In case you needed another reason to be thankful today.
The Porsche 911 GT3 is about to get a facelift to slingshot it into the 991.2 production cycle and true to most other re-workings from the brand, little will change on the visual side of things. Instead, it's the mechanical components that will get the brunt of the investment money. The most notable change in the car will be the inclusion of a manual transmission, a prototype of which our spy photographers caught making test rounds after it had been leaked less than a week ago.
Months ago, Autocar had also claimed the next generation GT3 would feature a manual gearbox, partially because Porsche is a brand that likes to listen to its customers. Other 911 GT3s were present in the Porsche parade, but this car got all of the attention because unlike its siblings, it had a large and conspicuous layer of camouflage on its gear shifter. The large masking piece of foam was absent in the other test mules, immediately drawing suspicion from our cameramen. Backing up this speculation is the fact that the other cars had paddle shifters present on the steering wheel and a gear indicator on the tachometer, both of which were non-existent on this GT3 sporting the mystery gear selector.
Our photographers were unable to confirm whether or not the car had three pedals, a discovery that would have confirmed our suspicions without a shred of doubt, but we think the existing evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of a manual. In all likelihood, the next generation GT3 will get the same six-speed row box seen in the sold out 911 R. Like the 911 R and GT3 RS, the GT3 will probably be powered by a 4.0-liter flat-six engine that pushes out 500 horsepower and 338 lb-ft of torque. We can't wait for Stuttgart's newest creation to debut, but alas, we will have to sit around for a few months until the car sees the light of day in 2017. When it does, we can be sure that 911 R buyers may feel gypped.