New Porsche 911 GT3 trounces predecessor's 'Ring time

As we've said many times before, Nurburgring times aren't a good measure of the greatness of cars, when comparing one model to another. That's because, as you probably know, there's no objective and independent entity verifying the laps, the equipment on the cars, and so forth. But when it's the same company, comparing a new car to an older version of the same car, it's easier to draw conclusions. Sure, Porsche wants to show that the 2018 911 GT3 is better than the old one, but it wouldn't make sense to "cheat" on the time.

That's why we're considering this lap time to be particularly informative. We just drove the 911 GT3, and it's hard to quantify in an objective sense how it improves on its already excellent predecessor (well, if you discount the unfortunate engine fire issue). By putting a number on the differences, we get a stark illustration of the improvements: a full 12.3 seconds faster time at the Nurburgring. That's a big number, and reflects Porsche's mastery of incremental improvements.

Now, the actual 'Ring lap time (a claimed 7:12.7) isn't earth-shattering, but remember that this is a rear-drive, naturally-aspirated car with "merely" 500 horsepower. In the rarified company of other 'Ring time lappers, that's pretty good. A couple seconds behind the Mercedes-AMG GT R, a bit ahead of the Dodge Viper ACR. It's a top ten sort of result, but not a top five sort. Again, that's assuming these times can really be considered comparable in any meaningful way.

What's undeniable is that it's quick (we can vouch) and handles (ditto). There weren't any stopwatches around, but we've got no reason to think that this time is outside the realm of possibility. Go read our first-drive story if you'd like to learn more about the new 911 GT3.

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