Purists rejoice! A manual is available, but the PDK is 0.6 seconds quicker in the 0-60mph sprint.
[UPDATE] Porsche has introduced the updated 911 GT3 at the Geneva Motor Show. Press release has been attached in the appropriate section below the article.
The rumours were true, folks. Ahead of an imminent official debut at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, the press release for the Porsche 911 GT3 facelift has emerged onto the web to reveal two important facts: engine and gearbox. The former takes the shape of a naturally-aspirated 4.0-litre flat-six engine delivering 500hp and 338lb ft of torque. In a bid to please both worlds, Porsche is going to link the engine to either a seven-speed, dual-clutch gearbox or a six-speed manual. Interestingly, the PDK is being labelled as the “standard” unit and it has been specially developed for the refreshed 911 GT3.
If you’re after performance, go with the automatic transmission as it enables the car to do 0-60mph in only 3.2 seconds whereas the manual-equipped 911 GT3 needs 3.8 seconds. Despite the 0.6-second difference, we’d still go with the three-pedal model. Top speed stands at 197mph in the case of the PDK-fitted version, while the manual model can do an extra 1mph.
At 1,413kg, the manual model is 16.7 kg lighter than its PDK counterpart and both versions come with rear-wheel steering and an updated chassis to make the 911 GT3 feel more nimble when going fast around the corners.
Images of the car are not available at this point, but Porsche says the 2018 911 GT3 facelift has an updated front fascia to optimise air flow, while at the back it boasts a new diffuser and a carbon wing to further boost aero. Some other subtle and borderline unnoticeable styling tweaks in typical Nine Eleven fashion are also expected.
The interior cabin will host a sporty steering wheel borrowed from the sold-out 918 Spyder hypercar along with optional full bucket seats with a fixed carbon fibre reinforced backrest. These lightweight seats will serve as an alternative to the standard Adaptive Sport Seats Plus boasting 18-way electric adjustment and a memory function.
Heading to UK dealers later this year, prices of the 2018 Porsche 911 GT3 are yet to be announced. The current model starts at £131,296.
Gallery: 2018 Porsche 911 GT3
Since the Porsche 911 first went on sale over 50 years ago, the iconic coupe has been popular among driving enthusiasts and race fans seeking a road car inspired by circuit success. In turn, the 911 GT3 takes these proven, race-bred Porsche genes and further intensifies the dynamic link from the street to the track.
In developing the new generation 911 GT3 that is unveiled today (7 March) at the Geneva Show in Switzerland, the Porsche Motorsport engineers in Weissach, Germany, have raised the standard once again to deliver the latest expression of the Porsche philosophy of track to road technology transfer. In short, an unfiltered, high performance driving experience.
At the rear of the new car beats a four-litre flat-six engine. The extremely high-revving naturally-aspirated power unit developing 500 hp (368 kW) remains virtually unchanged from the thoroughbred 911 GT3 Cup racing car. The redesigned chassis has been specifically tuned to convert this power into highly responsive driving dynamics. Developed on the same test track and manufactured on the same production line as the racing cars, lessons in lightweight construction derived from Porsche motorsport technology have once again been incorporated into this street legal sports car.
The majority of Porsche GT road car customers like to take their cars on track, which is where the new 911 GT3 really comes into its own; thanks to its weight-to-power ratio of 3.88 kg/kW (2.86 kg/hp).
Manual gearbox option
For customers wishing for an even purer, unadulterated driving experience, Porsche offers a six-speed sports manual gearbox as a new option for the 911 GT3. This allows the high-performance 911 to sprint from 0 to 62 mph in 3.9 seconds and offer a top speed capability of 198 mph. With the seven-speed double-clutch transmission (PDK) as standard, which has been specifically adapted for use in the GT3, the two-seater weighs 1,430 kg with a full fuel tank and can accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in 3.4 seconds. Top speed is 197 mph. The manual gearbox option will be provisionally available from September 2017.
Fast on the corners, stable on the straights: Rigid chassis with rear-axle steering
The chassis of the new 911 GT3 benefits from the extensive motor sport experience at Porsche and its set-up has been tuned for even higher dynamic potential. The new two-seater sits around 25 mm lower than the 911 Carrera S. In addition to the further refined basic design, the standard active rear-axle steering adds further agility to the handling characteristics. Depending on the speed, the rear wheels steer either in the opposite or the same direction as the fronts, thereby improving responsiveness and stability. The dynamic engine mounts and the rear axle limited slip differential also bring a race car level of focus to the driving experience.
In terms of styling, the 911 GT3 leaves little doubt as to its purposeful disposition. The dominant carbon rear wing emphasises the fact that the form has been determined by aerodynamics. The lightweight nose construction and front spoiler have been optimised for an even better airflow. The aerodynamic enhancement is also evident in the lightweight rear bumper, which features characteristic exhaust air vents and the further highlight of a new underbody diffusor.
Interior: The epicentre of exceptional driving dynamics
The interior of this new 911 model is tailored to the specific GT3 driving experience. The GT sports steering wheel with a diameter of 360 mm originates from the 918 Spyder. Both the driver and passenger experience the dynamics in Porsche Sports seats Plus with enhanced seat side bolsters and mechanical fore/aft adjustment.
The seat height and backrests are adjusted electronically. As the 911 GT3 is traditionally a two-seater, the seat pans in the rear are carpeted.
Porsche offers three additional seat variants for the 911 GT3. The adaptive Sports seats Plus boast electrical adjustment of all seat functions (18-way). The second option is sports bucket seats with folding backrest, integrated thorax airbag and manual fore/aft adjustment. And the third variant is full bucket seats made from light carbon fibre-reinforced plastic in carbon-weave finish.
Porsche Track Precision app as standard
In addition to Porsche Communication Management (PCM) including an online navigation module with real-time traffic information, the standard equipment also includes the Connect Plus module and the Track Precision app. The Track Precision app enables 911 GT3 drivers to display, record and analyse detailed driving data on their smartphone.
Market launch and prices
The new 911 GT3 makes its global debut today, 7 March, at the Geneva Motor Show. It is available to order now from Porsche Centres in the UK and Ireland. The recommended retail price including VAT is £111,802.00, and first deliveries will arrive during early summer.
Customers will also be invited to explore the potential of their new car, and further develop their own skills behind the wheel, by participating in a bespoke driving experience around the unique tracks at the PorscheExperience Centre, Silverstone.