Porsche 911 GT3 vs track day supercar rivals

11 Mar, 2014 4:26pm

Latest Porsche 911 GT3 builds on a strong competition heritage – but so do the Jaguar XKR-S GT and Aston Martin V12 Vantage S

Few cars can rival the Porsche 911 for rich motorsport heritage. Over the past half century the legendary rear-engined machine has notched up hundreds of race and rally wins.

The latest in this long line of racers for the road - and perfect for track days - is the all-new GT3. Based on the current 991-generation 911, it aims to blend unprecedented performance with everyday usability and practicality. Yet it’s not the only new hardcore coupé. First up is Jaguar’s wild XKR-S GT, which boasts a heavily uprated chassis, bold aerodynamics and a stripped-out cabin.

Porsche 911 GT3 review

Jaguar XKR-S GT review

Aston Martin V12 Vantage S review

Aston’s V12 Vantage S doesn’t look as outlandish, but with a 565bhp V12 and race-bred handling, it promises equal thrills. So which of our high-performance heavyweights will land the knock-out blow in this bruising encounter?

Read the reviews for each car using the links above, then find out our verdict below. Make sure you also check out our video track battle:

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Head-to-head

Stopping power

All three of our contenders offer prodigious stopping power, yet only the Aston and Jaguar come with carbon-ceramic brakes as standard. The Vantage has massive 398mm
front discs, while the XK’s are only slightly smaller at 390mm.

You’ll pay a huge £6,248 extra for the same tech on the Porsche, but you do get vast 410mm discs that hauled our GT3 from 70-0mph in 40.3 metres – which was over five metres less than the Aston.

Porsche vs Aston vs Jaguar header 5

Engines

Each of our trio takes its own approach under the bonnet. As you’d expect from a 911, the new GT3 features a rear-mounted, naturally aspirated 3.8-litre flat-six. The XK gets Jaguar’s familiar supercharged 5.0-litre V8, while the Aston benefits from a stonking 565bhp 6.0-litre V12.

Aerodynamics

Keeping high-performance cars on the road requires aerodynamic help. The Jag’s rear wing claims to give 145kg of downforce, and the Porsche’s wings and spoilers 120kg. Careful underbody design helps keep the Aston glued to the road.

Verdict

1st place: Porsche 911 GT3

Porsche 911 GT3 action

The brilliant 911 GT3 stands out with its driving thrills. With its scintillating performance, race-bred handling and spine-tingling sound, it makes every trip an adventure. On the road or track, it’s simply the best sports car on the planet.

2nd place: Aston Martin V12 Vantage S

It’s hard not to fall for the Aston’s charms. It looks beautiful inside and out, and its V12 sounds amazing and gives a knock-out punch. And while the Vantage isn’t as focused on-track as its rivals, and is let down by its clunky box, it’s just as much fun.

3rd place: Jaguar XKR-S GT

Jaguar XKR-S GT coupe action

Limited numbers assure the Jaguar’s rarity, plus it sounds thunderous and has sharp handling and blistering performance. Yet the wild looks won’t be to all tastes, and the XK can feel extreme on the road, particularly in slippery conditions.

Figures

Porsche 911 GT3 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S Jaguar XKR-S GT
On-the-road price/total as tested £101,660/£114,946 £140,026/£163,070 £135,000/£135,000
Annual tax liability std/higher rate £7,038/£14,076 £9,723/£19,447 £9,372/£18,743
Annual fuel cost (12k/20k miles) £4,004/£6,674 £4,826/£8,043 £4,735/£7,891
Ins. group/quote/road tax band/cost 50/£934/M/£490 50/£1,792/M/£490 50/£1,652/M/£490
Length/wheelbase 4,545/2,457mm 4,385/2,600mm 4,794/2,752mm
Height/width 1,269/1,852mm 1,250/1,865mm 1,322/1,892mm
Engine 6cyl/3,799cc V12/5,935cc V8/5,000cc
Peak power 469/8,250 bhp/rpm 565/6,750 bhp/rpm 542/6,000 bhp/rpm
Peak torque 440/6,250 Nm/rpm 620/5,750 Nm/rpm 680/2,500 Nm/rpm
Transmission 7-spd auto/rwd 7-spd auto/rwd 6-spd auto/rwd
Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel 64 litres/sealant 80 litres/sealant 71 litres/sealant
Boot capacity 125 litres 300 litres 300 litres
Kerbweight 1,430kg 1,665kg 1,713kg
Turning circle/drag coefficient 11.1 metres/0.33Cd 11.8 metres/0.37Cd 10.9 metres/N/A
Basic warranty (miles)/recovery 2yrs (unltd)/2yrs 3yrs (unltd)/3yrs 3yrs (unltd)/3yrs
Service intervals/UK dealers 20,000 miles (2yr)/36 10,000 miles (1yr)/22 15,000 miles (1yr)/97
Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos. 13th/6th N/A 3rd/5th
Euro NCAP: Adult/child/ped./stars N/A N/A N/A
0-60/30-70mph 3.3/2.8 secs 4.2/3.4 secs 4.5/3.4 secs
30-50mph in 3rd/4th 2.9/4.0 secs 2.0/2.7 secs 2.3/3.4 secs
50-70mph in 5th/6th/7th 4.7/6.0/7.1 secs 3.2/4.4/5.8 secs 4.8/6.6 secs/N/A
Top speed/rpm at 70mph 196mph/3,000rpm 205mph/2,250rpm 186mph/2,000rpm
Braking 70-0/60-0/30-0mph 40.3/29.0/8.8m 45.2/33.2/8.8m 42.6/31.0/8.9m
Noise levels outside/idle/30/70mph 68/60/65/74dB 60/55/65/70dB 67/58/67/75dB
Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range 18.8/4.1/265 miles 15.6/3.4/275 miles 15.9/3.5/248 miles
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined 15.0/32.0/23.0mpg 24.3/11.7/16.4mpg 14.9/12.3/17mpg
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined 3.3/7.0/5.0mpl 5.3/2.6/3.6mpl 3.3/2.7/3.7mpl
Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket 347/289g/km/35% 418/388g/km/35% 410/292g/km/35%
Airbags/Isofix/adaptive damping Six/£121/yes Six/no/yes Six/no/yes
Ceramic brakes/limited-slip diff £6,248/yes Yes/yes Yes/yes
Climate/cruise control Yes/£276 Yes/yes Yes/yes
Leather/heated seats Yes/£320 Yes/£495 No/no
Met. paint/xenons/sports exhaust £801/yes/yes Yes/yes/yes Yes/yes/yes
Sat-nav/DAB radio/Bluetooth £2,141/£324/£558 Yes/yes/yes Yes/yes/yes

Disqus - noscript

"Hallo AutoBild Großbritannien edition, today you vill run an article using 3 autos head to head including ze Porsche and you vill make sure that ze Porsche is ze winner.. OK?

Wait...I know it was wet but didnt the RCZ R do a 1:13.40 for a fraction of the price?

Ex. Battle hehe

Surprises me that the XK is slowest in gear as it has by far the highest tq figure and its dealt from a lowly 2500, compared to around 6 for the others.

Not surprised the GT3 does better here. The other 2 are heavy, old sporty GTs were the Porsche is a brand new track version of a sports car. The Jag and Aston are closer to the panamera than the 911.

Aston for me out of these three.... I'd actually turn my head to watch an Aston drive by, wouldn't for a Porsche... it's the 3 series of the sports car world... might be technically very good, but it's the default choice in a market full of (IMO) much more interesting alternatives that may not have the chassis balance and finesse of the 911, but excel in other equally or better ways.

Isn't there the issue of the GT3 spontaneously bursting into flames which should count against it.

AEX 1,339
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