What Is It?
The Porsche 911 GT3 Touring package is a new version of the high-performance Porsche 911 GT3 that will delight shoppers interested in a stick-shift, back-to-basics version of the sporty coupe. Quickly summed up, the Touring package retains the 911 GT3’s powertrain and many of its features, but it loses some fussy design details — like the huge rear wing — while coming solely with a 6-speed manual transmission.
Examined in more depth, the most obvious difference between a regular 911 GT3 and the new Touring package is, indeed, that rear wing. The Touring package model gives it up in favor of a more traditional rear end, more like the standard 911 Carrera coupe. Other visible upgrades — like the more aggressive front bumper and the center lock wheels — remain in place.
Also remaining in place is the 911 GT3’s powertrain — a 4.0-liter flat-6 that’s been recently updated to offer 500 horsepower and 339 lb-ft of torque. The Touring will also include ceramic brakes, a front axle lifter and LED headlights. But it won’t offer an automatic transmission: Porsche’s PDK is cast aside in the GT3 Touring package, replaced instead with a 6-speed manual transmission. Think of this as the 911R of the GT3 world.
As for performance, the Touring package doesn’t give up much to the standard GT3. Top speed is 196 miles per hour, just 2 mph shy of the GT3, while 0-to-60 comes in a lightning-quick 3.8 seconds.
The GT3 Touring package will be a no-cost option for shoppers who buy a GT3, starting from around $145,000.
When Can You Get It?
Likely by the end of the year.
Add It to Your Shopping List Because…
The purists have won: While it seemed like the manual transmission was headed for certain death in the face of faster (and more efficient) PDK, Porsche has relented to drivers who enjoy three pedals. The GT3RS-based 911R was the beginning, and the new GT3 is the next phase: You can get a regular GT3 with a stick shift, or — with the Touring package — a wingless, subtle 911 that offers all the GT3 upgrades without the big wing (or the automatic transmission). If you ever wanted a GT3 but you didn’t want to show off, this is the car for you.
Other Cars to Consider
Ferrari 488 GTB — The 488 is faster than the GT3 — and more powerful. It also offers a more luxurious interior. But you can’t get one with a stick shift — if Ferrari’s notorious waiting lists even allow you to get one at all.
Porsche 911 Turbo — The Touring package will bring a little extra refinement to the GT3 lineup, but press information suggests the car won’t be much more comfortable than a standard model. If you want Porsche speed with extra luxury, consider a 911 Turbo.
Used Porsche 911R — Although the new stick-shift GT3 and GT3 Touring package are appealing, only the 911R offers a manual with GT3RS components under the hood. Our only word of caution: prices are, err, a bit expensive.
See all 2017 Frankfurt Auto Show articles