Could I get any more excited! :P
Its a PORSCHE 911 GT3! 'screams at high pitch, does a cartwheel'. This is too much! I've been lucky enough to drive so many exotic cars, but the Porsche 911 GT3 is a special treat! Originally this car visited me for remapping, but I hadn't ever spent more than 10-15 minutes at a time doing the software adjustment/data logging on the A12.. meaning, I didn't take the time to explore the car and actually drive it as I would my own.
I collected the car on the 7th of December from Richard Anthony, who runs Gooch Car Centre LTD in Lowestoft (Car Sales - www.goochcarcentre.com). Finally, after four sessions working on this car, I will be able to DRIVE this thing and let the engine 'take' me along the A12. For any law abiding readers of this post.. you may want to stop reading from here.
This thing is FAST! The noise it makes is SUPERIOR to the 911 Carrera and Carrera S models. It is SO LOUD at full throttle, the power delivery from 1st to 4th gear blows my mind away! I know I hit triple figures in this thing - driving through the gears and hearing that noise is too addictive. Driving at 100% throttle and letting go is like taking a bag of Minstrels away from me in the Cinema.. I need more of it. Continuously. I remember heading home after a long day and extended evening driving this car, and not wanting to give it back. I don't get that feeling from other cars - this thing feels insane. I still want more!
The interior is nice. Many Porsche enthusiasts (well.. people who don't own Porsche's) say the dash and interior trim is dated in these cars but I think not. I actually enjoy being inside this car - and while it may resemble the Porsche Boxster of its day, we must remember it is from the same era. A lot of the 911 (996) Turbo's look tatty on the inside, but buying a Porsche and being capable of maintaining it for the next owner will open a tumultuous 'wave' of debate and I'm grateful for this website - heated arguments or comments cannot erupt because there isn't a comment section ;-) So, single sided monologue aside - lets get to business!
Dare I comment on how I drove this thing, as I put the car through some serious testing! The famous 'drift' roundabout next to Tesco (Lowestoft) felt the tyres flex under my heel, I had to throw this thing left and right on some Norfolk Roads. The new geometry setup on this car is too good. When a car grips this well and if feels as though anything is possible - it is a good indicator to back off the throttle and not get over excited. This is a RWD car, and the engine is in the rear. So if you lose too much traction and aren't in complete control, slide on mud, or feel the front going, chances are you are probably about to crash! The Porsche 911, just like every Ferrari I have tested, takes no prisoners. It is a wild machine and taming these things takes a lot of experience. I would say I am around 60% good at driving the Porsche 911 Carrera S that I owned - and that was three and a half years of mixed driving. The GT3 feels better (more forgiving) but I will put a lot of that down to his 'fast road' Wheel Alignment.
Lovely, sleek lines. The Porsche 911 (996) C4S will always remain a favourite (at heart) with its round bum that hangs wide and low! This is still a beautiful Sports Car, an aerodynamically 'correct' vehicle capable of speeds up to 190mph. I love the look of it, and after an evening down Great Yarmouth Seafront I'm sure the onlookers were just as keen. Several onlookers took photographs of the car, and that is the general reaction when driving a 911 GT3 model.
Addictive. Now I have finished working on this car I am 100% satisfied with the power and throttle response. Why so many Porsche owners fit Sprintbooster Boxes to these cars amazes me - there is a map called 'Relatives Fahrerwunschmoment' that can be adjusted if somebody wanted 100% request with just 50% pedal movement. The reason for a customer wanting this would confuse me, as such a modification or adjustment wouldn't add to the power whatsoever. Extended data logging, and fine fettling of maps such as 'Kennfeld fúr Berechnung Solfullung', 'Kennfeld Optimales Motormoment', 'Optimale Zunwinkelkennfeld', 'Lambda Fahrerwunsch' and good use of 'Abgastemperature fúr Bauteileschutz/Lambdasoll fúr Bauteileschutz' will see more power, and thus a stronger pedal and you will never have to adjust throttle request, or fit a Sprintbooster (electronic box). There are other torque monitoring maps that I also adjust, along with Ignition Timing (Zundwinkelkennfeld 1/2/3/4) near the end of a tuning session. The 'drive' from this car leaves me wanting more - and I will probably have to borrow it next Spring for another 'fix'.
Driving this car around town alerts no suspicion. It is sedate - not like the Porsche Sports Exhaust (PSE) fitted to my Carrera. Opening the throttle is a completely different experience, though. The noise is insane. My spine tingles as the revs climb from 3000rpm up to 6500rpm (or thereabouts). I daren't rev a customers Porsche over 6800rpm-7000rpm because the car records high revving and over-rev data. This means, when you sell a Porsche and the car has been abused, the Main Dealer or Sports Car Specialist will send you on your way after a quick diagnostic scan. So yes, the car makes an amazing noise - but you do have to be careful when enjoying it. This particular car has a decat system, which probably accounts for that insane high pitched scream as I near the redline. I was speechless when handing the car back, and haven't been that silent since driving a Lamborghini Huracan back in June 2016. This car makes one hell of a racket - and its enough of a 'warning' to the cars I overtook on the Dual Carriageway!
What a beautiful car this is. I never imagined I would be driving Porsche 911's and it being a casual affair. These cars are much more than I could visualise, having owned many BMW E36 Series (old chassis), a little Toyota MR2 MK1, Renault Clio 16v 172, Fiat Punto 1.9 JTD, Peugeot 207 1.6 HDi and two VW Golf MK5 GTi's, moving into the Porsche World is lots of fun, and I am grateful to the people who have allowed me to work on their pride and joy.
I would like to thank Richard Anthony at Gooch Car Centre for letting me first remap then review his GT3. His website -> www.goochcarcentre.com <- is updated weekly and has some reasonably priced cars, along with some high end Sports/Prestige vehicles available for sale. Richard has been buying and selling prestige cars way before I moved to the Lowestoft area, and after buying this particular Porsche, he got the tuning/suspension/setup done and decided to keep instead of selling! That is how good this car is!
Nicholas Lawrence //ON CARS