The automotive sector moves along at an alarming rate. No sooner have we had one special sportscar before another is announced. Last week Porsche held the Nordshcleife (production car) lap record with the GT2 RS; this week Lamborghini apparently have taken that title. Next week? Maybe it'll be the Ferrari 488 Pista? Who cares. My point is, as enthusiasts and customers, are we on a constant hunt for the latest, greatest, fastest sportscar. Is our insatiable appetite for better numbers pushing the manufacturers to create cars that are ultimately losing their sole?
This week, a barely disguised Porsche 992 has been seen on the streets. The new design language coming in to line with the 718's, Cayenne, Macan and Panamera. It looks okay, if a little lardy. Porsche have said that this new model  will be the first 911 to have a Hybrid version and, for the first time ever, there will likely be NO naturally aspirated GT car coming out of Weissach. The GT3 and GT3 RS will be turbo-charged cars.
For me, that's sad news. Very sad news. Sure, the new turbo-charged cars do not have lag like they did 10 years ago - in fact, you'd be hard pushed to even know they were turbo-charged. But turbo-charged they are. And that will ultimately change the characteristics of the GT car enormously. It certainly won't rev to 9,000 rpm like the current 991.2 GT3.
I am lucky enough to own the latest 911 GT3 and have owned a 996.2 GT3 before. The latest car is simply astonishing. All the sportscar I could ever need. I can't imagine ever needing more power? In fact, I am now wanting a 997.2 or 996.2 GT3 to join it in the garage instead of getting excited about the prospect of the 992 GT3. I also think that will become a trend that will push the values up on all previous GT3 models. As the need for even-faster cars starts to diminish, it will become more important to owners to have cars that engage and reward - even if that is at a lower speed.
So, will Porsche be ultimately killing off interest in their GT3 line up? Will they even stop that naming convention? I'd love to get peoples opinion below, but I will take a few moments to give my opinion here too.
Firstly, any car coming from Weissach will still have an unbelievable draw for customers - whether it has a turbo-charged engine or not. Despite my moaning above, I completely understand why Porsche needs to go turbo-charged. The lineage between road/race cars is important to Porsche - and to me. And for the next generation of Porsche race cars to remain competitive with the McLaren's, Ferrari's, etc, they will also need to be turbo-charged. But I will certainly miss what has to be the most incredible sounding race car in any race series at the moment - the RSR is something to behold. But just as Porsche have had to rotate the RSR engine 180° to have a competitive aero package; the same will happen to the engine too. So if the race car is turbo-charged, then so should the equivalent road car.
Secondly, naming convention. If the next Weissach developed road car is turbo-charged, I would think this is as good a time as any to lose the 'GT3' moniker. If that new 992 is called something else, it will surely help people/journalists/customers to evaluate that car based on its own personality rather than having the obvious comparisons with past GT3 models? Maybe the car will become a 'GTE' like the race series?
So the GT3 as we know it is (likely) dead. I look forward to the debate below to see whether you care!