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2017 Frankfurt Motor Show: Porsche 911 GT3 Touring is Stuttgart’s cut-price 911R

By Andy Enright, 12 Sep 2017 Events

2017 Frankfurt Motor Show: Porsche 911 GT3 Touring is Stuttgart’s cut-price 911R

Shots fired at speculators!

PORSCHE has produced what it calls a ‘purist’ version of its 911 GT3 track weapon at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

The GT3 Touring will sit alongside the standard 911 GT3 and even angrier GT3 RS models, offering a visually lower key version that still retains the mechanical fireworks.

Offered solely with a six-speed manual transmission that sends power to the rear wheels, the GT3 Touring isn’t shy of punch. The 4.0-litre flat-six engine produces 368kW and 460Nm, capable of demolishing the sprint to 100km/h in 3.9 seconds if you’ve got nimble hands and feet. Top speed is a fairly academic 315km/h. Like the ‘regular’ GT3, the Touring gets a torque-vectoring limited-slip diff and the same suspension settings. In other words, it’ll be firmer than the name suggests.

The lairy rear wing of the GT3 has gone, replaced by a subtler retractable item and black mesh vent. The 20-inch forged alloy wheels with centre lock caps are probably the biggest clue that this is no ordinary 911. Those, and the more focused front and rear bumper sections.

The interior is pared of the racy cues that we traditionally associate with the GT3 badge, instead opting for a more sober treatment. It retains the two-seat configuration, but trades hip-hugging buckets for more generously cut seats trimmed with leather bolsters, which match the leather steering wheel and dash finishes.

As with any Porsche, the options list is huge, and it’s possible to option back in sports seats, carbon ceramic brakes and a Sport Chrono pack if you feel the Touring needs a bit of extra drama. Alcantara trim and a roll cage? That’s a stretch too far.

It probably won’t have escaped your attention that the tone of this car is very similar to that of the limited edition 911R. Where that car retailed for $404,700 and is now offered for sale at over $1m, the GT3 Touring will not be a limited run car and is expected to be pitched at the same price as the regular GT3 - $327,100.

Such speculation had irked former Porsche Australia Public Relations and Motorsport Director Paul Ellis, who told us in May that said speculative on-selling of limited-edition cars at heavily inflated prices is something that is universally disliked within Porsche.

“That displeases us as a company, to see that those cars are commanding so much money, doubling their price inside a matter of weeks,” Ellis told Wheels. “It is not something we as a company are fond of, because it is just not right, it is not why we build these cars.”

Perhaps the availability of the 911 Touring, a model that we quizzed Porsche Australia about in May, will take a bit of the wind out of the 911R’s sails. Given the market for limited run high-end 911s, we wouldn’t count on it, but enjoying a bit of that appeal albeit in a detuned version (the 911R used the GT3 RS powerplant) has to be great news for all those Porsche customers who couldn’t or didn’t make the list for the R.