Porsche owners can breathe a sigh of relief: The manual transmission isn’t going away — in fact, it’s going into the new 2018 911 GT3, where it’ll be coupled with a naturally aspirated 4.0-liter flat-six producing an even 500 hp and 339 lb-ft of torque. Fans of the seven-speed dual-clutch PDK can order one of those if the six-speed manual is too old-school for them, but the overall package is aimed squarely at Porsche purists.
How quick is the new GT3? Try 60 mph in 3.2 seconds and a top speed of 197 mph with the dual-clutch, or 3.8 seconds to 60 and a top speed of 198 mph with the six-speed manual. Those acceleration figures looks like Tesla’s Ludicrous Mode, but internal combustion engines still have a trick or two up their sleeves: This particular engine was derived from Porsche’s 911 race cars, like the RSR and the GT3 R. The 2018 model will also offer rear-axle steering to help drivers who might be in a hurry to round that corner, with the rear wheels turning with or in the opposite direction of the front wheels, depending on speed.
The GT3 will be offered with a choice of six-speed manual or a dual-clutch PDK.
Though the new Panamera is just now available for the 2017 model year, Porsche already is adding to the lineup with the 2018 Panamera Sport Turismo. Think of it as a sort of Euro wagon …
The GT3 tries to shave weight where possible using lightweight materials for the front fascia and the rear wing, which is carbon fiber. The GT3 is rear-wheel-drive only, so it will get a locking rear differential to get all the traction it needs while dynamic engine mounts work to sort out engine vibrations and weight transfer.
Inside, the GT3 will borrow the 14.1-inch GT Sport steering wheel from the 918 Spyder, while owners will also get a choice of three sport seats. The GT3 will offer the Track Precision App as standard equipment, which will record and send driving data to owners’ smartphones, with the Porsche Communication Management system also on board as standard kit.
The interior will still be race-centered, with the GT3 now offering the Porsche Track Precision App as standard equipment.
The difference in weight between the two gearbox options will be negligible, with the PDK-optioned GT3 weighing in at 3,153 pounds while the manual is just 3,116 pounds.
The new 911 GT3 will hit store shelves (and hopefully not anything else) this fall, starting at $144,650.