Odd reason this Porsche is a rarity
1. Please note this vehicle is manual
Porsche sent a note about its 911 GT3 Touring, warning it has three pedals and a gear stick. That's a rarity these days - Ferrari, Lamborghini and McLaren do not make a manual car, nor do the Audi RS and Mercedes AMG divisions. Even the Golf GTI is auto-only. Porsche's fastest cars have dual-clutch autos but this special version of the 911 GT3 is manual only. And it's all the better for that, bringing a closer connection between car and driver with a heavily sprung short-throw shift that turns driving into a more deliberate and rewarding experience.
2. It will blow your house down
The 911 GT3 dispenses with the increasingly ubiquitous turbo and relies on revs. Its 4.0-litre motorsport-derived six-cylinder spins to a sensational 9000rpm, serving up 368 of the hardest-working kilowatts (500 horsepower in the old scale) you will find. You need to feel the forces to truly comprehend the engineering at work, and you certainly feel them here. From a gruff start and lumpy idle to the spine-tingling climax at the top of the tacho, the fizzing intensity grows as the engine spins harder. It feels like a big-bore sports bike, effortless mid-range giving way to searing ferocity as the clock strikes nine.
3. It's all about confidence
This is a fast car. Cold statistics claim a 0-100km/h dash in 3.9 seconds and top speed of 317km/h. But the way the $326,800 GT3 Touring goes about its business is far more impressive, combining outstanding vision, spot-on ergonomics and sweetly weighted controls to give drivers the best possible starting point. There are few surprises - measured inputs are matched with responses in kind, and the car communicates its intentions and grip levels with unmatched clarity. It's a raw experience, compared to which some rivals feel as though you're driving while wearing boxing gloves. The magic of the GT3 gives motorists of all abilities the confidence to make the most of their drive.
4. Think of it as a wingless wonder
The 911 GT3 has been around for two decades, every previous example fitted with an enormous rear spoiler to go with race-inspired hardware. Then the GT3 Touring reached Australia in 2018, eliminating huge spoilers, roll cage and suede-like Alcantara to fly under the radar. Taking design cues from the 2016 911 R (a limited edition model that tripled in value when collectors thought it might be the last manual, non-turbo 911), the GT3 Touring looks unobtrusive in white with silver wheels, as though it might be a regular 911 on the way to a board meeting. Until you look closely to find no back seats, centre-lock wheels and the subtle but significant badge on the engine cover.
5. The end of the road
Porsche has stopped building this generation, moving on to a new model with a far more sophisticated cabin and better road manners. As is the brand's custom, it saved the best for last with the outgoing model, releasing the record-setting twin-turbo 911 GT2 RS, pure-minded Touring and open-topped Speedster at the end of its life cycle. Enthusiasts might have to wait a while before seeing another model like this - if at all.