Welcome everyone, to the greatest car ever made. Whoever guessed a Porsche 911 gets 1000 points. We all know it by know, and we all simply adore it. Any guise, any trim, it’s brilliant. From the standard fun-as-you-like Carrera to the full-on racecar for the road GT3 RS, all equally magnificent in their own way. One version however, has always captured the enthusiast’ hearts: the GT3.
Just as fast as the GT3 RS in the real world, the GT3 offers more practicality and day-to-day livability, but manual enthusiasts were left out with the previous 991 generation. Porsche, unknown to anyone why, decided to only produce the GT3 in PDK variant, so if you wanted a proper manual you were left feeling cold.
They solved this by issuing a 911 R, essentially a de-winged GT3 RS with a clutch pedal and a stick shift, but the rarity of it meant it became a collector’s car before it even left the factory.
Come 2017 and the Geneva Motor Show and low and behold, we get an updated 911 GT3 with the beloved manual gearbox. Don’t worry track freaks everywhere, the PDK is still here as the standard option, it hasn’t gone anywhere. The manual is a no-cost option by the way.
Oh, and that 3.8 liter engine in the new Porsche 911 GT3? It’s been upgraded to a 4.0 horizontally-opposed “Boxer” unit with 493 horsepower. Sounds familiar? It’s because it was lifted from the 911 R and the GT3 RS. Except it isn’t exactly the same since it gets different internals creating less friction, allowing it to breach that magical 9,000 rpm marker. The others ‘only’ rev to 8,500 rpm. Though 500 rpms don’t sound a lot on paper, they make a hell of a difference in the sound the engines make. At those last 500 rpms the engine starts shouting with all its might, roaring its heart out. You can definitely tell the difference driving both back to back.
The sprint from 0-62 takes just 3.4 seconds in the PDK GT3 and 3.9 in the manual one. Will people really care? No, not particularly. Those after a manual will get it even if it does 5 seconds to 62 mph, because it’s not about numbers. It’s about the feeling, the intangible experience it offers. Top speed? Just short of 200 miles per hour. A tailwind will probably get it over that mark though.
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The interior in the new Porsche 911 GT3 offers four different seat designs, ranging from a deep bucket seat as the most hardcore one to a mediocre sports seat. You definitely want the carbonfibre-reinforced plastic seat. The rest of it is the usual 991.2 facelift. New lights, some exterior tweaks here and there and a fancier infotainment system. A ‘Porsche Track Precision’ app can measure your laptimes, should you want to brag to your friends or show off.
Available this summer, the new Porsche 911 GT3 will sit on Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires and start at 111,802 pounds. Though that is a lot if you go for the manual option, you’re basically getting a 911 R with more aero bits. Bearing in mind those are worth upwards of half a million, this might not be such a bad investment. Just make sure you’re aware that it won’t be as exclusive.