To many Porschephiles, the GT3 is the purist of all 911s and therefore the greatest of all sports cars.
While such a statement might sound somewhat grandiose outside of Porsche circles, countless track lap records and championship winning trophies make a good argument for the 911 being the quintessential sport car of sports cars, and while a turbocharged GT2 RS might currently own Nürburgring Nordschleife fastest production car lap status, having taken the honour back from a Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series (by a wide 4.747-second margin) just days ago, there’s something truly special about a naturally aspirated 4.0-litre flat-six capable of spinning upwards of 9,000 rpm for a resultant 502 horsepower and 346 lb-ft of torque.
That would be the latest 911 GT3, a car that holds a respectable lap time of just 6:55.34 minutes in top-tier RS trim on the same “Green Hell” mountainside race track, in which it beat out the previous 991.2-generation GT3 RS that currently sits in ninth. Production car performance hardly gets more impressive than this, but despite the GT3’s amazing road and track capabilities, its over-the-top supercar styling and minimalist interior isn’t for everyone.
Enter the new for 2022 Touring Package, which, just like when offered with its predecessor, tones down one of the regular GT3’s key aero upgrades, along with some trim elements, for a car that might come across more acceptably when pulling into the office parking lot.
The key differentiator, from the outside at least, is the elimination of the massive carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) wing, which gets replaced by the same automatically deployable wing embedded within most other 911 models’ rear deck lid. Additionally, Porsche has created a special rear grille for the package, which, along with a body-colour front fascia, better suits its understated mission, without interfering with aerodynamics, while classier high-gloss anodized silver-tone aluminum trim highlights the side window surrounds, and bright metal finishes off the tailpipes (Satin Black is optional for both).
Fortunately, the Touring Package doesn’t exchange the regular GT3’s CFRP hood and front spoiler for the respective aluminum and plastic composite versions of each found on lesser 911s, nor does it mess with anything under that just-noted rear wing, other than first-time availability of a seven-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission (that’s also optional with the regular GT3). Likewise, all suspension components found behind its brighter set of 20-inch front and 21-inch rear forged alloy wheels on 255/35 and 315/30 ZR performance tires remain the same, these silver-painted rims featuring identical Satin Black central locking caps to the regular GT3, but now trimmed off with classic Porsche crests in place of “GT3” logos.
If you decide upon a subtler exterior shade when opting for your own Touring Package-equipped GT3, such as GT Silver Metallic or Agate Grey Metallic, rest assured it will still get GT3 badging, although the designation on its revised rear grille will now read “GT3 touring”. This wide-body 911 can still be ordered with every exterior colour currently available to GT3 buyers, incidentally, including Chalk, Lava Orange, Shark Blue and Python Green.
Inside, Porsche replaces the GT3’s usual race-ready details with something more upscale, including extended black leather upholstery covering the steering wheel rim, gear lever, centre console lid, door panel armrests, and the door grips, while the front edge of the dash and both door uppers receive a unique embossed surface treatment.
Additionally, the Touring Package’s racing-style seats would be identical to those in the regular GT3 if it weren’t for special fabric covering their centre inserts and a set of embossed Porsche crests replacing the GT3 logos on the headrests. Lastly, the door sill guards you’ll pass over when climbing inside are now finished in brushed black aluminum, a modification also used for some dash and centre console trim details.
Optionally, GT3 Touring Package customers can choose from a palette of coloured leather upholsteries for the lower half of the cabin, which are designed to contrast with the upper dash.
Most of the regular GT3’s options can be had with the Touring Package, including every wheel colour, upgrades to the LED headlamps including Porsche Dynamic Light System and Porsche Dynamic Light System Plus, all driver assistance systems, Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB), the Smart Front Axle Lift system, and the same alternative seat types. An optional Bose Surround Sound System can also be had, plus the Chrono package, of course.
The extra weight doesn’t seem to impact performance, or at least not notably, with Porsche seeing no need to revise the spec sheet used on its retail website. Therefore, both regular GT3 and Touring Package-equipped cars sprint from zero to 100 km/h in just 3.9 seconds when fitted with their no-cost optional six-speed manual GT Sport transmission, or 3.4 seconds when the standard paddle-shift-actuated seven-speed PDK is chosen, while top track speeds are also the same at 320 km/h (199 mph) and (318 km/h (198 mph) respectively, although keep in mind, removal of the rear wing might ease Touring Package-equipped cars past the 322 km/h (200 mph) mark due to less drag from the smaller rear wing.
Likewise, the two GT3 models utilize identical suspension setups, which come standard with Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) including ride-height lowering (by approximately 20mm). This should result in the same road-holding prowess, but the removal of the fixed rear wing will have lessened rear downforce, making a difference when pushing hard through fast-paced corners, or when stomping on the GT3’s sizeable 408/380 mm front/rear brakes from high speeds.
Looking back, Porsche first used the “Touring Package” name for a version of its 1973 911 Carrera RS, and likewise it provided a more livable trim alternative for a car that can be seen as the GT3 of its era. The name was revived for the sixth-generation 991-based GT3 in 2017, and now graces the new design once again.
For those wanting to bring their GT3 Touring Package experience right into their office or home, a special Porsche Design chronograph wristwatch features a movement with a flyback second hand function, while its winding rotor, seen through a caseback window, pulls styling cues from the car’s wheel design. It’s even available in six different versions that correspond to your specific car’s configuration.
All dial bezels, however, are finished in Agate Grey Metallic, while the actual dial is matte black, but the chronograph hands match the bright luminous yellow colour of the GT3’s tachometer needle. Finishing this special watch off is a strap made from the same embossed leather as that used in Touring Package-equipped GT3, plus some additional black decorative stitching. The new chronograph is manufactured in Porsche Design’s own Swiss watchmaking factory, and can only be purchased by GT3 owners.
Back to the car in question, both regular GT3 and Touring Package-equipped versions start at $180,300, so be sure to contact Porsche Centre Vancouver to reserve yours now, by calling (604) 736-7911 or dropping by our showroom at 688 Terminal Ave, Vancouver.
Story credits: Trevor Hofmann
Photo credits: Porsche
Date: June 29, 2021
The New Porsche 911 GT3 with Touring Package