Porsche Made the GT3 Touring Package In Response to Crazy 911 R Prices

On paper, the 911 R and the GT3 Touring Package are quite similar. The chief engineer for the 911 tells us that's not a coincidence.

Porsche

Some eyebrows had to be raised when Porsche launched the 911 GT3 Touring Package earlier this year. After all, here was a car that, on paper, looked a lot like the ultra-valuable, ultra-rare 911 R, with a lower price and no set production numbers. There are key differences between the R and the GT3 Touring, but according to 911 boss August Achleitner, the similarties aren't a coincidence.

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At the LA Auto Show last week, Achleitner told us that the Touring Package was created partially in response to the R's ever-inflating price. It turns out that Porsche wasn't too pleased with those selling 911 Rs for many multiples greater than its original $185,000 asking price.

"We did not expect this, let me say, crazy reaction concerning used car prices," Achleitner told us. "Because some people are making only money with the car. We don't like that.

"If [the GT3 Touring Package] helps keep the prices a little bit lower for the average customer of our cars, it's better," he added. "Of course, there are some specific customers who are a little bit disappointed, but it's ok, we can live with this."

It should be noted that the 911 R and the GT3 Touring Package aren't exactly the same car. The R uses carbon fiber for its fenders and hood, and magnesium for its roof to save extra weight, whereas the GT3 does not. The GT3 does, however, get a new, 4.0-liter flat-six that makes the same 500 hp as the R, but revs to 9000 rpm.

But even Achleitner concedes that the R and the Touring Package are "similar." He also says the R and the new 911 Carrera T are similar too, at least in philosophy. Achleitner had the idea for this model back in 2015, shortly before the R made its debut.

"I had the first idea to form such a base 911 about two years ago during the last Rennsport Reunion," he told us. "I had some discussions and talks with fans and journalists, American journalists, and they mentioned such a base 911 would be nice, and I took this idea with me."

Achleitner says he wanted to take the same sort of thinking behind high-end models like the GTS, GT3, and GT2 RS, and apply it to a base car. The result is a 911 with no more power than a standard C2, but one with shorter gearing for its 7-speed manual, thinner glass, less sound deadening, and standard Sport suspension.

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"This is not a collector's car. This is a car to drive," Achleitner said. He noted that the launch photos for the T feature a dusty car on mountain roads. It's not a car for sitting in the garage, and for him, it's better than a 911 R.

"If I had a 911 R, I would keep it in the garage because I wouldn't have the courage to drive it," he said. "Everybody has a look at this car and says, 'Oh this is €400,000, don't touch it,' or something like this.

"So, I would be more happy with a 911 T."

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