Think about it. In the last decade or so we’ve become obsessed with zero to 100 times, quarter miles and how quickly the latest (insert make, model and your favourite performance badge) can lap the Nurburgring. Twin-turbocharged engines can propel you to breakneck speeds in the blink of an eye and brilliant new double-clutch automated gearboxes can swop cogs within milliseconds. That’s progress for you and don’t get me wrong it’s all incredibly impressive, especially since most modern performance cars can also get you to the shops in Cadillac comfort, but at the end of that rainbow there’s also that despondent sensation that today’s supercars have lost some of their soul.
Though Porsche’s modern 911s have pulled off the aforementioned balancing act while largely remaining in-character, the GT3 takes a rebellious little detour - it’s that notoriously uncompromising black sheep of the family that just refuses to play by the rules. And while it can be ordered with an exceptional dual-clutch PDK gearbox for those purists wanting a not-so-purist cheat, the GT3 is one of the few supercars that you can still order with a manual transmission. That is precisely what brought me to the Western Cape one sunny Monday morning for a 500km blast through some of the region’s best roads.
Despite what its giant carbon rear wing, huge air intakes and 20-inch wheels might imply, the GT3 is not the most potent 911 on the block - with outputs of 368kW and 460Nm, it’s less powerful than the Turbo, Turbo S and GT2 RS, but it is certainly the revviest. Its normally aspirated four-litre flat six rips up the low-revving, turbocharged rulebook as it furiously screams its way to its 9000rpm redline, with peak power developed at 8250rpm. As far as modern engines go, this is about as politically incorrect as it gets.
This Porsche is unashamedly vocal, practically to the point of being rude, and its fearsome, ripsnorting bellow as you rev it towards that redline is so exhilarating and addictive that it’s in danger of being banned by the FDA. You can liven up the soundtrack even further by activating the exhaust flap, while a nearby engine-livening button treats you to a cheeky throttle blip on the downshift.
It’s loud inside too. In another puristic nod, Porsche didn’t get too carried away with the sound deadening material, to the point where having a conversation will require some speaking up, even at normal highway speeds. Much of the road noise goes unfiltered and you’ll often hear the integrated roll cage clanging inside the cabin, and stones pinging against the inner wheel arches, which is all part of the GT3 experience.
Raw, puristic and delightfully uncensored it may be, but don’t ever mistake the GT3 for a crude piece of machinery. Its engine, chassis and body are all engineered to the loftiest of dynamic heights.
The clutch has a distinctly mechanical feel to it, but it’s not too heavy and the gear lever slices through the gates with a sense of precision while also feeling perfectly weighted.
And granted, you’re not going to accelerate as quickly as that guy who bought the dual-clutch version - the claimed 0-100km/h sprint taking half a second longer, at 3.9 seconds according to Porsche - but once again, this car is more about the experience than the result.
A prominent chapter in that story is carving up them twisty roads, for which the rear-wheel-driven GT3 has been blessed with a unique, racing-inspired chassis as well as rear wheel steering, dynamic engine mounts and a rear differential lock.
The suspension set-up is appreciably firm, but it’s not rock-hard. You can feel yourself sinking into every undulation in the road - that together with the ultra-sensitive steering conspiring to keep your concentration at its peak on country roads - but the adaptive shocks do manage to damp out most of the harshness to the point where the ride is actually quite tolerable.
With its semi-slick tyres, the GT3 is immensely grippy. It’s not necessarily tail happy or temperamental, providing you show it the right amount of respect, and it still offers the safety net of PSM stability control, which can be deactivated in two stages.
Along with the roll cage that comes with the no-cost-option Club Sport Package, you can order yours with a deep and grippy set of racing-style CPRF-backed bucket seats.
Sure, they do make it tricky to get in and out, but that’s what you signed up for when you bought what’s essentially a race car for the road.
That said, the GT3 still packs all the basic creature comforts inside, including a touchscreen infotainment system and a decent climate control system, but I won’t bore you with any more of those mundane details.
Then again, you might appreciate the Porsche Track Precision app that provides detailed performance data, including lap times.
The GT3 is an almost perfect blend of brutal, old-school charm and modern cutting-edge technological prowess. It’s a meticulously crafted analogue car in a digitally obsessed world, made by people who love driving for those who love driving.
Oh, and the personalised Flacht number plate refers to the small German village that houses Porsche’s motorsport division, which also develops and builds race-bred road cars such as the GT3.