Reason 1: No need to pay seven figures for a 911 R.
It’s not just the fact that the new 911 GT3 threw a wrench into the plans of supercar flippers around the world who wanted to take advantage of the 911 R’s previous status as the only modern GT3 with a stick that makes it so great. It’s that, like any other Porsche, the changes made to the new 911 GT3 over the old one are small and gradual but add up to a huge difference on the road and most importantly, on the race track. As usual, it all starts with the hardware.
Equipped with a six-speed manual transmission delegating power from the naturally-aspirated 4.0-liter flat-six to the rear wheels, the experience is livened up by having the driver engage the car to a greater degree. But beyond that it’s enhanced by the metallic roar of a well-designed Porsche engine that can rev all the way to 9,000 RPM.
That’s why Road and Track’s (new) test drivers feel like the 2018 911 GT3 equipped with a stick is faster than the one that's spec'd with the seven-speed PDK transmission even if it really isn’t. Not like it’s a slouch either. Thanks to the motor’s 500 horsepower output, this Porsche can hit 60 mph from a standstill in 3.4 seconds. Yes, that’s slower than the automatic, yes it’s going to be harder to drive on a daily basis than the PDK, but the entire point of a dream car is to allow the customer to spec it out as they see fit. If the 911 R proved anything, it’s that a manual still has a place in the GT3 and thanks to a little extra effort on Porsche's part, that's now possible.