Here's your first official look at the new 2020 Porsche 911 GT3 in 992-spec. Porsche has teased the 911 purists' holy grail in its new Superbowl commercial, and although we only only see the side profile of the new GT3, it's better than nothing.
It's hard to learn too much from the snippet the car features in, but you can make out a rather aggressive rear spoiler – complete with scaffolding – as well as a slightly sharper front-end. We're also pleased to say it matches the scoop we published late last year. You can watch the video at the bottom of the page; the car appears from 0:44.
The new 2020 GT3, due in the second half of 2020, will become the first 992-era 911 to offer naturally aspirated engines and it's set to offer a greatest hits of 911-kind, with the 4.0-litre non-turbo flat six, manual transmissions, laser-targeted hardware updates and a choice of models to bring the GT3 experience to a wider audience.
A few months ago, we spoke to numerous sources at Porsche to assemble the best possible picture of what to expect from the new Porsche 911 GT3. Read on for our full scoop dossier.
992 911 GT3 to be stiffer for better handling
The latest aluminium-intensive 992 architecture is the stiffest platform ever used on a 911, and it’s light too. Only 30% of the structure is made from steel and yet it’s the most torsionally rigid base in the model’s long and storied history. It’s 5% stiffer than the last-generation 991.
This means that the suspension will have a head start in preventing body flex and in having a strong and stable (sorry) foundation with which to tackle the worst bumps, lumps and humps a road can throw at a sports car.
Suspension mounts front and rear are made of precision die-cast aluminium parts while the flat-six will be mounted directly on to the chassis.
20 Years of the 911 GT3: 991.2 911 GT3 RS v 996 911 GT3
Why the new 2020 Porsche 992 911 GT3 will be naturally aspirated
We expect the new GT3 to keep its bewitching 4.0-litre naturally-aspirated flat-six and this year’s Speedster provides a few tips. Despite gaining petrol particulate filters and plenty of emissions-crunching hardware, it developed more power - 503bhp - and kept the 9000rpm redline for high-revving aural antics.
‘It’s 10kg lighter and we didn’t lose any power,’ GT division boss Andreas Preuninger told CAR magazine earlier this year. ‘In fact we got 10bhp more! We used individual throttle bodies, which help a lot, but it wasn’t easy…’
Will it still sound epic?
While the addition of those particulate filters has stymied the sound of the Cayman GT4 - a little - the GT3 should still scream like an old-school Porsche, according to our intel. On the Speedster, the motors for active flaps in the exhausts were specially positioned in the airflow to survive the heat and allow more precise modulation of the exhausts’ vocal chords.
‘There will be stricter noise regulations to come in three years or more,’ Preuninger says. ‘It’s not really affecting the 992 GT3 – it’s for the cars that come after that. We will find solutions for them too. In my cars there won’t be any loudspeakers, believe me. Too heavy!’
A GT3 Touring is in the works
If you prefer your GT3s a little more under-the-radar, you’ll be pleased to hear that a wing-free Touring model will again be offered. Our artist’s impression above, by Andrei Avarvarii, depicts the regular, bespoilered GT3, but a more discrete version will be available for shrinking violets. It gains a pop-up tail in place of the scaffolding on the rump.
Although yet to be officially confirmed, we expect the new GT3 to offer a manual gearbox again, although the forthcoming GT3 RS model may stick to a paddle-only PDK twin-clutch transmission. Preuninger says demand for the manual-only Cayman GT4 ‘proved the manual is still alive’.
‘That gave us the tailwind for the [manual-only] 911 R project, and for the [991 GT3] Touring,’ he says. ‘So it’s built up, step by step, and we’re now in a pretty good situation where everyone is pretty aware of the needs of the GT customer.’
Celebrating Driver's Cars: 911 GT3 Touring
More spec secrets: dimensions and the art of the right-sized 911
The new 911 GT3 package will remain no bigger than before, to keep that just-right 911 footprint intact. Yes, the model has ballooned in recent years, but it remains a relatively small car in a sector that’s suffered bloat in recent years.
While the 992’s platform spaces its wheels wider apart than ever for standard Carrera models, for increased grip and stability, that doesn’t mean the GT3 will expand its tracks even further. Preuninger has promised the new 992 GT3 will be neither wider nor heavier than the outgoing GT3.
That’s good news: threading a GT3 down a narrow, twisting road is one of the most special driving experiences going. Were it to grow broader it’d become something of a liability on UK B-roads…
We’ll update our 2020 Porsche 911 GT3 scoop in the weeks ahead as we uncover more facts about it.
This story first appeared on our sister site Car Magazine UK