Porsche 911 GT3 with Touring Package – Review
By Liam Bird
There are certain cars that pass my way that leave very little impression at all. It is as if as soon as they’ve been collected, any redeeming feature, any little quirk, or any driving impression whatsoever, disappears into the distance with them.
Take for instance the… I can’t remember. Then there’s the… err… Nope, I can’t recall what that was either. Undoubtedly, there are others too. Had I not have written down what it was I liked and disliked about them while I had them, I’d have probably struggled to write anything all. I’m not the only motor-noter to suffer from such things – having spoken to more than a few, I know others have the same issues.
“Has a presence”
Occasionally though, a car comes along that long after you’ve reluctantly handed back its keys, you simply can’t stop thinking about: The Porsche 911 GT3 with Touring Package (to give it its official name) is one such car.
Not only does the 911 GT3 look – to my eyes at least – near perfect; no obvious rear wing (this one’s adaptive), no rear seats, centre-fix GT3 wheels (20inch front, 21 inch rear), larger air intakes in the front bumper, aluminium (rather than black anodised) window trim… I could go on; the detailing is superb. Porsche’s GT division has even given the 911 GT3 Touring black protective cladding on its wider rear wheel arches – nice touch that, very retro, a throwback to the… shall we say quicker, 911s of old. It definitely has a presence. One look at it is all it takes to tell you it has a purpose too.
Porsche have claimed to be delivering “driving in its purest form” for longer than I can remember. In my humble opinion, with the 911 GT3 Touring, that is exactly what they achieved.
“Wonderfully mechanical feel”
Everything you touch or interact with feels so instant; strap yourself into the fixed-back carbon bucket seat (They are optional, fortunately, they gave me backache) and it is as if you’ve been directly connected to the very core of the chassis and every control function. The steering is pin-sharp; changes of direction are instant. So too the throttle response: accurate, instantaneous, no delay, just go.
Then there’s the engine. Porsche’s 4.0 litre naturally aspirated flat-6, is simply put, one hell of a motor. It will happily chunter along in traffic at low revs without fuss, and it will just as happily hurl you towards the distance at huge rates of knots, screaming and howling all the way to its 9,000 rpm redline like a chainsaw running on rocket-fuel as it does so. Oh God, it sounds good. The 6-speed manual gearbox is also a delight; direct, and with a wonderfully mechanical feel. As brilliant, as Porsche’s PDK automatics are, if it were my money being spent, no question, it would definitely be spent on a three-pedal, rather than two-pedal car; you just feel more involved.
It is loud, find me a 911 that isn’t, and the ride is just about on the right side of being too stiff – you will jiggly in your seat on a bumpy B-road. But, when you get the chance, few modern cars feel this good, this mechanical, this special. The 911 GT3 Touring’s appeal is that it makes you want to continually explore its capabilities time and time again.
If Porsche were to say I could drive the GT3 Touring again, I’d be back at their place like a shot; it really is one of the best cars I’ve had the pleasure of driving. Not only that, it makes me wish I was better driver so as I could enjoy it even more.
I know, it’s a cliché, I really shouldn’t say such things, but I think I may have discovered my new favourite car.
Porsche 911 GT3 with Touring Package
Engine: 3,996 cc horizontally opposed (flat) 6-Cyl 24V petrol
Transmission: 6-Speed manual. Rear wheel drive.
Power: 510 bhp @ 8,400 rpm
Torque: 347 lbft @ 6,100 rpm
0 – 62 MPH: 3.9 Sec
Max Speed: 199 mph
CO2: 292 g/km
MPG: 21.9 combined
Price: from £131,530 (as driven £144,828)