IT’S amazing how quickly the Yorkshire Dales’ flora bursts into its springtime hue - lush greenery seemingly sparks into life after months of slumber when the sun finally makes its long-awaited return - while blankets of wild garlic smother Swaledale’s downright gorgeous valleys, filling the air with a sweet-smelling aroma as you navigate through its tree-lined routes.

The tarmac warms, instantly setting the perfect stage for a memorable, life-changing drive. Having headed across the famed Buttertubs Pass to the quaint village of Hardraw - home to one of the most beautiful pubs in the Dales, the Green Dragon Inn with its low wooden beams - we find ourselves on the fast-flowing and well-sighted A684.

Glance into the rear view mirror and you’ll see a somewhat compromised affair vying for your attention behind: a huge wing cuts right across the window and the roll cage effectively eats up of what little view remained, but pull the left paddle several times and all thoughts of the Porsche 911 GT3’s minor, initial snag evaporate into that garlicky air.

You see, the GT3 - as it’s always been since its arrival in the very late 1990s - remains the jewel-in-the-crown 911 for people who simply love driving as it’s always stayed true to its age-old recipe. Sure, PDK gearboxes have arrived but key to its brilliance is what sits above the rear wheels: a naturally aspirated engine which requires revs, revs and more revs. There’s its harder-edged RS sibling but whereas that car is perhaps too extreme for the UK’s roads and is geared more towards outright track use, the ‘regular’ GT3 manages to combine both with seemingly no chinks in its Shark Blue armour.

Grab the thin-rimmed, alcantara-clad steering wheel, pitch it into a fast corner and the experience of doing so will stay with its driver for a lifetime. Despite a large portion of its weight being out back, the front never feels vague and it instead responds in a razor-sharp manner. Other-worldly steering feel results in the car sticking true to you, relaying constant messages back about the road’s surface and - in the dry at least - it inspires nothing but confidence. You’d think a rear-wheel-drive 911 with 503bhp would perhaps be an intimidating thing to drive at pace in - especially on a typical countryside road with its lumps and bumps and constant changes - but it couldn’t be further from the truth.

Exit the corner, primed in third, and bury the throttle. There’s not much in the way of mid-range grunt given the absence of turbochargers but to criticise it for this would be sacrilege: the sensational way it delivers its pace is done with sheer, undiluted alacrity, culminating in a 4.0-litre, six-cylinder crescendo of absolute mastery. You can keep your turbos; all anyone could ever need is this engine - peak power is delivered at a headily intoxicating 8,400rpm and that’d keep anyone happy for decades to come.

The A684 is a peach of a road. It’s fast - often dominated by the third and fourth gears, but you truly revel in the slower corners when you can lean on the GT3’s mighty, fade-free carbon ceramic brakes, blip down to second and be mesmerised by its laugh-inducing traction as it never, ever misses a beat. You look across to your passenger with a puzzled, awe-stricken expression at what you’re experiencing - ‘special’ doesn’t even come close to describing it.

The GT3 is available with two transmissions and either will do, thanks. PDK is a no-cost option, because Porsche probably know it’ll completely split opinion; even the most ardent manual fan will struggle to pick holes in the seven-speed semi-auto ‘box and how it goes about its business. Leave it to its own devices and it’ll shuffle through its ratios seamlessly, but flick the gear lever into manual mode and it’ll dazzle on the paddles, never being left treading water no matter how many downshifts you ask of it.

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It’s lightning fast in its responsiveness and does suit the GT3’s road racer-style characteristics. Manual or PDK, then? It’s six of one and half a dozen of the other...

New GT3s - and indeed more ordinary 911s - have always been about revolution rather than evolution and subtle tweaks are made as each generation arrives. A wider front track, double-wishbone suspension - which allows for much stiffer spring rates - and a quicker steering rack are all felt whilst driving. However, the more focused additions mean it can feel a tad frenetic on roads with adverse camber; you have to be alert and clasp the steering wheel slightly tighter because it will pull and seek out any undulations in the road’s surface.

In the 992, aero has also taken a huge leap forward on from the 991 and Porsche claim downforce - much of it owing to the all-new rear wing design - is 50 per cent higher. Read the press release further and at 124mph it’s 150 per cent more; a huge number and a key reason why its on-track performance is considerably better, with the 992 posting a 17-second improvement round the Nurburgring over its predecessor. The 60mph sprint is completed in under three seconds and it’ll hit 198mph, for reference, but the GT3 is about so much more than speed.

There are three modes: normal, sport and track. Each progressively up the ante but, in truth, even its raciest setting isn’t too hard for the Yorkshire Dales’ unforgiving roads which can catch out even the most well-sorted of hot hatches. Over the worst surfaces you can slacken off the GT3’s dampers by prodding the beautifully made button on the dashboard.

Ah, the interior… well-made, typically Porsche and beautifully laid out with the best driving position you could hope for in those divine, hip-clasping seats which manage to strike the right balance between offering ultra support and a relative amount of comfort on long drives. Everything feels right and thought out, from the class-leading infotainment system to the quality of its switchgear.

So, its spec. A GT3 costs - without options - £127,820 but you’ll want a few extras. In this guise, there’s Shark Blue paint (£2,525); carbon-backed bucket seats (£3,788); carbon roof (£2,517); carbon ceramic brakes (£6,498); ‘dynamic’ headlights (£2,487); reversing camera (£876); body-coloured seatbelts (£194); carbon interior trim (£926) and front axle lift (£2,214).

Must-have items most definitely include the seats, brakes, reversing camera and the front lift system. If the latter of the essential isn’t specified, you’ll find yourself being overcome with anxiety every single time you encounter a decent-sized speed bump. It should be standard, really - it isn’t, but it’s entirely forgivable given everything else this wonderful machine gives you.

So, how do you sum up a car as brilliant as the 911 GT3? The fact that every single drive is an occasion, the way it challenges you and turns you into a better driver (you find yourself questioning your premature inputs given the car’s astonishing ability) means it’s one of the finest amalgamations of a road car which comes with a huge dose of track nous that actually delivers in whatever occasion it finds itself in, track or not.

Often, that’s a very difficult feat to achieve: similar cars excel on silky-smooth tracks but it’s extremely easy to unravel on a challenging road such as the A684.

However, Porsche’s know-how knows no bounds; the GT3 is an all-time great and has - with a few tweaks here and there - moved the game on considerably, even when the previous generation made even that seem impossible.