2022 Porsche 911 GT3 Touring First Drive: Extreme, A Little Less
- Exceptional handling
- Screaming 9,000 rpm motor
- Lack “Look at me!” presence versus standard GT3
- Reduced borderline performance compared to standard GT3
- Stiff suspension is not for everyone during daily driving
- Lack, uh, “Look at me!” presence versus standard GT3
What is the difference?
Anyone who follows Porsche with just one lazy eye knows that the German automaker has mastered the art of maximizing its model range, including offering enough variants of a car like the 911 to understand an automotive Rorschach test. Do you have a vision of what your ultimate 911 looks like? No problem; odds are good that Porsche will build it. In the case of the new 911 GT3 Touringit’s there to satisfy anyone who’s like, “Damn, the GT3 looks amazing, but it’s a shame about that massive rear wing. I really don’t want to look like a budding driver – I guess I’ll have to pass.”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa, just a moment, my good orthodontist,” say the GT division meisters in Weissach, Germany. At least it’s easy to imagine them saying something like that. “Don’t like the wing? No problem.” Check the Touring package box on your order form and, poof, it started like Keyser Söze. Now stop whining and write the check, doctor.
The removal of the rear wing is the only significant performance-altering change between the GT3 and GT3 Touring models, thanks to downforce lost by replacing the large fixed wing with an active rear wing and a unique engine cowl grille. Other elements of the Touring Pack include various two-tone leather interior options (regular GT3s only offer black); window trim silver versus black; and the lower front fascia painted the same color as the rest of the body (again, only offered in black on the normal version). Mechanically, Porsche offers its excellent, industry-leading positive-acting six-speed manual gearbox as standard, but since the seven-speed dual-clutch PDK is a no-cost option, you can consider it standard fare as well. (Technically, that’s the opposite of how Porsche equips the standard version, which comes with PDK unless you choose the manual.) No surprise, the Porsche 911 GT3 Touring’s base price of 164 $150 is the same as the regular GT3.
Good question. Much of the 911 GT3’s impressive track performance comes from its aerodynamics; depending on its wing settings, it produces up to 317 pounds of downforce at 125 mph, and up to a peak figure of 772 pounds at its top speed of 197 mph. So, considering MotorTrendTypical GT3 Touring testing doesn’t include road racing, so we wondered what impact the GT3 Touring’s relative lack of downforce would have. Indeed, at 125 mph, the Touring produces just 33 pounds of downforce and just 88 pounds at its slightly faster top speed of 199 mph. In other words, the two cars are galaxies apart when it comes to aerodynamic performance.
With their identical naturally aspirated 4.0-liter flat-six engines producing 502 hp and 346 lb-ft of torque, the regular GT3 accelerated slightly faster to 60 mph (3.4 seconds versus 3.7) and over the quarter mile (11.4 seconds at 126.0 mph versus 11.7 at 123.6). This result is somewhat curious, given that the extra downforce of the standard version should not give it an advantage in these tests and, in the quarter mile, perhaps produce more aerodynamic drag. Since we didn’t test the two cars on the same day in identical conditions, we attributed the variance to atmospheric and surface conditions, along with the Touring tipping the scales at 3,252 pounds versus the GT3’s 3,188. winged, a 64-pound disadvantage. (Unlike the winged GT3, the Touring we tested lacked the lighter upgrade of carbon-ceramic brakes and lighter full bucket seats, and it featured additional equipment differences.)
Porsche provided some launch instructions: leave the traction control on, limit the revs to 5000 and quickly release the clutch pedal. We followed the guidelines and the car just got stuck. So we turned off TC, restarted at 5,000 rpm, modulated the clutch and consistently ran better runs. The linear nature of the non-turbo engine along with its glorious sound made every shift and every run spectacular. The engine sounds sensational up to 9,000 rpm and it returns incredible throttle response throughout its maximum power band.
Now is the time to brake
The 2022 Porsche 911 GT3 Touring and the Standard Edition went up against an effective world-class draw in our 60-to-0 mph test, with the latter winning the day at 93ft to 94ft. Both distances are stunning results, and the brakes overall worked in typical Porsche track car fashion: flawlessly. Plus, the fabulous pedal feel tells you what the car can do throughout the workout and warns you when you’re approaching the limit. Meanwhile, the chassis is incredibly stable when standing on the brakes, requiring some effort to force it to misbehave even under the most severe deceleration.
How does the GT3 Touring handle
On the skidpad, both cars averaged an outstanding lateral acceleration of 1.19g. In our MotorTrend figure-eight assessment that tests a car’s combined acceleration, braking and lateral transition abilities, the regular GT3 again triumphed by a small margin, lapping the lap in 22.1 seconds at 0.95g (average ) against 22.5 and 0.92 for the Touring. Anything in the 22-second range has reached supercar territory.
The Touring (and the non-Touring) was so impressive that we were compelled to mumble “My God” while driving. Things happen so fast in this car, but it’s always ready to react.
The gear is almost good for running the whole lap in eight in second, but you just start to get into the rev limiter before the braking zone. So we tried to do it both ways: stay in second and hit the limiter for a while, and shift into third and back down to second for the cornering phase. As our data later revealed, the “uphill laps” were faster because they added 3-4 mph to our top speed on the course. The brakes were great and allowed us to apply them extremely late, yet still talkative enough to tell us precisely where the ABS threshold was to avoid crossing it and losing performance.
In terms of handling balance, we found a very slight amount of understeer on the skid (bordering on almost 1.20g, mind you), but the car feels about perfectly balanced. And on the figure eight, you can perform the old 911 trick on the exit where you briefly lift the throttle to kill any understeer, then mash it for a little tail-swipe action on the exit. It’s an incredibly fun dance, and there’s so much grip in the back that you really have to do something stupid for it to slip out of control.
What’s it gonna be?
It just depends on personal preferences and use cases. For our money, if we’re going to own a 911 GT3, then we want own her: not just the car itself, but everything that comes with it. We wouldn’t be concerned with looking like wannabe racers, as we’d be taking the car to every track day we could fit into our schedule. That’s what it’s made for, and its impressive downforce has huge effects on a road course and a timer.
There’s also the fact that, rear wing or not, the suspension setup is rather stiff compared to most other 911s. Of course, you can make the car your daily driver, and we’d love to do that. . But you only need to drive a GT3 for about 10 minutes on less than perfect roads to realize that its aggressive spring and damper setup won’t suit everyone; a good amount of firm vertical motion is transmitted to the cockpit. It’s not brutal, but the chassis constantly talks to you, which more casual drivers may understandably find annoying. Something like the 911 GTS makes more sense to us if you’re not a trail rat.
And yet, if you want all the mechanical performance of the GT3 while still wanting to live a slightly more anonymous, non-track-centric automotive life, the 2022 Porsche 911 GT3 Touring delivers stupendous performance with virtually no weakness. In the case of this car, the “lesser extreme” is extremely relative.
And now all we have to do is run the new GT3 RS through our wringer.
This seems good! More details?
|Specifications of the 2022 Porsche 911 GT3 Touring|
|PRICE AS TESTED||$180,160|
|VEHICLE UPFIT||Rear Engine, RWD, 2 Pass, 2 Door Coupe|
|ENGINE||4.0L DOHC 24-valve direct-injected boxer 6-cylinder|
|POWER (SAE NET)||502 hp at 8,400 rpm|
|TORQUE (NET SAE)||346 lb-ft at 6,100 rpm|
|CURB WEIGHT (DIST FWD/REW)||3,251 pounds (40/60%)|
|Length x Width x Height||180.0 x 72.9 x 50.4 inches|
|QUARTER MILE||11.7 sec at 123.6 mph|
|BRAKING, 60-0 MPH||94 feet|
|LATERAL ACCELERATION||1.19g (average)|
|MT FIGURE EIGHT||22.5 sec @ 0.92 g (average)|
|EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECONOMY||14/18/16mpg|
|EPA RANGE, COMB||270 miles|