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2017 Porsche 911 GT3 laps the Nurburgring in 7:12.7s

The new Porsche 911 GT3 has set one of the fastest ‘Ring laps in production car history in ‘standard trim’

The 2017 Porsche 911 GT3 has knocked a massive 12 seconds off the benchmark Nurburgring lap time set by its predecessor, clocking 7 minutes and 12.7 seconds in an unmodified ‘standard trim’.

The new model, which has ditched the old 469bhp 3.8-litre flat-six in favour of a 493bhp 4.0-litre engine, now ranks alongside the likes of the Mercedes AMG GT R and the Nissan GT-R Nismo as one of the top ten fastest production cars to have set a time at the ‘Green Hell’.

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Fastest Nurburgring lap times

“By achieving this time, we have emphatically proven that the new 911 GT3 not only provides the best driving experience, but can also deliver an impressive performance on the Nordschleife,” said Porsche’s Frank-Steffen Walliser. “The focus was on optimising the driving quality and adapting to the slight increase in engine power.”

Porsche revealed the updated version of the track-bred 911 GT3 at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, combining the larger, more powerful engine with aerodynamic tweaks, new options in the cabin and even the choice of a six-speed manual gearbox.

As reported by Auto Express late last year, the power increase puts the new 911 GT3 on par with the leaner GT3 RS and ultra collectable 911 R – revealed at the Geneva show in 2016. The same engine could appear soon in a new Cayman GT4 RS collector's item. Despite the swell in engine size, the 911 GT3 still weighs in at 1,430kg.

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In terms of performance, the new GT3 does 0-62mph in 3.4 seconds – four tenths quicker than before - and marches on to a top speed of 198mph when paired with a seven-speed Porsche PDK automatic transmission. 

Alternatively, most purists will welcome the return of the manual gearbox on the GT3. The six-speed sports manual transmission makes the car slower to 62mph – Porsche quoting 3.9 seconds – though top speed edges up to 199mph.

Porsche says that the chassis of the refreshed track-based 911 has been tweaked using the latest knowledge gained from the company’s GT3 racing programme. The basic design of the chassis remains the same, though Porsche says it has been refined, and it still works in tandem with a rear-wheel-steering system plus dynamic engine mounts to create as balanced a drive as possible. 

In terms of design the new 911 GT3 receives some slight alterations – changes Porsche says are further aerodynamic advancements. The car’s front bumper has been altered for better airflow and features new LED lights, while new vents appear at the rear alongside a new diffuser.

In the cabin the GT3 gains the sports steering wheel from the 918 Spyder, while new sports seats are fitted too, similar to the ones found in the 911 GT3 RS. The same seats can be had with electrical adjustment functions. Alternatively, folding sports seats or full buckets made from carbon-fibre reinforced plastic make the options list. The Porsche Communication Management infotainment system with sat nav features as standard, including smartphone connectivity, Wi-Fi and the Porsche Track Precision data-logging app. 

Order books for the facelifted 911 GT3 are open now and the new car will cost £111,802 in the UK – the extra power making it £11,000 more than the older model.

Are you happy the manual gearbox is back in the 911 GT3? Let us know in the comments.

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