The New Porsche 911 GT3 Isn't All About Lap Times

"At least, that's what the man who developed it told us."

MAR 20, 2017 (Road & Track)

Porsche's GT department is changing its tune. Where it previously abandoned the purist-favorite manual transmission for a quicker-shifting PDK, it's now embracing the old school once again.

The GT department, led by Andreas Preuninger, isn't giving up on customers who chase tenths of a second on track, but it's putting in huge effort into winning back the hearts of purists. The manual transmission is back in the GT3, and it signals a big shift at the company.

"We are taking a lot of care about the driving emotion," said Preuninger, in an interview with Road & Track. "Not so much stubbornly, seriously, German-ly chasing lap time, lap time, lap time," he said with a mock stern voice. "At least, that's not my intention anymore."

This is a philosophy that was born from the critically acclaimed–and commercially successful–manual-equipped Cayman GT4 and the 911 R. These two helped Preuninger realize that there are customers for old-school purist cars.

What isn't new for Porsche, though, is the fact that this new GT3 represents a subtle, but noticeable evolution over the car it replaces. The biggest change is the engine, which doesn't seem all that different on paper, but is actually a significant update over the previous GT3's motor.

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