Porsche gt3 touring – road warrior – 9tro ear and jaw pain after tooth extraction

Enthusiasts of Porsche’s evergreen 911 have always been divided into two camps. Some like the pure outline of the car sans spoilers, while others like the spoilers and bigger wheel arches. Meanwhile, and since the arrival of PDK yet another group has emerged to champion the manual gearbox.

In response to this Andreas Preuninger and his team took a step back and released the Cayman GT4 in 2015, followed by the 911R in 2016. The success of these manual only models prompted a choice of PDK or manual gearboxes for the 991.2 GT3 launched last year. But an even better idea is the road focused GT3 Touring, which looks more discrete than its winged sister as a daily driver.

While it sounds a bit trite and hackneyed the action of the GT3 Touring’s short shift gear lever really does operate with the precision of a rifle bolt.

This is one of the first things you notice when you get behind the wheel and your hand naturally falls on the short, stubby lever. At that point no self-respecting enthusiast can resist depressing the clutch and operating the shifter.

Some car manufacturers only provide a steering column adjustment for rake. Porsche understand the importance of a perfect driving position to both posture and long-term comfort and so make their steering columns adjustable for reach as well.

Introduced on the 991 GT models, a small rocker switch on the front side of the bucket seat operates an electrical height adjuster. With all these separate adjustments available it is unlikely that anyone will have trouble finding their ideal personal set-up.

When I drove the 991.2 GT3 at Guadix last year the 9,000rpm rev limit seemed quite natural with the PDK taking care of perfect upshifts each time, every time. And as we have seen from the likes of Le Mans winner Marc Lieb, some Porsche engineers are professional drivers too, so they know how to set up a car perfectly in every respect including the PDK gearbox’s shift points.

In the GT3 Touring these lines of computer code exist in your brain, making the speed and smoothness of each shift entirely down to you as the driver. That means your mastery of heel and toe downshifts and trail braking are the icing on the cake of a fluid and rapid drive down a twisty road or around a racetrack.

In normal road driving the 1,413kg GT3 Touring is a docile beast. Considering it has to handle the Type 9A1 4.0 litre engine’s 500hp at 8,250rpm and 460Nm of torque at 6,000rpm the clutch is not excessively heavy, and nicely matches the firm weight of the throttle. This balance and linearity of steering, clutch, brakes and throttle is a defining characteristic that marks out every Porsche as a true drivers’ car.

Where the seven-speed PDK uses an electronically controlled limited slip differential, the 15kg lighter six-speed manual is equipped with a mechanical limited slip differential featuring a 30% locking action under acceleration and 37% on the overrun.

I remember Andy telling me on the 991 GT3 launch that you cannot use a single mass flywheel with PDK, so his team had to reduce the weight of the dual mass flywheel right to the edge. They managed to reduce it a smidgen further for the GT2 RS and GT3 RS.

Compared to the PDK equipped GT3 the Touring, and indeed the mechanically identical manual base GT3 have noticeably slower 0-100km/h and 0-200km/h times of 3.9 seconds and 11.4 seconds respectively against the stopwatch. The 3.4 seconds 0-100km/h sprint and 11.0 seconds to 200km/h times show off the advantage conferred by the extra ratio and electronic controls of the PDK transmission. The manual has a 312km/h (194mph) top whack.

However, such empirical stats do not allude to the all important driver grin factor of swapping your own cogs smoothly with perfect rev matching, not to mention the delight you get from perfect heel and toe downshifts on the approach to a bend.

I did a couple of acceleration runs through the gears, as well as intermediate gear runs starting in second and third. As always the revs soaring so high, so rapidly is a totally visceral experience with a screaming buzz saw soundtrack to match.

One thing that I did notice was a difference in the way the engine came on cam between 5,000 and 9,000rpm in second and third gears. While first is over too rapidly to warrant a comment, there appears to be a discernible step in the acceleration in second gear at around 5,000rpm, while third gear is much more linear. This made me wonder if perhaps there is a line of code limiting the torque in the first two gears to help traction off the line.