Turbochargers beckon for next-gen 911 GT3

Please, God - let this not be true. The news hounds at the Autocar have it on good authority that the next generation of GT3 - the final bastion of the naturally-aspirated 911 - will likely be turbocharged. That's partly on the strength of some recent test mule shots, but mostly thanks to a well-placed source with 'direct links' to Porsche Motorsport. 

The AC's track record in calling such things correctly is strong (strong enough to tower above its so-called rivals in this country at any rate), but, just for once, we're hoping our colleagues down the corridor are barking up the wrong tree at Weissach. A turbocharged GT3 would be wrong. Wrong like a four-cylinder Rolls-Royce or a diesel Ferrari or a six-figure Dacia.


Sure, it would be fast. If it gets the 'heavily reworked' version of the current 911 Turbo's twin-turbocharged 3.8-litre flat-six mooted, it couldn't be anything but. It will almost certainly be good too - in the entirely objective, fitness-for-purpose way that practically every Porsche is (a truism that goes double for the output of its Motorsport division). 

But it won't be atmospheric, and that thought festers. No matter what you think of Porsche or its product lineup, there isn't a PHer alive who can't get onboard with the sound and fury of a 4.0-litre motor outputting 500hp at 8,250rpm. The unencumbered, part-crazed brilliance of the current incumbent of the GT3's engine bay can hardly be overstated.  

And of course things move on, and Porsche has to adhere to the same emission targets as everyone else. And we're not impervious to the very real argument which says that the current GT2 is already superior to the GT3, and therefore plainly not handicapped by its blowers one bit. But that doesn't prevent the lack of an NA option at or near the summit of the 911 range feeling like a prospective kick in the teeth.

After all, we've already endured four-cylinder Caymans and turbocharged Carreras on the basis of better bottom-line efficiency. Soon there will be hybrid 911, too. None are bad, no - not by a long way - but each represents a very subtle weakening of the central Porsche formula - the one which helps define the brand as special and well worthy of adulation.

And, okay, we've been here before. For some aficionados, the manufacturer's soul disappeared out the door with the final 993 and the retirement of air-cooling. Porsche survived (indeed, flourished) after that policy change, and it will be rightly confident of doing so again. But the addition of turbochargers to the GT3 would mean an additional nail in the pernicious idea that it's becoming more fun (and spiritually fulfilling) to look through Porsche's back catalogue than at its prospectus for the immediate future. 

[Images: S. Baldauf/S.B. Medien]


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Comments (71) Join the discussion on the forum

  • sidesauce 01 Sep 2018

    Let the beards weep.

    Meanwhile, Porsche will sell every single GT3 they can make.

  • Onehp 01 Sep 2018

    Let's hope they minimize lag and let the engine rev to at least 8000rpm....

  • lestiq 01 Sep 2018

    and watch the prices of NA GT3s skyrocket. : (

  • Mr Whippy 01 Sep 2018

    Turbo is fine if an emotor spins it up instantly.

    Or given they’re all automatic now, why not have a little clutch on a transfer box and have the drivetrain inertia spin it up when needed?

    Otherwise, no thanks. Why not just buy a GT2?

  • gofasterrosssco 01 Sep 2018

    Could Porsche not develop a lower capacity supercharged engine - it would maintain the majority of the purity of response of the NA engine (vs. a turbocharging), while allowing substantial capacity down-sizing.

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