The only thing better than a massive wing on the back of a Porsche 911 GT3 is no visible wing at all. At least, that’s the idea behind Porsche’s new GT3 with the Touring Package, which the company insists on calling understated.
Porsche is under the impression that this 911 package is for drivers who want GT3 performance without the GT3 looks or attention, but I wouldn’t call either version understated. That’s not to deride Porsche’s design, only the designation.
The 911 Gt3 is already a very capable machine, and this version retains much — if not all — of that performance but dials back the track-day looks. Don’t worry. The GT3 Touring still gets a wing, just not one that’s affixed via two, tall pylons.
The wing on this GT3 Touring is retractable, because you’ll still want some aero bits to go with the power of the grand tourer. After all, this fast car still needs some downforce, as Porsche explains:
The exterior’s most conspicuous difference is the omission of the fixed rear wing of the 911 GT3. The necessary downforce at high speeds and even more understatement are guaranteed by an automatically extending rear spoiler.
Also, there’s a new transmission option for those who can live with the fact that a computer can shift better than we can, per Porsche’s release:
The purist and powerful [502 HP][...] 911 GT3 with a weight of just [3,162 pounds is delivered with a six-speed GT sports gearbox as standard. For the first time, the Touring package can also be combined with the seven-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission at no extra cost.
Notice that the PDK can be had for no additional cost. This might seem like a bargain on the surface, but as our own Bradley Brownell pointed out, this is less of a good deal than it seems. The manual transmission used to cost less on Porsche’s models than the PDK, which means that, technically, the price for the manual has gone up.
There’s another, bigger caveat as far as transmissions go: the manual transmission will not be an option in the state of California for the 2022 model year of the GT3. This is due to regulations in the Golden State, per Porsche:
We strive to offer as much choice as possible to meet and, we hope, exceed the expectations of our customers – and this extends to even our most focused model, the 911 GT3, which offers a greater range of personalization options than ever before. At the same time we have to fully accept and respect national and local guidelines in every market – not just in the U.S. but around the world. Unfortunately, this precludes a manual gearbox option on the 911 GT3 in the state of California because of a sound regulation that is in the process of being updated. We had anticipated an updated regulation at time of launch, but this process is not yet complete. The seven-speed PDK option has received full certification. The manual gearbox will continue to be offered in every state outside of California.
This is a big loss to drivers who love three pedals in California, and Porsche claims it is working to make this a possibility for subsequent model years. It’s unfortunate that some drivers won’t get the option of a manual, and that those who do are now paying a premium.
I suppose it makes sense since the GT3 Touring has been about retaining some sports car “purity,” but that’s going to cost you. Again, this version retains the GT3 performance, but I think the idea of it being a sleeper is overblown.
The goal of the Touring version is better expressed, I think, by the following question: Will your 911 GT3 live on the road or on the track?
The 911 GT3 Touring is the road-tripping, daily driver in Porsche’s lineup if there ever was one. The sports car you get up for on weekdays and commute to work in, then load up for the weekend — provided you pack lightly.
That’s what I love about it. It’s a performance machine that’s meant to live on the road, where most drivers will spend their time, versus the track where only some drivers will record their lap times.