(Editor’s note: Porsche worked with California to allow for sales of the GT3 Touring and GT3 with manual transmission in California. For updated information, including Porsche’s official statement, click here.)
To know the GT3 Touring, you have to know a bit of history. Recall the 991 generation when Porsche introduced the GT3 as a PDK-only track machine and the purists called foul? Porsche sent out a small batch of 911R models to appease those who wanted to row their own, and quickly found out that there were way more people who wanted a stick than they had imagined. Shortly thereafter, a new manual-only GT3 model was launched called GT3 Touring. With many things carried over directly from the 911R, but made more series production friendly, the GT3 Touring sold a ton of examples, and continue to carry a premium on the second hand market today.
Okay, so you’re caught up. The new GT3 Touring, based on the 992 chassis, is here! Again this model is a true GT3, but without the massive rear wing. The Touring model comes equipped with an automated rear spoiler to keep aero in check at high speeds, but without the downforce of the more track-ready model. At the back the Touring gets a bespoke engine lid grille. Inside, the car will be fitted with a Touring-specific interior which features black leather upholstery with black cloth seat centers and embossed Porsche crests on the headrests. It’s a look with a vintage appeal, but with all of the performance you have come to expect from the GT3 name.
So what’s new? This GT3 Touring will be delivered as standard with a 7-speed PDK gearbox, the one most people choose for their GT3s anyway. This marks the first time the Touring package has even been available with a PDK, and now it’s standard. The 6-speed manual gearbox is a no-cost option for those who prefer to dance on three pedals, but crucially it will not be available in California. When asked for clarification as to why California Porsche enthusiasts would not be allowed to purchase a manual-equipped GT3 Touring, the answer came back as it was related to state sound regulations. Here’s what Porsche Cars North America manager of product communications, Frank Weismann, had to say:
We strive to offer as much choice as possible to meet and, we hope, exceed the expectations of our customers – and this extends to even our most focused model, the 911 GT3, which offers a greater range of personalization options than ever before. At the same time we have to fully accept and respect national and local guidelines in every market – not just in the U.S. but around the world. Unfortunately, this precludes a manual gearbox option on the 911 GT3 in the state of California because of a sound regulation that is in the process of being updated. We had anticipated an updated regulation at time of launch, but this process is not yet complete. The seven-speed PDK option has received full certification. The manual gearbox will continue to be offered in every state outside of California.
We have been working on a solution to this issue with the California Highway Patrol and only concluded in the past few days that we won’t be able to offer a six-speed manual transmission in California.
While no exact performance numbers have been released, this Touring model will carry the same exact 502-horsepower 4-liter flat six as the standard GT3, which is good for a 3.2-second 0-60. While the standard GT3 is rated to 197 miles per hour, I would expect an electronically limited top speed around 190 for the GT3 Touring (same as the Carrera S), as it doesn’t have that big rear wing to keep things stable at high speed. Interestingly, the GT3 Touring carries the same exact MSRP as the standard GT3, starting at $161,100. Pretty much all of the optional equipment carries over from the GT3 as well, so if you had your eyes set on a specific GT3, but didn’t really like the swan-neck rear wing, here’s the car for you.
(Editor’s note: For an even deeper dive into why the manual version of the GT3 Touring won’t be available in California, click here.)
Porsche Design also offers a very special chronograph for customers of the 911 GT3 with Touring package. The timepiece features a movement with a flyback function. The winding rotor evokes the vehicle’s wheel design and is available in six different versions corresponding to the vehicle configuration. The dial bezel in Agate Grey Metallic is based on the vehicle’s paint finish. The dial itself has a matte black finish, while the luminous yellow chronograph hands match the color of the tachometer. The chronograph 911 GT3 with Touring Package is worn with a strap made of Porsche vehicle leather with “GT3” embossing. The black decorative stitching with Porsche vehicle thread gives the strap an additional finishing touch. The chronograph is produced by the company’s own Swiss watchmaking factory and is exclusively reserved for owners of the vehicle.
Updated (8:02 am EDT, 06/23/2021): Updated to reflect that Porsche can now sell the manual version in California after working with the state.
Updated (12:20 pm EDT, 06/16/2021): Updated to include a link to a more in-depth story on why the manual isn’t available in the GT3 Touring.