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GT3 Touring

Comparing The GT3 Touring With A 911T Is An Interesting Exercise

In a special episode of The Smoking Tire’s One Take series, Matt Farah brought along a friend in the form of Spike Feresten for a glorious drive in the canyons with a pair of special Porsches. Because Porsche loaned a 911T to Farah for the week, he called up Feresten who owns a GT3 Touring to bring it out for a back to back comparison. The two Porsches are actually quite similar when you think about it. They’re both driver-oriented 911s with scads of sporty packages made standard, manual transmissions, and a fistful of fun. The 911T was developed by the same people that made the GT3, Porsche’s GT team, so it bears some of the same DNA.

First up is the new Carrera T

With some lightweight touches, standard sport suspension and sport exhaust, a limited slip differential, plus the wider fenders of the Carrera S, this little monster punches way above its weight class. Even with the widebody, the 911T weighs about 44 pounds lighter than the lightest base 911. This one was optioned with carbon rotors and optional rear-steer (which isn’t an option on base Carreras, by the way), which made the 911T *feel* much lighter than it actually is. Interestingly, the 911 Carrera T is a handful of pounds heavier than the GT3, but both Matt and Spike commented that if felt lighter. That’s the suspension tuning and Porsche magic sauce making it feel that way.

As Matt said later in a comment on the YouTube video, « The weight isn’t that big of a deal. It’s much more how light it FEELS than how light it IS. The LSD, PASM, sport suspension, and most importantly, rear steer (not available on Carrera) add an extra level of agility to the Carrera T you don’t get with the base car. Sure, it’s a nuanced difference, but a difference nonetheless. »

Put back to back with the GT3, obviously that’s most of us would choose the GT3, and of course Spike and Matt both say as much in the video. However, that the Carrera T can even be mentioned in the same breath says a lot for this particular Porsche’s capability.

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964 RS v 991.2 GT3 Touring: Blood Brothers

Porsche’s 911 GT3 has been on quite a journey of late. Just five years ago, ‘Mr GT3’ himself, Andreas Preuninger, met with journalists to talk through the company’s latest, seemingly indomitable GT3 in 991.1 guise after its public reveal at the Geneva Motor Show. The venue is a long-time happy hunting ground for Porsche to unveil its hottest GT cars.

On paper at least, the car represented something of a technological tour de force: Porsche’s new 991 was its most clinical take on a track-focused GT3 yet. With an active steering rear axle, electrically assisted steering through the wheel inside plus a compulsory seven-speed PDK gearbox, this was the do-it-all GT3, supposedly providing greatness on both road and track. However, despite this influx of tech and the plethora of inevitable Porsche acronyms describing it, journalists had just one question to ask: “Why no manual gearbox?”

Preuninger’s response, championing the merits of a clinical transmission system in a car built for performance driving, was of course perfectly sensical, yet it drew little inspiration among hacks. Surely Porsche, the company famed for its mantra of ‘it’s not how fast you go, but how you get there,’ wasn’t in the process of killing off the manual gearbox? That reaction from the press at Geneva, plus the ensuing wave of outcry from the buying public, forced Porsche to reconsider. From there, the GT3’s story – and inevitably, its future – has drastically altered.

It began with the 2015 Cayman GT4, Porsche GT department’s first foray into fettling the company’s mid-engined, baby sports car. It boasted the usual repertoire for a car blessed with Weissach wizardry, including a tuned engine, a healthy weight reduction and, for the first time in four years, a six-speed manual gearbox.

Needless to say, the Cayman proved a popular acquisition. While there’s little doubt enthusiasts were intrigued by a mid-engined GT car built by Preuninger’s team, Total 911 also witnessed staunch Neunelfer customers ditching the ‘uninvolving’ GT3 in favour of the analogue GT4. Estimated worldwide sales of up to 5,000 units later, Porsche had well and truly got the message.

Though the GT4 proved successful, enthusiasts still coveted a lightweight, manual 911, which was cut from the same cloth. This duly arrived in 2016 with the 991 R. Considered by many to be the 911 of the decade, its only problem was the fact it was largely unobtainable, with 918 Spyder owners offered first dibs on a car with a limited production run of just 991 cars globally.

The debacle sparked widespread anger among long-time buyers of Porsche GT cars who missed out in favour of the super wealthy, many of whom didn’t share that passion for the brand and who consequently flipped the R for obscene sums of money. However, Porsche was clearly getting warmer in its mission to deliver an analogue experience in a modern, blue-chip 911, but it still needed a launch that would really appeal to the masses.

That car came in 2017 with the launch of Porsche’s 991.2 GT3 with Touring Pack which, for the first time since the 997 generation, would come only with a six-speed manual transmission. The Touring’s repertoire is impressive: gone is the fixed wing and PDK gearbox resplendent on that 991.1 car, replaced by a discreet, traditional 911 silhouette and, of course, three pedals in the driver’s footwell.

Sound familiar? It should do, for while the Touring represents new ground for Porsche’s GT3 lineage, there’s evidence to suggest the company may have looked to its past for inspiration when building it. We are talking, of course, about the 964 RS.

To read the full feature of our comprehensive 964 RS v 991.2 GT3 Touring test, pick up your copy of Total 911 issue 165, in stores now or available to purchase here

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This New RUF SCR is 510 Horsepower of Naturally Aspirated Goodnes, But It’s Not-a-911

One look at the RUF SCR’s underlying structure will tell you that it is not a 911. This new special, which just debuted at Geneva, is something else entirely. Like the new RUF CTR, which debuted last year, it is based on a proprietary chassis full of very un-Porsche traits. The SCR is based on the same tubular structure as the new CTR, and uses the same pushrod-actuated suspension layout. Like the CTR, it’s also heavier than a classic 911. At 1250 kilograms it outweighs the original 1978 SCR by some 140kg, or roughly 12.6%. Fortunately the new SCR doesn’t just make 12.6% more power than the original, it makes over 100% more.

To be clear, the RUF SCR has had several iterations, and up ’til now all have been based on 911s. The most recent SCR was the 4.2-liter 993 based car that debuted last year. The original, also 911 based, debuted all the way back in 1978. While the new car shares its general layout and look with the others, under the skin it’s all RUF.

The new SCR appears to share its chassis and integrated roll cage with the new CTR. Like the CTR, the chassis is a carbon fiber monocoque, and the body is all carbon fiber. The suspension incorporates pushrod actuated coilovers with what looks like wishbones at both ends. The coilovers themselves are made by Sachs.

Power comes from a 4.0-liter naturally aspirated flat-six which produces 510 horsepower and 347 lb-ft of torque; the former at a screaming 8,270RPM. Power is sent to the rear wheels only by a conventional 6-speed manual transmission. This whole package is starting to sound a bit like my current favorite 911 variant: the GT3 Touring.

When the new CTR debuted last year we offered some criticism, which I think was justified. The new CTR simply didn’t up the game enough from the groundbreaking original, despite the remarkable new chassis. While the new SCR shares its name with a past RUF model, it takes the spirit of the 217 horsepower original and hoists it into the stratosphere.

Hopefully RUF, or a generous owner, allows the SCR to go toe-to-toe with a 991.2 GT3 Touring. Not many cars can truly hang with a GT3, but it looks like RUF may have built a worthy rival with the SCR.

Pricing has not been posted online by RUF themselves, though reports of 15 SCRs built per year starting at €650,000 (~$807k US) have appeared elsewhere since the car debuted at Geneva yesterday. Fingers crossed it will be US and California legal as well.

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