EXCLUSIVE: Porsche 991.2 GT3 prototype spotted testing

Just last week, Total 911’s spies spotted evidence of a 991-type Porsche 911 GT2 RS undergoing winter testing in Sweden. Now, hot on the widowmaker’s heels, we’ve caught the facelifted 991.2 GT3 being put through its paces.

Spied at the Nürburgring Nordschleife in Germany, the new GT3 test mule isn’t giving anything away aesthetically, namely because Porsche is trialling the new mechanicals in the current generation bodyshell (complete with old-style brake lights).

The camouflage on the front bumper and chin spoiler suggest that Weissach will make some tweaks to the 991.2 GT3’s front end come the facelift’s launch, expected to be at an as-yet-unconfirmed motor show later this year.

Porsche GT3 Facelift 4
Photo by Andreas Mau/CarPix AB

On the test mule it looks like the shape of central air vent on the bumper has been revised, with the outer edges flaring out (rather than tapering in) at the bottom. There will also be the new, thinner, running lights when the Porsche 991.2 GT3 is officially unveiled.

However, while the next Porsche 911 GT3 won’t look markedly different to its predecessor, the major rumour surrounding the facelifted neunelfer is that it will see the return of a manual gearbox.

At the launch of the new Porsche 911 R, Andreas Preuninger (head of the GT division) didn’t dispel the rumours that the six-speed manual from the ‘R’ will find its way onto the 991.2 GT3.

Porsche GT3 Facelift 7
Photo by Andreas Mau/CarPix AB

Having gone to the expensive of developing the new gearbox, it seems unlikely that Porsche wouldn’t offer a manual option on the next GT3, especially as the lack of such a transmission was one of the major criticism of the Gen1 version.

With Porsche fitting the latest 4.0-litre RS engine into the 991 R, it will also be interesting to see if Weissach decides to fit the enlarged engine to next GT3, especially after the current 3.8-litre units very public reliability problems.

There has been no such word on the grapevine yet but Porsche carried out an engine enlargement between the Gen1 and Gen2 997 GT3s and the larger air intakes on this test mule suggest Weissach is looking at improving cooling (no doubt with an eye on a greater power output).

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Porsche GT3 Facelift 9
Photo by Andreas Mau/CarPix AB

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