Three days with a Porsche 997 GT3 Mk I equals three days of experiencing all your sex fantasies non stop. This is the car we dreamt of for years and wanted to drive since the beginning of our car passion. Be aware that Escape on Wheels’ car talk revolves for a good 70% around the almighty GT3. Why? It’s the Porsche that always caught our imagination since we were 13 year old kids, reading car magazines.
The Porsche GT3 Series are the type of cars that have written “drive me if you can” all over it. They’re not for the newbies and are dedicated for the people who love and live to drive. It’s the basic, minimalistic performance car that appeals to all performance motoring enthusiasts and collectors alike. It’s a true gem that comes from Stuttgart and the perhaps one of the most exciting cars ever to be built.
While being over inflated by the specialized press as the “last pure Porsche” with the “manual-only” option and a naturally aspirated flat six engine with racing components, the GT3 is every bit as good as it gets. The new paddle shifted 991 generation and the talented Chris Harris had a huge impact on prices, which are now stellar: former GT3 owners got their money back and even more. I honestly admit that I dare to look at current quotes of a RS 4.0…
Like the famed 2.7 RS (another epitome of Porsche driving purity) manual GT3’s are being gradually considered as revered collector’s items: the word “investment” is written right behind the name plate. The true nature of this wonderful creation from Stuttgart is being erased from its namesake.
What makes the GT3 line up of cars so special? Certanly not the manual transmission alone, and definitely not the iconic looks. It’s the whole package: it’s how it comes together. It’s difficult to drive and demands your full attention. You need to drive it properly if you want to get the maximum grip and take full advantage of the superior performance. If you love driving, you’ll love cars like this. It’s the racing car you do not need a trailer to take it to the track and the one that is feared and reveared by the track day crowd all over the world.
Its design is XXI century minimalism and its purposeful interior is a strong reminder of what this car was designed for. To set up the car, three buttons are everything you need: Sport Response, TC off and Suspension setting. Thank god there is nothing else. On board infotainment? No tanks. Radio? I don’t think it has one.
Pre 991 GT3’s are the car enthusiasts will never stop asking Porsche to build. Simplicity is sometimes the only way and very well appreciated by most driving enthusiasts. Should our hopes to be restored with the new 991 R? I think so. No one can best Porsche in designing an extraordinary performance focused automobile.
Traditionalism and progress are opposite sides and people always love to look at what once was than what the future will bring.
Besides all the chit chat behind the GT3 spec of the Porsche 911, we all wanted to meet and spent some time with our hero car. Did we think about all the fuss about the manual when we drove it? No. Did we considered the purest car we tested? Of course.
The car we tested was no ordirary 997 GT3 Mk I: Its former owner was nonother than MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi, who bought it new from Porsche Center Pesaro in 2006. 30.000 original kilometers, immaculate white bodywork and yellow brake calipers matched with the seat belts. It was a stunner and a true performer.
As much as we wanted to escape with this car, far far away, we drove on our favorite roads, the one we know as the back of our hand. We wanted to know idol we worshipped since the first year at high school in the best way possible: no exploring please, just driving.
While being one of the most revered Porsches in the World, the 997 GT3 is the most perfect driving-focused car we’ve ever tested: balanced chassis with razor sharp accuracy and with the most perfect Boxer 3.6 liter engine.
It’s a driver’s car and it is track ready: driving as an everyday car is not a recommended option. This is the only flaw it has since it’s so good you can’t think of any other car to replace it in your garage.
Owning a GT3 should be very painful: you’d die to use it every day but you know you want to save it for the proper drive. It is not the car you want to park anywhere, and not the one to cruise. It’s Porsche ultimate expression of performance. The fact this car has a license plate is the excuse to avoid a trailer when going to the track.
The 997 is the last of the breed of the “true” GT3’s. At least for now, when all GT cars from Stuttgart come with the excellent bespoke PDK transmission. The ex Valentino Rossi car we tested was every bit as good as we hoped it to be. It’s an easy car to drive slowly but as soon as you give her confidence she will remind you that you need to understand driving before even revving past 4.000 rpm: it’s a huge “screw you!” to the world of luxury lifestyle and pointless numbers. 410 horsepower are enough to prove your manliness.
The push you get from the 3.6 liter flat six is the best thing you can imagine: progression and aggression are the two words to define the delivery. It’s a thing of inexplicable beauty, putting the pedal down and hearing the Porsche symphony filling the air behind you.
The rewarding experience of the GT3 is when you take advantage of the great chassis and the flexible engine: when you get everything right, know when to put the power down and balance the oversteer is the most rewarding experience you’ll ever get in a car. Porsches are all about the perfect balance and mechanical synergy of their components, working together in a unique harmony. It’s all about car control and knowledge: you’ll hardly find a GT3 owner with no driving skills.
Nothing thrills like a honest and well made machine like this car. Perfection doesn’t exist in this world but the 911 is something that will get you closer that you could ever imagine.
We had the time of our lives with this wonderful, artistic amount of perfectly shaped metal and carbon fiber. Such things shall be cherished forever as testaments of what the human mind can do.
We thank our friend Mattia and the owner for letting us loose in the amazing Porsche 997 GT3 Mk I