The parking lot at the bar I frequent was always packed with gray Range Rovers every Friday night. But in recent months I’ve noticed that the electric Porsche Taycan is starting to make its mark.
And it’s easy, when savoring lamb’s kidneys cooked in hot sauce, to see who’s driving them, because they come and tell me.
I try to be kind and look interested as they talk about how fast the car is and how much more reliable it will be than the Range Rover they sold to buy it. And I usually end the conversation by inviting them to one of my shooting days this fall. Which should end the conversation, just like when they get bogged down and drain the battery trying to get rid of the situation, it’s raining and getting dark and they don’t have lunch.
I spent last weekend in a Porsche, the new 911 GT3, and it was nice to drive an old-school gasoline-powered dinosaur. It was how, I imagine, that boy felt standing in front of a tank in Tiananmen Square.
Meaningless and futile, but it gave me a lot of satisfaction. It was like putting a wrench in the gears of a wind turbine. That said, I didn’t even know it was the new GT3. It seemed that just the day before the newest one had appeared and we only had the GT3 RS and the GT2 RS. And in mine, yours and everyone else’s head that had more to think about, they’re all the same thing.
Only it was the new GT3, which I found unexciting. I even got it in my head that Porsche had redirected its entire engineering department to producing electric cars for people with second homes in the Cotswolds and those who were up against everything in Los Angeles. And that 911 should go on losing steam and die.
Therefore, they didn’t make the effort to keep things moving forward. See the engine. They couldn’t adopt a turbocharger, because then it would be a Porsche turbo, and that for those who have more adenoids than friends, is something quite different. So, it’s still a six-cylinder, 4-liter, naturally-aspirated boxer that delivers just 10 hp more than the old GT3. And only 7 kgfm of additional torque.
But they were forced by Greta Thunberg to put on all sorts of ecological paraphernalia, gaining some weight, but they removed it here and there from the body plates, interior and windows, so that, in all, the car weighs only 5 kg more than the old one. In other words, in terms of speed on the straight, the new car is not faster in 0 to 100 and reaches the same 318 km/h.
There it is. Porsche has been so busy beating Tesla that the ever-increasing aura of performance that Porsche fans have admired for years this time didn’t happen.
Ah-ha! It did happen. Because Porsche says the new car is faster at the Nürburgring than its predecessor due to vastly improved aerodynamics. For example, they say that at 200 km/h, the scary and complicated “swan-neck” rear wing, which can be manually adjusted by owners who don’t really have friends, generates 50% more downforce than in the previous car.
Hmmm, I don’t like downward force. When I go into a curve I like to feel that there is something mechanical at work. Knowing I can make a turn at 240 km/h because there’s an elephant sitting in the back of the car always makes my eyebrows and right foot lift a little. I know from Formula One that rear wings work because I’ve seen what happens when they come loose. But for me, trusting them is like trusting God.
Fortunately there are also significant changes under the car, because at the front the suspension is now overlapping triangles, like that of racing Porsches, instead of McPherson. I imagine for Dog and Dullard traditionalists this caused a lot of outrage. But I didn’t really feel much of a difference. Steering has always been very, very good in GT3. And it still is.
Another change is the adoption of a stainless steel exhaust system and at first I thought this would drive me crazy because it gives a kind of highly uncomfortable and guttural sound that goes up and down at the slightest movement of the right foot. Strangely, though, I liked him more and more, and not just because he was a constant reminder that this Porsche has an engine. Not something from the back of a refrigerator.
I loved the interior too. My car had the optional dual-clutch PDK gearbox, but the lever looked like what you get in a manual. And it was the same story with the start button, it had the shape and the touch like a key.
Applause also for the satellite navigation and the infotainment center, which remains one of the simplest to use on the market.
However, the screen and air conditioning of the 21st century and everything else in front of you is a little strange, at the same time that a kind of scaffolding is just over your left shoulder (NR: “santo antônio”). Have you ever heard of a luxury racing car?
But it’s not a race car. Is not it. It may contain track-derived technology, but it still looks like a sports car. It certainly doesn’t claim to be bigger, but despite its size, it drives around in cheerful abandon. It’s a happy car. A car that makes you smile while walking. By that I mean that he is more like a Mazda MX-5 than a Ferrari.
But there is a problem. The good thing about the old GT3, which I liked and admired alike, was the way it let it look like a sports car, but when you didn’t feel like it, it settled down and behaved by itself. It ran beautifully, protecting you from the negligence of England’s highway repair workers.
Not this one now. He is restless and restless all the time, as they say of a misbehaving child. Of course, at my age I couldn’t live with one on a day-to-day basis, and I’m terrified to imagine how rough the RS version will be on its way.
This means that the GT3 is a weekend car, which you will only use when the sun is shining and when you feel like it. You might think it’s crazy to spend £128,000 — and more if you want wheels or a seat or anything else on the options list — on a car you’ll only use occasionally, but in fact it can be worse.
One of the guys who came up to me to talk about his new Taycan the other Friday explained that he only uses it on weekends, when he’s “in the field”. This means that he bought an electric eco-car as a second vehicle. I think that’s the best definition of insanity.
|Datasheet||Porsche 911 GT3 992|
|Motor||3,996 cm³, 6 cylinders, gasoline|
|power||510 hp at 8,400 rpm|
|Torque||48 kgfm at 6,100 rpm|
|Acceleration 0-100 km/h||3.4 s|
|Maximum speed||318 km/h|
|UK price||127,820 pounds|
We also tested a “root sports”, the Mustang Mach 1. Check out the video: