GENEVA MOTOR SHOW REPORT NEVA TOR OW ORT
PORSCHE has caved into widespread criticism and re-introduced the manual gearbox to its race-bred 911 GT3.
As part of the 991.2 overhaul, the high-performance two-seater also scores an all-new, naturally aspirated 368kW 4.0-litre flatsix engine. Replacing the old 350kW/400Nm 3.8-litre unit, it can rev out to a stratospheric 9000rpm. This makes it “virtually unchanged from the thoroughbred 911 GT3 Cup racecar competing in the 2017 Porsche Carrera Cup Australia championship”, according to Porsche. The new powerplant includes a stiffer crank, lower-friction cylinder liners, and upgrades to the valvetrain.
Since the no-cost-option six-speed manual version tips the scales at just 1430kg, the ensuing power-to-weight ratio is a keen 257kW per tonne.
Result? At 3.9 seconds, the manual is half a second slower to 100km/h compared to the standard seven-speed dual-clutch PDK’s whiplash-like 3.4s outcome, but changing your own gears nets you a 2km/h higher top speed at 320km/h.
Said to be honed in motorsport, the GT3’s other changes for 2017 include what Porsche is calling a redesigned chassis, which sits some 25mm lower compared to the bread-and-butter 911 Carrera S. Active four-wheel steering and dynamic engine mounts carry over, but only the PDK GT3 gets the new electronic rear differential lock (PTV Plus) that brakes the inside rear wheel in hard cornering. Manual cars use a mechanical system.
Yet all this pales into insignificance for hi-po Porsche purists who (if we exclude the 911 R) have been denied a manual gearbox since the 991-generation GT3 arrived four years ago. The gear lever and clutch live on!
The first lot of cars should lob into Australia by the final quarter of this year, kicking off from $327,100 before options and on-roads.
The GT3 gains a redesigned carbon rear spoiler, fresh front-end aero aids, revised rear diffuser and new outlets for that howling exhaust note. Inside, you’ll find a 360mm steering wheel derived from the 918 Spyder.