Generally speaking, Porsche's new 911 variants roll out in a steady, predictable cadence. A new model arrives in its "core" forms — normally a base model and a sportier "S" version — followed quickly by drop-top cabriolets, then a more potent Turbo model (or models), then harder-edged GT models. With the latest 992-generation model, though, we've been stuck at that last step for a while. We caught a glimpse of the new 911 GT3 all the way back in Porsche's Super Bowl ad, leading us to believe its arrival was imminent — but here we are in week 14 of the subsequent NFL season, and we're still GT3-less.
That seems likely to change soon, though. Porsche has been quietly giving the world nibbles of the new GT3 — first in the form of letting some members of the automotive media tag along for test rides, and now by showing us the car's racing twin — the 2021 911 GT3 Cup.
The new GT3 Cup car — which will be competing in racing series in North America for the first time, as well as in Europe and Asia — makes a dash more horsepower than its predecessor, for a total of around 510 ponies (Porsche is still being cagey on specifics). The bigger news, though, is that big wing. It's the piece de resistance of the new design optimizations, ranging from the wider body (sourced from the Turbo) to the front lip spoiler that works in concert with the top-mounted spoiler to create downforce.
Both those changes should be reflected in the new 911 GT3 street car, as well. Reports from those initial ridealongs have stated the new car will pack a slightly more potent version of the naturally-aspirated, high-revving 4.0-liter flat six found in the outgoing GT3 and the dearly departed 911 Speedster, along with a giant top-mounted wing like the race car. There'll also once again be a 911 GT3 Touring version that goes sans wing for a more understated look.
A choice of six-speed manual and eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox will be on offer, with the latter also receiving a manually-shiftable lever on the console in lieu of the Star Trek: The Next Generation type 1 phaser of a shift lever tab found in other PDK-equipped 992s.
Assuming Porsche sticks with its usual 911 conventions, the new GT3 should cost roughly around as much as the 911 Turbo when it finally arrives, so figure on spending at least $170,000 to park one in your driveway. Still, if you want the most involving 911 you can buy, — and possibly one of the last naturally-aspirated ones ever — that's a small price to pay, right?