Thanks to the ever-tightening emissions control and stringent regulations, the naturally aspirated fun cars with manual transmission have been pushed to near extinction. However, Porsche has brought back the fun in its purest driver’s car. Behold the 2018 Porsche 911 GT3, a track monster which is powered by a naturally aspirated 4.0-liter flat-six from a race car and comes with a proper manual transmission. The previous generation Porsche 911 GT3 only came with a seven-speed dual-clutch PDK gearbox which had created quite a stir amongst Porsche fans. This forced the German marquee to listen to the enthusiasts and launch the new GT3 with the option of a stick shift.
Whereas the old GT3 used a 3.8-liter flat-six with 475 horsepower, the 2018 GT3 has a new 4.0-liter flat-six engine that churns out 500 horsepower and 339 pound-feet of torque. That’s the same output as the outgoing GT3 RS. This particular engine was derived from Porsche’s 911 race cars, like the RSR and the GT3 R. A seven-speed PDK will be offered as standard, while the six-speed stick can be availed as a no-cost option. When equipped with the six-speed manual, the GT3 can go from 0-60 mph in 3.8 seconds and on to a 198 mph top speed. With the PDK, the 0-60 run quickens to 3.2 seconds and top speed drops to 197 mph.
Not surprisingly at all, the design changes are all subtle. The GT3 has a carbon-fiber rear wing, lightweight front fascia and spoiler elements on the outside and steering wheel from the 918 Spyder and a choice of three sets of performance seats on the inside. Porsche’s Communication Management System and Track Precision App are a part of standard equipment. The 2018 Porsche 911 GT3 will reach the dealerships in the US this fall, starting at $144,650.