Driving the newis pure bliss. It's sharp and visceral, unfiltered yet refined. The GT3 is truly a benchmark for sports cars, and its new Touring package should make this 911 totally sublime.
Making its debut Tuesday, the 992-generation Porsche 911 GT3 Touring follows a familiar formula. Like the 991.2-generation Touring, the key differentiator between this 911 and a standard GT3 is the removal of the huge, fixed, swan neck rear wing. Instead, the Touring has a smaller rear spoiler that automatically opens and closes depending on speed, like what you'll find on other 911 models. A unique mesh covering for the engine's air intakes completes the look, though your eyes will surely focus on the GT3's wide stance, pronounced diffuser and large central exhaust pipes.
The other differences are much more subtle. The Touring has aluminum trim around its side windows, though you can get these finished in black as an option, along with the tailpipes. The Touring's entire front fascia is body-colored, unlike the standard GT3, which has a black lower section. The GT3's weird nostrils are still here, but I think the full-color treatment looks way better. It's hard to tell in the darker color of this show car, but I think it's going to look awesome in a more vibrant hue.
Inside, the Touring swaps out a lot of the GT3's Alcantara suede for black leather, most notably on the steering wheel, gear lever, center console and door cards. The sport seats are done up in black leather, too, though the Touring has very cool cloth fabric inserts. All of the comfort and tech amenities from the standard GT3 are available here, and obviously, Porsche's entire range of customization options is available for the Touring, and there's even a specially designed, model-specific Porsche Design chronograph available, because of course there is.
Mechanically speaking, the Touring is no different than the standard GT3; Porsche says the engine, transmissions, suspension, wheels and tires are shared between the two cars. And yes, that's transmissions plural -- unlike the, which was only available with a manual transmission, the 992 can be had with Porsche's seven-speed PDK dual-clutch gearbox. No matter which one you choose, the free-breathing flat-six engine makes 502 horsepower and 346 pound-feet of torque, and will rev its heart out to 9,000 rpm.
A word about the transmissions, though. When you go to build a 911 GT3 Touring on Porsche's online configurator, it will show the PDK transmission as being standard, while in other countries, the manual is displayed. Why? Because the manual transmission isn't actually available in all 50 US states.. I know, it sucks, especially since Porsche says 70% of all US GT3 buyers opt for a manual.
In any case, if you want one (you do), the Touring costs $162,450, including $1,350 for destination. That's the same price as a regular GT3, making the decision even harder for people who are torn between the two. Me? I'll take the Touring every day. The 992 GT3 is amazing, and the Touring's subtle changes only make it more desirable.