Porsche Really Doesn’t Want to Turbocharge the 911 GT3
Despite Porsche’s decision to turbocharge the 911 lineup, our first drive convinced us the 911 is “a better sports car today than it has ever been.” Certain dedicated Porsche fans won’t believe us, but we stand by our conclusion that turbocharging didn’t ruin the 911. That said, if you refuse to buy a turbocharged 911, you can always spring for the GT3 or GT3 RS. They’re the only naturally aspirated cars in the 911 lineup, and from the sound of it, that won’t change anytime soon.
Speaking to Australia’s Drive, Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser, Porsche’s head of GT road cars, said he fully intends to keep the 911 GT3 and GT3 RS naturally aspirated as long as possible. “I would like to continue with it. It makes the car unique—it’s still a light engine,” said Walliser. “A normally aspirated engine still fits a sports car. You cannot achieve the same with a turbocharged engine.”
So why turbocharge the rest of the 911 lineup? Walliser said that decision was “mainly driven by emissions regulations.” Eventually, those same regulations may bring an end to naturally aspirated GT3s, too, but according to Walliser, “The uniqueness comes from the normally aspirated engine. As long as we can do it, we will do it.”
Interestingly, he also told Drive that Porsche’s decision to bring back the manual option is already paying off. About a quarter of all GT3s are ordered with manual transmissions, and in the U.S., it’s close to half.
As for rumors that the next 911 will be mid-engined, don’t believe them. Walliser promised the engine is “in the right place… it’s in the back.”