2022 Porsche 911 GT3 Touring First Drive Review | Stealth mode
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PASADENA, California - In most neighborhoods, it's impossible for a Porsche to be inconspicuous. Believe me, I know I parked them on the street in Portland. However, in the neighborhoods where people have the money to actually buy new Porsches, it's an entirely different, high-priced ball game. You will be noticed and recognized for sure, but don't expect ohs and ahhs. With zip codes like here in Pasadena, you would expect to be able to afford something like this. Instead, the reaction is a matter of taste.
And if you roll down a stately street with palm trees in a Shark Blue or Lava Orange painted Porsche 911 GT3 from 2022 with the eye-catching gooseneck wing that swings backwards, some eyebrows might be raised. "What is he trying to prove?" It is quite possible to be heard in neighboring large kitchens. On the flip side, you might not care what Barb next door thinks and just prefer a more subtle, tasteful look. You may realize the improbability of ever visiting a route and therefore how unnecessary that wing will be. Maybe you didn't think wings looked cool since Farah Fawcett replaced that Countach poster.
Each of the above should explain why the 2022 Porsche 911 GT3 with Touring Package (aka GT3 Touring) is here. Mechanically, it's exactly the same car as the GT3, but with the gooseneck wing and fixed spoiler at the bottom replaced with a Carrera pop-up spoiler. Then there are a number of non-functional visual differences: the lower panel is in the body color instead of black, the windows are made of high-glass anodized aluminum and the traditional GT3 lettering on the rear has been removed with a chrome-plated "GT3" touring "on the Engine cover.
Surprisingly, the interior is no longer intended for touring, as the steering wheel, gear selector, center console cover and door panels are covered with black leather and not with the Race-Tex suede-like material from Porsche. The seat centers are also covered with a beautiful textured fabric instead of Race-Tex, the side bolsters are rimmed with the same black leather, regardless of the seat selection (basic four-way sports seats Plus, 18-way adaptive sports seats Plus or our test) Full bucket seats of the car). Another important visual difference is the "chain-embossed" leather on the dashboard and the door sills, which is not available from any other Porsche.
Importantly, the Touring is open to a wider level of customization than the regular GT3, including the option of 14 additional color combinations that can be ordered later this year. For those who have already placed their order, the choice has been black.
And yes, that's basically it. The Touring is otherwise just Clark Kent for the GT3's Superman - same guy, different clothes. The starting price is exactly the same at $ 162,450. Although I detailed the myriad upgrades and weight reductions in our last GT3 Road Test Review, here are some of the highlights.
The engine is a 4.0-liter six-cylinder naturally aspirated engine that rotates up to 9,000 rpm and reaches its peak output of 502 hp at 8,400 rpm. It's practically identical to what was in the old 911 Speedster and is currently used in the GT3 Cup racing car. The transmissions are each one gear lower than in a Carrera: a seven-speed PDK double clutch, as we tested earlier in the GT3, and the six-speed manual transmission in this GT3 Touring, which will be available later in California, all. None of the suspension components are shared with other 911s: the new for 2022 double wishbone front suspension, the five-link rear suspension, stiffer springs, and the use of ball joints instead of rubber. The forged aluminum wheels are staggered in size with 20s at the front and 21s at the rear (the old GT3, including the previous Touring model, had 20s on all corners).
In addition, there is the weight savings: carbon fiber reinforced plastic in various body components, light window pane, no rear seat, less soundproofing, a lithium-ion starter battery, lighter brakes that are even lighter with the ceramic composite option, a stainless steel exhaust and the down-a-gear -Transmission. The Touring obviously loses the wing and the fixed spoiler, but then gains weight again with the motorized spoiler and the inner leather. Porsche says the curb weight is exactly the same with the manual at 3,126 pounds.
That brings us to aerodynamics. This gooseneck wing in cooperation with the fixed spoiler below generates 50% more downforce compared to the previous, similarly ostentatious GT3 wing, and of course neither is available in touring. Porsche wouldn't say how much downforce is lost, but it's significant. That said, even if the Touring's pop-up spoiler hardware is borrowed from the Carrera, there is only one lean angle (the most downforce-oriented) and it's deployed at a different, lower speed (effectively 49 mph versus 56 miles per hour). The rest of the GT3 aerodynamics package is otherwise shared with the Touring, including the front splitter, bonnet air vents, completely clad underbody and a massively improved rear diffuser. Overall, the GT3 Touring has twice the downforce of the previous Touring, and far more than other 911 models.
But here's the important question: can you actually tell the difference between winged and wingless? Simply put, no. Even on such sensational public roads as the famous Angeles Crest Highway or the streets scattered all over Malibu, I might as well have driven the same brilliant car. The two GT3s share a common light, balletic feeling with ultra-eager turning and shocking agility thanks to the standard rear-wheel steering. They're visceral and communicative in equal measure, whether you're riding your way up a narrow, technical street at modest pace or speeding through a series of eateries where looking at the speedometer just isn't a good idea.
Basically, the wing is an essential part of the package if you want to get your GT3 to the racetrack where it should really live. If not, don't worry. Stay classy, go touring.
The more obvious difference between the GT3 models we tested is the transmission. While the standard model had the PDK (in contrast to the previous version now offered on the Touring), this Touring had the six-speed manual transmission, which includes a mechanical rear differential lock and the automatic speed-coordinated downshift function Auto Blip. Sure, it's a slower way to shift gears, but being in full control is a lot more fun, both in terms of your physical activity and the sounds you hear. While PDK is all too happy to switch up to the fifth or sixth, you are free to leave it in the third or fourth and listen to the diverse orchestral sounds of these naturally drawn in Flat-Sixs from 5,000 to 9,200 rpm.
Driving couldn't be easier either. The blunt knob precisely engages in each gear after a short stroke, and since there are only six gear ratios, you never have to worry about the bizarre seven-to-six downshifts of other 911s. Like these, however, the GT3 still has a dual-mass flywheel, which has made the clutch of the 911 pleasant and easy since its introduction for the previous 991.2 generation. In fact, I drove the GT3 Touring extensively in the arduous stop-and-go traffic in L.A. without my left leg feeling like I had been working on a solo flex for an hour.
Unfortunately, that is the extent of my praise for the GT3 Touring as a means of actually touring. Steering or shifting may not be tiring, but the rest of the package can get old. Every 911 is prone to increased street noise, but with the silencing removed and more aggressive rubber attached, certain roads in the California high desert made me wish I had brought earplugs. And although the ride is cushioned enough not to crash violently against any bumps or expansion joints, the 718 Boxster GTS I drove the day before was a significantly more comfortable car.
I'd also skip the raked full bucket seats in the GT3 Touring - they're sensationally supportive and comfortable on the track, but their limited adjustability has gotten awfully old after two hours in the saddle. In particular, the lack of height adjustment at the front end shifted most of my leg weight to my heels and ankles. Get the adaptive sports seats Plus instead.
So rest assured, the GT3 Touring may be deflated, but not degenerate - for better and for worse. If you want the ultimate 911 to fire up the winding road instead of towing it onto a track, it offers exactly the same performance and experience, and looks a lot classier while doing it.
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