GT3 FOR SYBARITES

The new Tour­ing Pack­age for the GT3 makes it more ac­cept­able every­day trans­port, but surely there are other 911s for that?

Evo India - - PORSCHE 911 GMTC3LATOREUNRI5N7G0SPASCPKIDAGERE -

IF ANY­THING YOU READ ON THIS PAGE sounds neg­a­tive, may I clar­ify here and now, un­equiv­o­cally, em­phat­i­cally, earnestly: the 911 GT3 with Tour­ing Pack­age is a bril­liant car. It has a nor­mally as­pi­rated flat-six en­gine of such range, po­tency (493bhp) and acous­tic drama that it alone is worth much of the `23.7 crore (ex-show­room Mumbai) en­try fee to GT3 own­er­ship. I love driv­ing this car. I want to own one very badly in­deed. Its en­gine shows what we’re miss­ing with tur­bocharged Car­reras and its six-speed man­ual gear­box be­trays how the reg­u­lar seven-speed unit still isn’t good enough.

You may be won­der­ing why we aren’t giv­ing more space in evo to the GT3 Tour­ing. Af­ter all, the very no­tion of the car brings to mind the first RS 911, the 2.7 Carrera RS of 1973. Back then, many of the cars de­liv­ered to cus­tomers were in M472 Tour­ing spec­i­fi­ca­tion, rather than M471 Light­weight trim. The M471 pack­age took the raw RSH (H for ho­molo­ga­tion) ver­sion of the car – so ba­sic it didn’t even have a sticker for the tyre pres­sures – and added just a few con­ces­sions to ci­vil­ity, such as some lin­ing for the lug­gage area, de­cent wheels and tyres and a cover for the glove­box. Nev­er­the­less, it was still unimag­in­ably sin­gle-minded by mod­ern stan­dards, and this was re­flected in its 960kg kerb weight and 5.8-sec­ond 0-100kmph time.

How­ever, the M472 op­tion added a sig­nif­i­cant 100kg to the car. It gave it a steel rear bumper and full pro­tec­tive trims front and rear and on the sills. It had ‘nor­mal’ 911 car­pets and sound in­su­la­tion, could be or­dered with­out the duck­tail spoiler, even, and it had, deca­dently, a clock. It was ef­fec­tively trimmed to the stan­dard of the erst­while range-top­ping 911 2.4 S, al­beit with the same me­chan­i­cal pack­age as the Light­weight un­der­neath the skin.

Which brings us to the 991.2 GT3 Tour­ing. The large fixed rear wing has been re­placed by the Carrera’s elec­tri­cally ex­tend­able rear spoiler, which has the ad­di­tion of a Gur­ney flap on its rear edge. A 911 R-style rear dif­fuser at­tempts to claw back some of that lost aero­dy­namic ad­van­tage. You can’t have the Club­sport pack­age or the Alcantara in­te­rior – so it’s all leather – and, um, that’s pretty much it, bar some tiny de­tails. If you tick the Tour­ing Pack­age box – a no-cost op­tion – you must have a man­ual trans­mis­sion. There are still no rear seats, there isn’t a dif­fer­ent chas­sis set-up, it is no qui­eter, or more lux­u­ri­ous, or any­thing re­ally. I’m driv­ing the car in France, so while its sta­bil­ity and drag prop­er­ties over 240kmph may be slightly dif­fer­ent, I can’t tell you.

Which leaves us in the strange predica­ment of sound­ing down­beat about a car that is ac­tu­ally re­ally rather won­der­ful, and which if you don’t peek in the rear-view mir­ror looks, feels and drives in ex­actly the same way as the GT3 we know and love. This, it must be said, en­cour­ages the sen­ti­ment ex­pressed on the pre­vi­ous pages with the 911 Carrera T: a re­ally good car, yes, but couldn’t you have put in a lit­tle bit more ef­fort, Porsche?L

Above: Tour­ing cabin def­i­nitely more road than track; do GT3 and Tour­ing be­long on the same badge? Be­low: Bye-bye big fixed rear wing

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