Will it break from tradition?

The Porsche 911 GT3 has been around since 1999, continuing Stuttgart’s habit of unleashing high-performance spec iterations of its iconic sports car originally started in the ‘70s with the incredible Carrera RS. Now, with the imminent arrival of an all-new 911 (also known as the 992 generation) by the end of 2018, we’ve been waiting for details on the next GT3. Luckily, it looks like we got just that, as our spy photographers snapped a few shots of a possible undercover 992-spec GT3 out and about undergoing some cold weather testing. As such, we drew up a quick speculative review on what to expect.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2020 Porsche 911 GT3.

2020 Porsche 911 GT3 Exterior

  • Big aerodynamics, intakes, and vents
  • Aggressive demeanor
  • Traditional 911 shape
  • Turbo-esque exhaust outlets
  • Center-lock wheels as standard
2020 Porsche 911 GT3 Exterior Spyshots
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If this is indeed the new 992, look for it to gain further aesthetic and aero revisions when it finally hits the market.

At first glance, the black 911 pictured here would appear to be some kind of 992 Turbo prototype. However, the vehicle pictured here has a different exhaust system compared to the other 992 turbo prototypes we’ve seen. It also has a revised rear bumper and new air outlets as well.

2020 Porsche 911 GT3 Exterior Spyshots
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While the revised aero bits suggest this isn’t just a 911 Turbo mule, it’s the wheels that really give it away.

While the revised aero bits suggest this isn’t just a 911 Turbo mule, it’s the wheels that really give it away. Look closely, and you’ll see these rollers get a racing-style center lock element, which is standard fare on the GT3. True, the center-lock wheels are also offered as optional equipment on the Turbo, but Porsche wouldn’t send out a test mule with optional equipment this early. It would start with the standard stuff first.

If this is indeed the new 992, look for it to gain further aesthetic and aero revisions when it finally hits the market. That includes a new front bumper and fascia, with additional, larger intakes, and extra cooling ducts as well. And of course, the rear end will come with a giant GT3-style wing element, not the Turbo-esque whale tail equipped on this early tester.

While yes, we agree that the wing on this spied machine looks like it should belong on a Turbo, we’re still quite a ways off from the debut of the GT3, so expect some substantial changes in the near future.

2020 Porsche 911 GT3 Exterior Spyshots
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Either way, the next 911 was previewed earlier this year in a series of camo-clad images sent straight from Porsche, so you just know the 992 is very close to making its debut at this point. Once it does, add some extra body pieces, some bigger aero, some vents on the fenders, and a large wing in the rear, and bam - you’ve got yourself the next GT3.

2020 Porsche 911 GT3 Interior

  • Performance-oriented interior
  • Alcantara and carbon fiber everywhere
  • Bolstered performance bucket seats
  • Brushed aluminum components
  • Rounded gauges
  • Buttons along the center tunnel
  • Track gear like a lap timer
2018 Porsche 911 GT3 High Resolution Interior
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Note current Porsche 911 GT3 picture here.

Look for track stuff like a lap timer and data recorder, not to mention loads of Alcantara.

While we have yet to get a glimpse inside the new GT3, we can deduce what it’ll get based on what Porsche has offered in the past.

To that end, we’re expecting Alcantara upholstery covering the majority of surfaces, with loads of carbon fiber as well. The seats will be bucket items with big side bolsters and contrast stitching, while the steering wheel will get a top center mark and no buttons. Behind the wheel will be a center-mounted tachometer, with ancillary gauges for road speed, engine vitals, and other important readouts bookending the large rev counter.

The latest infotainment goodies will be accessed via a center console digital screen, while an array of buttons will populate the center console. Brushed metal will adorn the various switchgear. Also look for track stuff like a lap timer and data recorder, all of which will send vital stats to your smartphone for a little online bragging.

2020 Porsche 911 GT3 Drivetrain

  • Might ditch NA engine in favor of two turbos
  • Might produce upwards of 550 horsepower
  • Could forgo manual transmission option
  • 0 to 60 mph in less than 3 seconds
  • Likely to bring over rear-axle steering
  • Giant carbon ceramic brake discs
2020 Porsche 911 GT3 Exterior Spyshots
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Stuttgart might ditch the current all-atmosphere 4.0-liter flat-six in favor of something smaller and boosted.

As you can see in the above picture, the exhaust on this mule looks as though it’s rocking the twin exhaust side tips of the GT2, rather than the twin center pipes of the GT3. It’s the sort of thing that suggests this up-and-coming model is rocking a pair of snails on the manifold.

And given the rumors that the current 991.2-era GT3 is the final naturally aspirated GT3 Porsche will make, it starts to fall into place.

If that turns out to be the case, Stuttgart will ditch the current all-atmosphere 4.0-liter flat-six in favor of something smaller and boosted. For now, the GT3 produces upwards of 513 horsepower and 347 pound-feet of torque, which, properly applied to the pavement, can slingshot the GT3 to 62 mph in just 3.2 seconds.

By contrast, this new turbocharged mill would undoubtedly give the new GT3 a considerable power boost, with some rumors pointing to a figure of 550 ponies. Expect a sizable torque increase as well, with the 0-to-60 mph time getting a serious downsizing in the process.

The 992 GT3 is also likely to get an eight-speed PDK automatic as its exclusive transmission option, which certainly stands in stark contrast to the manual transmission option offered on the current 991.2 GT3. Of course, the high-tech trans will make the car substantially faster in the long run, but, as the purists will tell you, the driving experience will be much less involved than a true third-pedal option.

Finally, for the handling, don’t forget Porsche’s penchant for plus-sized carbon ceramic brakes under those center-lock wheels. We’re also thinking the recently introduced rear-axle steering system will make its return for the next-gen model.

2020 Porsche 911 GT3 Prices

2020 Porsche 911 GT3 Exterior Spyshots
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With the base model 992-generation 911 likely getting its debut later in October at the Paris Auto Show, the tuned-up GT3 is still several years out. We’re thinking it’ll break cover either next year or in 2020.

When it does, expect a price tag starting around the $150,000 mark (the current GT3 starts at $143,600, while the GT3 RS starts at $187,500).

2020 Porsche 911 GT3 Competition

Mercedes-AMG GT R Coupe

2018 Mercedes-AMG GT R High Resolution Exterior
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Although it takes a slightly different approach to the problem of speed, the Mercedes-AMG GT R is still quite the competitor for the Porsche 911 GT3. Power is provided by a front-mounted 4.0-liter V-8, which gets stuffed by a pair of turbochargers to produce as much as 577 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, all of which is sent to the rear axle by way of a seven-speed AMG Speedshift dual-clutch automatic gearbox that’s mounted in the rear of the vehicle. All told, the AMG GT R will hit 60 mph in 3.5 seconds. Pricing starts at $157,000.

Read our full review on the 2018 Mercedes-AMG GT R.

Audi R8

2017 - 2018 Audi R8 Exterior
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Offering a few extra high-tech features compared to the Porsche, the Audi R8 is still every bit the performer. Motivation is derived from a 5.2-liter V-10, which produces as much as 540 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque. Keeping it under control is the Audi magnetic ride suspension, as well as a Quattro AWD system. If that doesn’t suit your fancy, there’s also a new special edition RWD version if you prefer to go old school with your drivetrain layout. Pricing starts at $164,900.

Read our full review on the 2018 Audi R8.

Conclusion

2020 Porsche 911 GT3 Exterior Spyshots
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Unfortunately, in an era where the demand for the best and the quickest seems to trump tradition at every turn, things like all-atmosphere engines and manual transmissions aren’t long for this world.

While we’re just speculating here, it’s looking like there’s some pretty massive changes coming down the line for the Porsche 911 GT3. Headlines include a turbocharged power plant and exclusive automatic transmission, both of which will make the machine substantially quicker, but are sure to enrage the purists.

Of course, we could be wrong. Various Porsche brass have made a few comments that suggest the brand is looking to retain the naturally aspirated power plants and third pedal options for it’s high-end performance models, so maybe the GT3 will stay true to its roots.

Thing is, in an era where the demand for the best and the quickest seems to trump tradition at every turn, not to mention Volkswagen’s move towards ever-greater efficiency for it’s entire portfolio, things like all-atmosphere engines and manual transmissions aren’t long for this world.

  • Leave it
    • * No NA engine
    • * No manual transmission
    • * Plenty of competition to choose from now

References

Porsche GT3

2018 Porsche 911 GT3 High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Porsche 911 GT3.

Read our full review on the 2014 Porsche 911 GT3.

2010 Porsche 911 GT3 High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2010 Porsche 911 GT3.

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