Porsche Reverses Stance On Manuals With 911 GT3 Touring Package

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After helping lead the crusade to rid the world of manual transmissions, Porsche has decided the three-pedal system deserves a place in its lineup after all.

Porsche revealed the new 911 GT3 Touring Package on Monday at the International Auto Show Germany (IAA). With the addition of the Touring Pack, Porsche has shifted the GT3’s focus from outright performance to driver enjoyment, essentially doubling down on the success of the 911 R.

When Porsche released the current GT3 RS, the most track-focused 911, it said it wouldn’t make a manual version — though that didn’t stop somebody else from making one — because a dual-clutch automatic is faster. In 2016, however, to appease the pitchfork-wielding masses, Porsche launched the 911 R, which only comes with a manual gearbox.

With the Touring Pack, like in R variant, the 911 mates a six-speed manual to the same 500-horsepower 4-liter flat-six engine as the GT3 and GT3 RS. It also follows the R’s lead by retaining the GT3’s front-end design, while ditching its large, stationary rear wing for the active spoiler from the standard 911 Carrera — albeit with a Gurney flap for added stability.

What sets the GT3 Touring Pack apart from the 911 R that proceeded it is an even greater emphasis on road-going comfort. Porsche won’t offer the Touring Pack in combination with the Clubsport Package, which replaces the rear seats with a half roll cage, nor the Alcantara equipment range.

The reason, Porsche claims, is to create a car using “the puristic 911 design and classic interior features.” As a result, the 911 Touring Pack’s interior is loaded with leather, and although its rear seats are missing, you won’t find a roll cage in their place.

The three major German manufacturers have been in an arms race for quite some time, focusing solely on their new models’ Nurburgring times, rather than how enjoyable those cars are to drive. So we’re glad the fanfare surrounding the 911 R helped Porsche see the light, and realize the latter is still important.

Thumbnail photo via Porsche

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