Porsche’s 992 911 GT3 has been caught bursting out of the Nürburgring pits in new spy footage, the high-pitched soundtrack all but confirming that it’ll retain the naturally aspirated flat-six of the 991 version upon arrival, probably sometime in 2021. The revamped 4.0-litre motor is expected to produce around 510hp in this visibly more extreme 992 GT3, which – according to Automotive Mike’s video – has suffered little in the vocal department despite gaining WLTP hardware to carry it through the latest emissions tests.
It's likely, then, that the rear-mounted engine has essentially been pinched from the 991 Speedster, where it produces 510hp at 8,400rpm and doesn't stop spinning till 9,000rpm. While the prospect of a power output boost is hardly out of the question (given Porsche's expertise at engineering right to the margins), identical performance stats to the Speedster would not be unwelcome - the current spec engine is that sweet. Porsche GT boss Andreas Preuninger openly admitted that the flat-six was to go into more cars after the Speedster, and the unit already trumps the old GT3 by 10hp.
There’s no question that this particular test car is using a PDK gearbox, but rest assured that there's almost certain to be a manual version as well - not least because it sold tremendously well in the 991-gen GT3, with demand driven largely by American customers, two-thirds of which opted for three pedals. Brits, by contrast, bought more PDKs, so a retention of both options globally seems inevitable.
The 992’s use of a wide track chassis in all variants probably helps to explain why engineers have sought the use of some rather extreme aero solutions in this upcoming GT3. With less scope to bolster mechanical grip than before, aerodynamicists have given the car a swan-neck rear wing, more complex rear diffuser and additional openings at the front, which channel air out from the lower grille. Combined, the layout should press the 992 GT3 into the ground harder while leaving it slipperier than before. Expect more PASM wizardry, too.
Porsche’s efforts to get the GT3 and its GT3 R racing cousin swiftly to market are evidenced by regular sightings of them both at the Nürburgring, but neither are expected to launch before the year’s close. The road machine is likely to be revealed in the early stages of 2021, hopefully by which point track days will be running at full steam again in a post-coronavirus-lockdown world – as the latest developments by MSV suggest they could be. It might yet prove to be perfectly timed.
PREVIOUS STORY 21.04.2020
It was Frankfurt 2017 that Porsche revealed the 991-generation 911 GT3 Touring to the world, to much excitement and acclaim. Because here was much of what made the 911 R so joyous - a modest look, manual gearbox, 500hp - made slightly more widely available. It wasn't as numerous or as affordable as the GTS, needless to say, but those with £111,802 (and a GT3 build slot) could choose between regular or Touring models - a lot less money than 911 Rs were advertised for at the time.
Which was rather the point. Clearly, the Touring Package proved a canny move for Porsche. Not only is there a PH thread fit to burst with lovely examples owned by PHers, the 992 model is already out testing just a few days after the conventional one - suggesting they will arrive, if not together, then at least not very far apart. For the 991, the Touring didn't appear until the second generation, and even then it was playing catch-up with what preceded it. That sort of delay seems very unlikely this time around.
The Touring traits are plain for all to see here, right down to the GT3 badge on the back. Most obvious is the retractable spoiler, as opposed to the fixed wing seen on the non-Touring GT3. While the centre-exit twin exhaust remains, the rear diffuser and bumper here look a tad less aggressive, in keeping with the Touring brief (or it could be some cleverly placed cladding). The centre-lock wheels look similarly ginormous, the ceramic brakes are carried over and both front ends of these 992s look the same, Ferrari S-Duct-aping bonnet vents and all. It all looks very promising, in the way that the racy Porsches tend to. Given the exceptionally high bar set by the previous GT3s, and the 992's favourable reception thus far, expectations must be pretty high. Then we'll have the availability argument to look forward to as well. For now the GT3 and Touring are pitched as 2021 models following the recent introduction of the 911 Turbo S - we'll update you further as that time approaches.
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