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Country of origin:Germany
Produced from:2001 - 2003
Internal name:996
Predecessor:Porsche 911 GT3 R
Successor:Porsche 911 GT3 RSR
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:May 02, 2005
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Click here to download printer friendly versionAt the 1999 Geneva Motorshow Porsche launched the 911 GT3, which was directly derived from the Porsche Supercup racing car. Except for the wheels and the optional roll cage, there really was very little different between the two. Between the end of the 993-generation Turbo and the start of the '996' Turbo production, a small gap was found in the busy production line to construct the intended 1,350 GT3s. Thanks to its stunning performance and despite its high, the supply of the GT3 was exceeded by the demand and another 500 cars were constructed in 2000.

There was more than just a commercial reason for constructing the racer for the road; homologation. In the fall of 1998 Porsche's competition department had started work on a completely new GT racer, based on the GT3 cup car. Dubbed the GT3 R, it made its debut at the 1999 24 Hours of Le Mans race. The GT3's characteristic wing was replaced by a more traditional and larger type. A new front air-dam also made the racer easily recognisable. Much work was put into making the car as reliable as possible; the engine was designed to handle at least 30 hours of full on racing.

Two cars lined up for Le Mans in 1999 and the fastest finished in 13th place overall, more than enough to take the class victory. It has to be said that the only competition in the GT class was an earlier 993 generation 911 RSR. From July the GT3 R was available for customers and quickly class victories were scored in endurance all over the world. For 2001 a slightly revised version the GT3 RS was unveiled, which was more powerful and louder thanks to the new megaphone type exhausts. It continued the winning streak of the R, with as highlights overall victories in the 2003 Daytona and Spa 24 Hours races.

A third evolution came in 2004, incorporating the changes introduced with a revised GT3 introduced in that same year. The most obvious among them were the redesigned headlights to distinguish the 911 from the Boxster. Under the skin, the changes included a more powerful, 455hp engine and a six-speed sequential gearbox. Despite growing competition, the various 911 GT3 evolutions continued to dominate its class.

From 2006, an all-new 911 GT3 RSR replaced the 996-generation racing cars. In addition to the many class victories, the 911 GT3 also scored outright victories in the Spa 24 Hours and Daytona 24 Hours. Between 1999 and 2005, Porsche built close to 200 examples of the three '996' GT3 racers.

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  Article Image gallery (79) Chassis (3) Specifications User Comments (1)