Of the many variations of the modern Porsche 911, the most coveted is arguably the 911 GT3.

This spec of the 911 is perhaps the most pure of the great lineage of Porsche's rear-engined sports cars. With the GT3, lightness is king in the pursuit of motorsport performance and the turbos are left off the engine to keep the experience visceral and linear.

Now there's a new GT3 according to Porsche, and it has just set a new record for its type on the Nurburgring Nordschleife and over 17 seconds quicker than the model it is replacing.

New 2021 Porsche 911 GT3 breaks Nurburgring 7-minute barrier image

The new 911 GT3 is built upon the 992 generation of the 911 that was first launched in 2019. The GT3 is the most extreme motorsport-inspired variant of the Porsche 911 line, and this new one is no exception especially with the larger wheels and the large rear wing.

The 911 GT3 has been drastically lightened, as such the GT3 has an interior seemingly stripped out of items considered unnecessary in a race car (i.e. rear seats). Many components integral to the vehicle were also lightened, and thus the GT3 makes extensive use of carbon fiber for several parts (i.e. front bucket seats). Other parts that were lightened include the windows, the larger front brake discs, the exhaust system (despite having two GPF units for emissions), and even the battery. Porsche says the GT3 now uses a LiFePO4 battery for the starter, saving 10 kilograms in the process.

New 2021 Porsche 911 GT3 breaks Nurburgring 7-minute barrier image

The front axle has been developed from their 911 RSR race cars which won Le Mans in its class. Porsche says its the first time they adapted the special double wishbone set up on their road cars, and that it offers better camber rigidity and “relieves the shock absorbers of disruptive transverse forces” for better turn-in and drivability.

New 2021 Porsche 911 GT3 breaks Nurburgring 7-minute barrier image

Perhaps the biggest jump in cornering performance can be attributed to the new rear suspension system. Porsche also fitted it with more ball joints for extra precision, but the unusual announcement is that it actually features rear-wheel steering. Porsche says the rear wheels an turn by up to two degrees in either direction, depending on the speed. They say there is greater cornering stability at high speed and a tighter turning circle for parking.

New 2021 Porsche 911 GT3 breaks Nurburgring 7-minute barrier image

As before, the 911 GT3 has a naturally-aspirated 6-cylinder boxer engine. The 4.0 liter engine revs up to 9000 rpm, and develops 510 PS (+10 PS compared to previous GT3). Maximum torque has also increased to 470 Nm (+10 Nm). Porsche says they will try to hold on to the naturally aspirated engine for the GT3 for as long as they can despite the trend to go for smaller engines but with turbocharging. 

The 911 GT3, unlike the Turbo variants, is only available in the classic rear-wheel drive set up. Customers can now opt for a now-familiar 7-speed PDK dual clutch gearbox, or they can go for the 6-speed manual which has an auto-blip function for downshift rev matching.

New 2021 Porsche 911 GT3 breaks Nurburgring 7-minute barrier image

For acceleration, Porsche says the 911 GT3 can do a 0-100 km/h dash in just 3.4 seconds, and touch 200 km/h in 10.8 seconds.

But the crowning glory of the new 911 GT3 is its performance at the 20.8-kilometer Nurburgring Nordschleife. In the hands of Porsche's development driver Jorg Bergmeister, the 911 GT3 was able to break the 7-minute barrier with a time of 6:59.927 minutes during the fine tuning stages of the car.