New GT3 Culminates 50 Years of Porsche 911 Development

When the 911 was premiered at the IAA in Frankfurt in 1963, Porsche ushered in a new era of sports cars. Fifty years later, the 911 is still a benchmark of the auto industry, with a new 911 GT3 that is as much at home in the street as on the racetrack.

When the 911 GT3 made its North American debut at the New York Auto Show last week, stateside fans of the Prancing Horse got a closeup look at the culmination of half a century’s development. Porsche had been working on the shape of the bodywork for the 911 as early as the fifties, and from the start the rear engine was a priority.

While the original boasted a six-cylinder Boxer engine with axial fan and an upper camshaft on each side, the engine on the new model was developed from scratch, with a PDK that shifts within 100 milliseconds. This 475hp model does zero to 60 mph in 3.3 s, with a top track speed of 195 mph, resulting in a car that lives up to Ferry Porsche’s words; “The 911 stamped the unmistakable character of the Porsche sports car”.

Photos courtesy Porsche.

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