Porsche 911 GT3 to get paddle shifters

A Porsche GT3 with an automanual transmission? There go those winds of change blowing again. A Rennlist member who's spoken with a Porsche higher-up says the next GT3 will get Porsche's dual-clutch PDK transmission. The consolation prize is 480 horsepower.

Rennlist member and GT3 owner rosenbergendo says he's got the inside track on the next Porsche 911 GT3, which we don't expect for a few years at the least. Still, exciting stuff coming, but only if you're okay with leaving some storied Porsche constructs in the past. Purists may need to recalibrate their Renn-o-sensors.

First, there's the little matter of a long-rumored GT3 RS limited edition. The Porsche source says that model, based on the current GT3 RS, indeed exists, and will homologate the company's 449-hp, 4.0-liter RSR motor, introduced in the company's GT racecar for the 2011 season. It'll be the last GT3 model to feature Porsche's venerable 964/GT1 engine block, which dates back to the days of air cooling.

The next GT3, according to the source, will get its own version of Porsche's new direct-injected flat-six, producing 480 horsepower, as the company consolidates its 911 line around the new 9A1 engine series. Unlike other Carrera models, the GT3 won't get any of the hybrid-tech gear like engine stop-start.

Most interestingly, the new GT3 is destined for a new, motorsport-tuned version of the company's Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe dubbed PDK-S, which has apparently undergone four years of testing with the new 9A1 engine.

What's more, wider use of composite materials means the new GT3 could be up to 200 lbs lighter than the current model. And speaking of mass, with the new 991 Carrera set to get a more forward-mounted engine, the GT3 will benefit, balance-wise, from the change in weight distribution.

Porsche has said we'll have to wait a while for the new 991 Carrera models to arrive, so don't expect the GT3 to show up before the blizzard of '13.

[via 0-60]