When the C8 Corvette Z06 arrives for the 2022 model year, it will face off against some of the greatest track-focused cars that we’ve ever seen. And while the American icon has long been known to punch above its weight class, it isn’t the only car in the segment to undergo dramatic changes as of late. Porsche pulled the cover off of the all-new 992-generation 911 GT3 this morning, which promises to be the fastest example of the road-going racer yet. In fact, it is shaping up to be a direct rival to the upcoming C8 Corvette Z06, in more ways than one.
In order to improve on the 991.2 GT3 model, Porsche went back to the drawing board for the 992-generation model. The new car retains the same naturally-aspirated flat-six and track-focused hardware recipe as every GT3 before it, but it also makes a few changes that promise to redefine the car. This includes the addition of a double-wishbone suspension set-up in the front, in place of the MacPherson strut setup found in the standard Carrera. In fact, not a single piece of the GT3’s suspension is shared with the base car. Furthermore, the car also features an entirely new aerodynamic setup. This is made evident by the massive rear diffuser and swan-neck-mounted wing, which is reminiscent of the McLaren Senna. Cranked into its most aggressive setting, Porsche says these new aero treatments provide 150 percent more downforce than the 991.2 model.
The real star of the show however is still the flat-six engine sitting atop the rear axle, which measures 4.0L of displacement in the 992 911 GT3. Based on the engine found in the 2019 911 Speedster, the 9A1 flat-six features six independent throttle bodies and a 9,000 rpm redline. This GT3 model gets new pistons compared to the Speedster, which bumps power up to 502 horsepower and 346 lb-ft of torque. The motor can be mated to either a six-speed manual or Porsche’s 7-speed PDK gearbox. With the dual-clutch equipped, Porsche says the car will do 0-60 mph in just 3.2 seconds before reaching a top speed of 197 mph.
All of these tweaks combine for a genuinely impressive package. This new Porsche 911 GT3 has lapped the 12.944-mile of the Nürburgring Nordschleife in 6:59.927. This configuration of the Ring is longer than the one we’ve become accustomed to reading about, and as such this time is quicker than it seems. For comparison, the previous model needed 7:12.70 to lap the shorter layout. It is clear then that the C8 Corvette Z06 has its work cut out for it.
Of course General Motors already knew what they were up against. MC&T has previously reported on C8 Corvette Z06 prototypes out testing with the all-mighty Porsche 911 GT2 RS model, the current king of the 911 lineup. In fact, the two cars have also been spotted testing alongside a Ferrari 458, another car slated as a benchmark for the upcoming Z06. Not exactly slow cars by any means
MC&T was first to report that the C8 Z06 is slated to arrive with a 5.5L flat-plane crank V8 based on the C8.R’s engine. This V8 should arrive the most powerful naturally aspirated V8 on the market, an honor once held by the Ferrari. Combine this with some upgraded aero and a set of rumored carbon-ceramic brakes, and the Z06 looks like a proper supercar in the making. Indy Car driver Alexander Rossi has already said the new Z06 will essentially be a C8.R for the road, which furthers this argument. In order to best the new Porsche around the track, it had better be just that.