Think about that for a second, Porsche is missing a whole new market using an existing chassis they already have, and a 17 year old French kid saw the gap in their performance offerings and capitalized on the situation. Yeah, the GT3 is a "hardcore" version of Porsche's 911, and some may say that it has no right to be offered in an open-top model, but personally I disagree. If, on the other hand, you were talking about the GT3 RS, I would wholeheartedly agree. Why do I make this distinction? Read on to find out.
The GT3 is a fantastic car, and the 991 version perhaps the most fantastic version yet conceived. Unlike the GT3 RS, however, the GT3 was built for the street first, with track use as a secondary thought. As such, the GT3 will be driven primarily by people who are interested in experiencing joy while driving some tight mountain roads, rather than outright lap times. A GT3 Cabriolet would make perfect sense to its target buyer, as it provides an excellent on-road driving experience, retains the ability to put the top down on a warm summer night's drive, and is still something a bit hotter than a Carrera S Cabriolet, without being the unrelenting point-and-shoot road rocket that the Turbo Cabriolet is. The way I see it, the GT3 could afford to be offered in a drop-top iteration, while a cabriolet version of the track focused GT3 RS would be outright foolish.
Think about the competition for such a car as a GT3 Cabriolet for just a moment. Ferrari has a history of creating top-down-driving versions of its hardcore mid-engine V8 sports cars. Take, for example, the F430 Scuderia Spider 16M. Also consider that they are currently working on a Spider version of the 458 Speciale. From German rivals Audi and Mercedes we've seen the R8 and SLS AMG respectively without a roof. While not quite an exact competitor, even Chevrolet offers their road-hardened Z06 Corvette with a soft top. Porsche is behind the market on this one, not to mention behind the 8-ball.
The designer responsible envisions a GT3 Cabriolet as benefiting from an extra 10 horsepower (to 485 total horsepower), being produced in a small run of only 1000 chassis, and requiring only a 70 kilogram increase in weight (about 150 pounds). To further limit the weight increase required for a cabriolet, Mr. Morfouasse has implied that a 'carbon package', which would shed a few pounds with a carbon splitter, rocker panel covers, rear wing endplates, and diffuser, should be introduced as optional, alongside a complete titanium exhaust system. When you throw in the relatively lightweight PCCB carbon brakes, the GT3 Cabriolet could be optioned to minimize the weight discrepancy, for sure.
One of the more interesting things that the designer has suggested is the reintroduction of the classic "Porsche Skittles Colors" for the GT3 that were found on 964 and 993 RS versions, including Viper Green, Riviera Blue, Speed Yellow, and Mint Green, among others. I can't agree more that Porsche needs to bring these colors back to their normal repertoire. You can only see so many silver or white 911s before you begin to get bored, we should petition to bring these fantastic colors back to normal rotation. At the same time, he also pleaded with Porsche to introduce a lime-green color, as well as a quasi-pumpkin orange. Beautiful, all of them.
S. Morfouasse has clearly impressed the Porsche France staff thoroughly, as he was invited to present his ideal GT3 Cabriolet to the executives of the company while they were in attendance of the 24 Hours of Le Mans back in June. His thorough exposition of the car included a from the ground up designed front-to-back dealership marketing collateral handout for the theoretical model, as well as a number of posed photos, interior shots, options packages, and even a competitive analysis exposition. He really had all of his ducks in a row before he presented this to Porsche.
The fact that Porsche invited this young kid to present his designs to the corporate structure at such a high profile event like Le Mans speaks volumes. It means they are listening. It means they know that this is an as-yet-untapped market segment for them. For now, we can only sit back and dream about the day when Porsche takes this guy up on his potential and hires him to their product development team. It's all in your parts bins, Porsche. If you're smart (and we all know you are), you'll get started working on this today, and it'll be in dealerships for the start of next spring's top-down driving season!
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