We could laugh at Porsche for creating a “new car” by just ripping the rear spoiler off the 911 GT3... but scheisse it looks good.
The Porsche 911 GT3 Touring Package is the real-manifestation of those rumors you may have heard about Porsche making “another 911 R.” A serious performance car with lowkey looks. A Q-car. A sports car in the style of Teddy Roosevelt’s famous foreign policy quote. You’re onboard, right?
When it came out last year the 911 R, a plainclothes version of the ultra-fierce 911 GT3 RS, blew the minds of every Porschephile from Atlanta to Zuffenhausen. Come on, a competition-grade 911 without the wacky wings and silly stickerwork? Even at a lofty MSRP of around $200,000 (and resale values and dealer markups way, way higher) people couldn’t sell these things fast enough.
Now for those of you who missed the boat on buying a 911 R but still like the idea of a top-tier 911 dressed down, the GT3 Touring Package is $145,000 of GT3 with a smoother backside. And that’s pretty much all there is to it. And that’s kind of why it rules.
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And unlike the 911 R, which couldn’t completely resist announcing itself with a pair of colorful stripes, the GT3 Touring Package really is a straight-up sleeper supercar. If such a thing can exist.
Nobody’s going to look at a brand-new 911 and think “slow”, but the GT3 Touring Package is definitely subtle.
The Touring Package runs the same 500 horsepower and 339 lb-ft of torque-churning 4.0-liter naturally aspirated flat-six engine that screams along in the ass of the GT3, as well as that car’s suspension and long options list including the ogre-claw Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes, the front axle lift, LED headlights, three seat options, and Sport Chrono Package with that sweet dash clock.
But where the GT3 gets a spoiler that reaches halfway up the car’s rear window, the GT3 Touring Package just has a slick auto-extendo spoiler with a tiny Gurney Flap at its edge.
Obviously, a Porsche like this was inevitable after the overwhelmingly positive response we saw to the 911 R. Not just from the fans, but from people who had they money to make the car into an instant classic.
Porsche’s press release says order books for the the GT3 Touring Package are already open and that the car should be landing in U.S. dealerships by early 2018. While the 911 R will always occupy a special place in history, and have those sweet, sweet houndstooth seats, the GT3 Touring Package looks like a pretty solid equivalent for the rest of us. You know, the rest of us who still have $150,000 to spend on a toy car.