Rapid testing: Porsche has already run the new GT3 for 3000 miles at 186 mph

Holger Maske Juli 2020 Porsche | Thomas Strogalski

Owning a 7.8-mile perfectly circular test track comes in handy. During development of the 2022 Porsche 911 GT3 test drivers cranked out over 3000 miles at 300 km/h (186 mph) stopping only to refuel at the company’s Nardò Ring circuit in southern Italy.

Like any banked circuit Nardò has a so-called “hands-off” speed at which the radius and angle of the turn mean that you could take your hands off the wheel and the car will track straight—if you’re brave enough. At Nardò it’s an astonishing 240 km/h or 152 mph.

Having driven a Lamborghini Diablo at Nardò at an indicated 220 mph I can attest that those Porsche testers were having to dial in a good amount of steering lock as they pushed the prototype way beyond what any owner will ever do. It’s also weirdly hypnotic watching the road continuously unfold ahead of you, while even slightest change in wind strength or direction can cause a heart-stopping moment.

The mega-mile high-speed run was just one of many extreme exercises that the new 911 GT3 was put through. The four-liter, 502-hp flat-six engine was subjected to 22,000 hours on the test bench, including simulated runs at the world’s most famous race tracks, pushing the engine to its 9000 rpm limit time and time again.

To fine tune the car’s aerodynamics more than 160 hours were spent in a wind tunnel as engineers tested the four different settings for the front splitter and rear wing. In race mode these combine to produce 150 percent more downforce than the last GT3 and even in street trim there’s 50 percent more air pressure forcing the car to the road than before.

U.S. buyers can expect first deliveries of the GT3 in the fall with price starting at $162,350 with a less racy Touring version due to follow later on, alongside an even more hardcore RS. Whichever GT3 you pick you can rest assured that it’s been thoroughly tested.

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