IT’S STILL IN GOOD SHAPE,’ SAYS Andreas Preuninger, director of Porsche’s GT product line, taking a step back like an artist from his easel to consider the car in front of him. The car in question is not actually his work, because Preuninger joined Porsche’s fabled GT department after the inaugural GT3, the 996.1, was completed. But this was the first car he used when he started the job. The car that informed his initial thoughts on the GT3 project 20 years ago.
‘I drive it from time to time. It’s kind of interesting how performance perception changes through the years.’ It is somehow very heartening to hear him say this. When Preuninger says that new is better than old, you now know that it’s an opinion that comes from a direct comparison and it doesn’t just mean an improvement in bald numbers. Of course, it’s not just the original that he has on hand for perspective, because the silver car with the swoopy wing is sitting in a garage with nearly all the subsequent GT cars. It’s quite the back catalogue.
In the middle of the garage is the latest member of this dynasty. It’s a prototype, with tape masking the badges and additional panels hiding the bodywork details, but the major aerodynamic parts are on show and there’s no disguising the aggression in its stance. All prototypes have a scruffy, gnarled sense of purpose – if they had hands they would be calloused and etched with dirt from the hard miles of testing – but even so, this looks like it is going to be the most RS non-RS to date.
As with the final look of the car, Porsche is keen to keep back some of the mechanical details for the full reveal. However, I suspect Preuninger would tell all if he was allowed. It’s like he’s found the perfect Christmas present for someone, but is so excited he now wants them to open it before the big day.
So, the 992 GT3; here are the answers to the FAQs. Yes, the engine is still naturally aspirated. Yes, there will be the option of a manual gearbox as well as PDK. No, it doesn’t weigh any more than the last one. And yes, it’s faster around the Nordschleife – ‘devastatingly so’ according to Preuninger. Pretty much the best headlines of 2020, I think you’ll agree.
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