3 isn’t identical to that limited edition by any means, its spirit is much the same. If you want the experience without the shocking secondary-market price tag, this is your ticket.

To find out more, visit your Porsche dealership near Westford. Porsche of Nashua is located at 170 Main Dunstable Road in Nashua, NH.