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Aussies form queue for GT Porsches
New GT3 launch: Porsche Australia still punches above its weight in sales of GT cars
2 Dec 2021
AUSTRALIA is one of the world’s most enthusiastic markets for Porsche GT products, with the proportion of Zuffenhausen’s track-honed weapons sold here higher than just about any other market.
It is not just customers who must queue, either; global enthusiasm for GT Porsches means the Australian Porsche operation has to get involved quickly to secure a supply.
As a result, local allocations of just-launched 992-generation 911 GT3s are all but gone, despite the starting sticker of $369,700 plus on-road costs being $42,600 higher than its predecessor.
Speaking to GoAuto at the Australian launch of the 992 GT3, Porsche Cars Australia head of public relations Chris Jordan said the company "hesitates to say the car is sold out" and that disappointed buyers should maintain contact with their dealers in case another buyer drops out.
"We sell a high proportion of GT product,” said Mr Jordan.
“The mix of 911 Turbo and Turbo S versus GT product is different as well because we don't have the autobahn, strict laws regarding speed limits, the ownership is a little different in that way. To experience the way it's engineered, you've really got to take it to a track, a safe, controlled environment, which lends itself to GT3 ownership."
The Australian GT3 launch was based on the Porsche Track Experience that Porsche owners – and fast-moving enthusiasts – can access via the national program. Depending on the chosen level – and participants must qualify by stepping through each level – the GT3 is one of the fleet of cars available in the higher levels.
"One thing that does happen is that when these GT products come up, we work with the factory a long way in advance to see what we can get as a market because we do have such a long history of strong demand for these models,” said Mr Jordan.
“The level of support from the factory comes in different shapes and sizes. For example, we're the first market ever to ever do a market-specific product based on a GT product. That was 25 units of the 70 Year Edition."
Besides race-derived aerodynamics delivering 150 per cent more downforce at 200km/h than its predecessor and a bespoke 4.0-litre flat six developing 375kW at 8400rpm and 470Nm at 6100rpm, the new GT3 is bristling with hardware designed to reduce weight (1418kg with six-speed manual and 1435kg with seven-speed PDK) as well as increasing track capability.
These include a carbon-fibre bonnet, lightweight glass windows, forged alloy wheels behind which are optimised brake discs measuring 408x34mm up front and 380x30mm at the rear with six- and four-piston callipers respectively, unique double wishbone front suspension, half cage, adaptive suspension, rear-wheel steering and variable-ratio power steering.
From rest, 100km/h comes up in a claimed 3.4 seconds (PDK) and 0-200km/h is done in 10.8s. Manual versions have a 320km/h top speed.
Over and above the standard global specification, Australian-delivered GT3s come with metallic paint, tinted LED headlights, auto-dimming mirrors, reversing camera, front axle lift, DAB+ digital radio and a puncture repair kit.
Despite the success of the Taycan, Porsche still has nearly a decade of internal combustion-engined cars in the pipeline, but with the increasingly common 2030 ban on ICE sales looming, will cars like the GT3 be restricted to race tracks?
"We can't predict the future but what Porsche AG has said, the medium term plan is that by 2030 80 per cent of sales will be pure or PHEV,” said Mr Jordan.
“So that means there's 20 per cent still left. How much of that 20 per cent is e-fuels and synthetic fuels is an interesting question. That's still early stages and really exciting. The message at the moment is that for Porsche owners and enthusiasts out there is that we have all options covered."
With the imminent release of the Cayman GT4 RS, dealers will likely again be fielding more customers than there are cars, ensuring a healthy used market for GT machines for some years to come.
Global Porsche sales have rebounded well after a three per cent dip in 2020. To the end of September, volume was up by 11 per cent worldwide and 11.6 per cent in Australia, buoyed by the Taycan's arrival.
However, like any manufacturer, Porsche is struggling to maintain supply and Australian deliveries have slowed during October and November, dragging the year-to-date growth result back to 2.6 per cent.
"Managing supply and demand, and having a healthy order bank, are common practice for both us and our Porsche Centres,” said Mr Jordan.
“Also, the majority of our sales are for cars specified exactly to the owners’ requirements – build to order – but we certainly acknowledge that the current global conditions have seen waiting times on cars stretch out a lot longer than we would like to see. We are doing our best to get cars into the hands of owners as quickly as possible.”
As a stop-start 2021 draws to a close, with the updated Macan launch imminent, 2022 is looking busy for both ICE and EV releases.
The Taycan 4 Cross Turismo will be joined by Cayenne Turbo GT, the 911 GTS and Taycan GTS. As with the 911 GT3, the Cayman 718 GT4 RS will also be coming in very limited supply.
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