James Vellacott By James Vellacott 3 months ago

Why I swapped a GT3 Touring for a Sport Classic 911

James Vellacote explains why he switched out his Motorsport-engined 991.2 GT3 Touring for an Exclusiv 992 Sport Classic… and why he hasn't looked back

Undeniably the 911 GT3 Touring is a spectacular and highly-focused sports car designed to give maximum feedback, whether on the track or on the fast mountain passes of the Alps, Dolomites or Pyrenees. 

It is a 911 that I really grew into. Initially a little scary with 500hp, 9k rpm redline, rear-wheel-drive and a manual 'box that requires you to take your hand off the steering wheel at maximum revs, but I got very confident very quickly. I soon learned how very far you could push the GT3 Touring on dry roads with every bump, camber and road surface feeding back through those folding carbon buckets to the driver.

The torque delivery was progressive, with maximum torque at 6,000rpm. This meant for an amateur enthusiast driver like me, I was unlikely to be caught out and break traction on warm, dry tyres. The naturally aspirated, 4.0-litre flat six (and race derived) engine meanwhile is free-revving and fairly loud. There is no better noise as you hit that 9k redline and change up. A wholly engaging car, every part designed to please the driver as you hoon across the mountains.


As you’d expect, the 992 Sport Classic is a slightly different offering. With excess of 7,000 miles clocked in my SC already, I can speak with some authority on this very special 911 hailing from Porsche Exclusiv.

As a 911 for all purposes, I think Porsche has cracked it! I'm not sure those at the company even know they have cracked it, but for me they have. 

The 550hp, twin-turbocharged flat six from the Turbo S is mated for the first time to a manual gearbox, with power discharged through the rear wheels only, as opposed to the Turbo S’s all-wheel-drive.

The ride is comfortable, quiet and refined when on the motorway or gently cruising. When one of the Sports modes is activated though, the Sport Classic comes alive. The suspension tightens up and the exhaust wakes up. It's not quite the organic, race car sound of the GT3 Touring admittedly, nevertheless it's a slightly gentlier, raspier sound, still singing that beautiful flat six song as you approach its 7,200rpm redline. Plus there's an equally pleasing, supercar-style popping and crackling on the downshift that I haven't experienced in a 911 before.

The seven-speed gearbox took a little getting used to, thanks to that extra gate to navigate, especially when down-shifting from seventh to sixth, where you can accidentally row into fourth. However, I’ve nailed it now, and can use that seven-speed 'box as fluently as I did with the GT3 Touring’s six-speed.

This twin-turbocharged 911 hits its maximum 600Nm torque from 2,000 rpm, and I did have a concern that the early torque delivery could make the back end kick out if I was too heavy with my right foot. Yes, you can feel that torque kick in. but I learned very quickly to moderate the gas pedal to allow the car to really dig in as it accelerated. It’s fair to say a fully flat pedal in first and second gear in a straight line does give a very pleasing rear wheel spin before the traction control kicks in…!

To surmise, this is a car that can launch you across Europe in immense style and at hyper speed to get to the mountains quickly. It's comfortable, especially on terrible, potholed UK roads, and you feel very special inside thanks to the sensational wood lined, pepita and aniline leather cabin. The torquey engine is perfect for towns and cruising as it lessens the need for gear changes too. 

On the fun, twisty roads, a flick of the steering wheel Mode switch into Sports or Sport Plus awakens this special 992, and you can hit those mountain passes at full-send, whilst being wholly engaged thanks to its manual 'box, three pedals and the stiffened suspension. The 992 Sport Classic is a masterpeice, and a 911 for all occasions. I'll be adding to those 7,000 early miles in no time at all!