Porsche is having quite the conundrum.
Porsche fans went ballistic because the current generation GT3 was only offered with a PDK automatic, so to satisfy the enthusiasts, Porsche came out with the limited edition 911 R, which is essentially the GT3 but with toned-down styling and a manual transmission.
The new car sold out quickly and Porsche had to nearly double the production cap just to keep up with demand, but even that wasn’t enough. The sold-out 911 R was proof that the demand for a manual GT3 was just too high, so what did Porsche do? They came out with a manual GT3, which made its North American debut recently at the 2017 New York Auto Show.
But was this damage control or just a brilliant marketing strategy?
“I’m relatively sure some people who have the R will also buy the GT3 with the manual transmission as a daily driver,” said Andreas Preuninger, head of the Porsche GT department, during an interview at the New York Auto Show. “Because the R is hyped so much, it has tripled its value, which is astonishing and almost frightening. That wasn’t the intention.” We also like the world in which the GT3 can be considered a daily driver.
“If you have a car like the R, you might shy away from driving it,” he said. The 911 R debuted with a $185,950 price tag in the U.S., but a few have been reported to have sold for upwards of $1-million. The car is barely even a year old and has already become a collectible, much to the bemused chagrin of Porsche’s Mr. Preuninger. “My cars are built for getting driven and I don’t want them standing around in dark garages collecting dust.”
Luckily, Porsche is still making loads of money by listening to enthusiasts, so everyone comes out a winner.