Next-gen Porsche 911 GT3 Touring thought spotted at the 'Ring

Could bring as much as 542 hp and a PDK transmission option

For about a year now, spy shooters and 'Ring watchers have been trying to figure out if a certain prototype 992-series Porsche 911 is a GT3 Touring model. No one's come to a definite answer, but evidence seems to be leaning in favor of a GT3 Touring return. The circumstantial case comes from the wide open front intake, aero vents in the front hood, the big brakes, center-lock wheels, wider haunches and standard Carrera rear wing, center-mount exhaust tips, the clearly naturally-aspirated engines and, on this latest occasion, shift times slow enough to come from a manual transmission.

A regular Nürburgring visitor with YouTube handle Automotive Mike caught a pair of suspected GT3 Touring versions making rounds in Hell. If nothing else, the plates on one of the coupes match; German plate LB GA 1082 is likely the same car spotted at the 'Ring last September — based on the red "2" on the windshield, at Monza last October and at the 'Ring in May. That proto is suspected to have Porsche's PDK dual-clutch transmission, which would be a new addition to the GT3 Touring range. The new prototype in the mix, with the German plate LB R 6030, throws off telltale manual shifting vibes, especially when it emerges on track and hits the rev limiter at 1:27. Even painted we're-not-ready-yet basic black, both coupes look and sound incredible.

Rumors and sources say the 4.0-liter flat-six will carry over from the current generation, heavily revised and with more power. The 493 horsepower in the seventh-generation GT3 has been suggested to rise to as much as 542 hp for the eighth-generation. The no-cost Touring Package only comes with a six-speed manual at the moment, that manual all but certain to continue and be joined by the PDK.

As for a debut, reports say we could see the standard 2020 911 GT3 — the one with the mongo fixed wing — as early as Frankfurt. With a 911 Turbo debut in the mix as well this year, however, there's some confusion about what exactly comes when. Some bad news bears believe the GT3 Touring won't arrive until the 992.2 mid-life refresh, but rumors about a 2020 Geneva Motor Show debut seem more reasonable, and definitely more desired.

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