In recent years Porsche and driving enthusiasts have been protesting loudly via the internet about one thing. The lack of a manual gearbox in any of Porsche’s halo model range. To give credit to Porsche they did listen and gave customers a manual gearbox in the 911 R and then wouldn’t let anyone actually buy one.
Now the 2017 911 GT3 comes with a manual gearbox. You can still spec a PDK box if you don’t want a manual or are simply not up to the arduous task of changing gear for yourself.
Porsche has stated in recent years that the PDK box is faster, more precise and would add to the driving experience of all their 911 model range. Clearly, customers believe the hype and if you run a quick check for a manual 911 in the UK approved network you will be presented with single figures of models to choose from.
Protest no more though as the upcoming GT3 will be available with a proper manual gearbox for proper drivers. You know what I’m referring to, the kind where you actually control when you change gear and you make the decision if you want a fast or a not so fast gear change. Basically, Porsche have given you total control back.
The revised 991.2 model 911 GT3 will possess a naturally aspirated 4.0-liter flat-six motor producing a formidable 500hp and 339 lb-ft of torque, which is a lot for a car that weighs in at 1,413kgs dry. If you spec the manual box (and you will) you also get a weight benefit over the slightly heavier PDK equipped version which weighs in at 1,430kgs dry.
The only downside of choosing the manual is that it is 0.5seconds slower on the 0-62mph dash (3.9seconds vs 3.4seconds for the PDK), the upside being you get a proper gearbox and an additional 1mph at the top end which takes you all the way to 198mph.
The 2017 911 GT3 also gets a lot of the parts from the Porsche parts bin in the form of active rear-axle steering for better cornering, dynamic engine mounts and a locking differential are all fitted as standard to the new halo model.
On the inside, the GT3 is equipped with the excellent Porsche spec race seats. The highlight is that you get the steering wheel lifted from the 918 Spyder. To keep a record of all those track times your going to be doing, the Porsche Track Precision App is fitted as standard so you can compare times with your Porsche driving friends. It even has satellite navigation should you need to leave the track and return home.
Naturally, all this tech and track-worthy ability while being a master of your own destiny in respect of gear changes doesn’t come cheap. Prices start at £111,802 for either the manual or the PDK version, the first 2017 911 GT3’s should be in showrooms by late 2017.