The new Porsche 991 GT3 was launched today at Geneva in a supersized Internet love-in. If you like massive sportscars weighing 1500 kilos then you are probably all over it: I hope you will pardon the rest of us for a certain lack of euphoria. It is nothing personal.
The new GT3 looks almost exactly the same as the old one, with the one big change of manual transmission. It is a small but very satisfying detail. When the 991 GT3 was first launched with PDK only, there was uproar online, but it didn’t hurt the showroom one bit. Despite the early cars catching fire when con rod bolts snapped, causing boiling oil to pour onto hot exhausts and send the cars up in smoke, Porsche sold every single 991 GT3 it could build.
And Stuttgart built lots of them: estimates suggest more than 6k cars, which is far more than any previous 911 GT3. Magazines were rinsed and repeated in PR about how PDK was the gold standard in race cars and how it was faster around the blah blah blah etc, and they all lapped it up. Driving a Gen I Porsche 911 GT3 around a car park was enough to put me off and visiting a PDK repair shop just confirmed the position. Anyone with an ounce of 911 soul might have seen the writing on the wall for the PDK-only plan, as the cars were not that nice to drive ‘normally’.
Despite the PDK-only thing and a non-stop production line, used GT3s soon hit 50% over list. Many 991 GT3ers cashed out, switching back to the Gen II 997 GT3 and RS with manual transmission and sending prices for those cars through the roof. The switch did not escape Stuttgart’s product chiefs, who then announced a limited edition 911R with manual shift, allowing them to test latent demand. When that model was oversubscribed several times over (the eternal new-Porsche battle of drivers vs sellers), it was obvious that 911R development was not money wasted. All the PDK spiel was deleted from memory and the stick shift was on its way back to GT3 land.
Now the Gen II 991 GT3 with manual transmission has been announced and I have already had calls from price-conscious insurance valuation customers, asking what various GT Porsches might be worth in part exchange: a topic for another time. More interesting is what a 911R is now worth.
We have all seen 911Rs listed anything up to £500k. The most recent car sold in public was the Slate Grey McQueen one in Paris, which went for £451,000 ($553,000) including premium. However, if you’ve spent enough money with your local Porsche dealer in the last few months, you can now order a 490bhp/197mph 911 GT3 with manual transmission for prices starting at £112k: essentially what a nice-spec used LHD Gen 1 991 GT3 example costs in the UK .
No doubt 911R is still a major collectable, but the £400k prices may have just left the building. As for 997.2 GT3 RS and 4-litre RS, we will see what happens. Maybe nothing – probably not very much.