Photo: exfordy via flickr
This post originally appeared on Motor Authority.Regarded by many as the purest of the Porsche 911s, the GT3 is something of a sacred cow to many. So the rumours of a PDK transmission being offered–brewing now for a year–have set some teeth on edge. But could Porsche be considering dropping the manual entirely for the 2013 911 GT3?
According to a new report from Inside Line, that’s exactly what Porsche is thinking about. According to the 911’s project chief, August Achleitner, the removal of the manual from the 911 Turbo S met with no complaints, so why should GT3 buyers mind?
The move to a PDK transmission, or more specifically, a special race-tuned PDK-S version, makes perfect sense from a lap time perspective, and given that the GT3 is essentially a homologation car, bought and raced with class-specific modifications by myriad race teams, the move might make even more sense.
But the enthusiast buyer, the one that drives the GT3 on the street and takes it to track days, might care more about the visceral experience of rowing their own gears than the handful of tenths saved per lap with the computer doing the paddle-operated work.
We’re on the fence right now–we see both sides of the issue. Having driven the latest implementation of the PDK in the new 991 Carrera and Carrera S, however, we tend to thing that progress is a good thing. No one’s moaning over the inclusion of synchros in the manual gearbox are they?
Also on deck for the new GT3, according to the report, is the electromechanical power steering system also found on the new 991. That, too, is a good thing, as noted in our first drive. It’s not quite perfect–yet–but it’s close enough that most drivers won’t notice. And according to Achleitner, those with real skill prefer it over the old hydraulic system.
As for what else is in store for the next GT3, our best guess is a further weight reduction of 180-200 pounds, a power bump to the 480-horsepower range, and a more forward-mounted engine–bordering on mid-engine status. Is that little bit of balance-improving engineering effort heresy, too? Give us your view on all of the rumoured changes for the next GT3 in the comments below.
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