But the big news for purist drivers is that Porsche will offer the GT3 with the option of a manual gearbox for the first time since the 991 generation was introduced in 2013.
The six-speed transmission will be the same as that fitted to the limited edition (991 units) Porsche 911 R and is based on the seven-speed unit available in the 911 Carrera and Carrera S.
There is a weight advantage with the manual gearbox. By losing a cog, the six-speed ’box is 3.2kg lighter than the seven-speed, but what is more significant is that it’s 20kg lighter than the dual-clutch PDK transmissions fitted to the current GT3 and GT3 RS.
If ratios remain the same as those in the 911 R’s box, they’ll be on the tall side – the manual 911 R can hit 140km/h in second gear, compared to the current GT3 which is pulling 124km/h at redline in second. Fine for autobahns, but shorter ratios would be better suited to most Australian roads and racetracks.
There are also significant changes to the flywheel and clutch. In the 911 R, the standard dual-mass flywheel is now lighter which improves engine response by five percent. But an optional single-mass flywheel with reinforced 9.0-inch clutch shaves even more weight (5kg) and with less rotational mass behind it, allows the engine to spin up more quickly, particularly from lower revs.
And for those fond of heel-toe down changes and doing their own throttle blips – as opposed to a computer doing it for them – the news is clutch and shift feel is reported to be excellent.
As for external elements, the new GT3’s styling has been toned down in this mid-cycle redesign and could almost be described as stealthy, particularly in the black paint seen here.
What you will see coming up fast in your rear view mirror now is a less fussy nose, dominated by a reshaped grille opening, redesigned spoiler, and aggressive-looking ‘winged’ cooling ducts topped by thinner daytime running lights.
At the rear, the wing is still outlandish and looks similar to the current model’s, but the tail-lights have been redesigned and there is a new bumper housing the traditional central dual exhausts and a new diffuser.
All up, the evolution of the 911 continues, and for customers who lamented the apparent dropping of the manual for the 991 GT3 and RS, it’s proof that Porsche is listening.
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