500bhp model will offer six-speed manual or seven-speed PDK
Details of Porsche’s 2017 GT car strategy emerged at the launch of the 911 Carrera GTS in South Africa. A well-placed insider revealed Porsche’s plans for its Motorsport division – which is responsible for its hardcore road-going models as well as the competition cars – and the headlines include the return of the manual transmission and the most powerful production 911 to date.
Following the runaway success of the manual-equipped 911 R, the next GT3 will once again be available with a manual gearbox having been PDK-only since the current model was introduced in 2013. The 4-litre engine will be a development of the motor used in the 911 R and GT3 RS, with an upgraded valve train, 9000rpm redline and a modest power increase over the 493bhp it produced in the R and RS.
It was also confirmed that the forthcoming 911 GT2 RS is to be powered by a 650bhp twin-turbocharged engine, making it the most powerful 911-production car to come out of Weissach. Porsche Motorsport engineers had toyed with a 700bhp version of the engine, but cooling issues forced them to reduce the power output.
Finally, a hardcore version of the 718 Cayman, due to be badged 718 Cayman GT4 RS, and rumoured to also use a normally-aspirated 4-litre engine, likely the same unit that will power the forthcoming 911 GT3. The GT4 RS would become the fastest Cayman to date and take much of its inspiration from the 2015 Cayman GT4 and also be offered with a manual gearbox. However, at this time Porsche won’t confirm if the GT4 RS will make production.