Loads of 911 R old-school attitude for loads less money. A winner, surely…
Lots of shiny stuff will grace the Frankfurt motor show in the coming days, but few cars will please enormous driving nerds as much as this one. Meet the Porsche 911 GT3 with Touring Package. Or the GT3 Touring, for the sake of simplicity.
“What’s the big deal,” you may ponder, “it looks like any other 911 from the outside.” Well that’s rather the point. It has all of the 911 GT3’s goodness – 493bhp 4.0-litre naturally aspirated engine that spins to 9,000rpm, four-wheel steering, wider body and lower chassis – but ditches the rear wing and makes it look like a normal 911.
But there are still tell-tale signs for the anoraks: the spoiler extends at speed and has a subtle gurney flap on its edge, while the front air intake and wheels are the same as a standard GT3’s. But there’s an unabashed coolness to the car losing its donor’s most OTT styling elements.
It looks less racecar on the outside, then, and it’s a bit less racecar beneath the skin, too. You can only have a six-speed manual gearbox – no super-quick paddleshifter here – while the Clubsport pack that gives GT3s a rollcage and fire extinguisher isn’t available, either. You can only have leather inside, with no wanton hosing of Alcantara.
It’s still quick – 0-100km/h takes 3.9secs, the top speed is 315km/h – it’s just a bit less obvious about it. And if this all sounds familiar, it’s probably because you’re recalling the Porsche 911 R, the manual-only GT3-in-disguise that was Top Gear’s favourite performance car of 2016. A motorcar Matt LeBlanc was particularly enamoured with, too.
The difference here? The Touring Pack is a no-cost option. So while the 911 R was comfortably more expensive than its donor car (which had more equipment), the GT3 Touring is a non-limited spec-sheet option.
If you’re still pondering the point of it all, it’s doubtless not the car for you. If you’re anything like us, though, there’s a small amount of drool that needs wiping off your keyboard. Yeah, we’re enormous driving nerds. And proud of it.
STORY STEPHEN DOBIE