New Porsche 911 ST: first look at GT3-derived lightweight special
Porsche is preparing a GT3 Touring-based lightweight inspired by the classic 911 ST – this is its production bodywork
The Porsche 911 is set to undergo a radical change in 2024 by adopting hybrid power for the first time, but there’s still life in the pared-back, driver focused models we know and love at evo. As these spy shots reveal, a lightweight special derived from the GT3 Touring is currently in the works, and it’ll wear the iconic 911 ST badge that first appeared on a limited-run machine in 1970.
This is our first look at the 911 ST undisguised, wearing its production bodywork during the latter stages of its development cycle. Built in the same spirit of the original, of which just a handful were built as sub-1000kg road racers, the new ST is expected to be the lightest iteration of the 992 yet, potentially dipping below the GT3 Touring’s 1418kg kerb weight. How the ST will achieve this is another matter, with the GT3 already using carbonfibre for its bonnet, roof and seats.
One potential giveaway are the doors of this prototype, which appear to be the carbonfibre items from the GT3 RS by virtue of their sharp aero undercut. As in Porsche’s flagship track car, the doors integrate with deep cutouts behind the front wheels to alleviate air pressure in the arches to generate downforce at the front. The ST’s double-bubble roof is also shared with the RS, as are its forged magnesium wheels. Given the ST’s pure, lightweight brief, expect a manual gearbox to feature to trim further kilos (equipping a GT3 with PDK adds 17kg).
The rest of the ST’s body is familiar to the GT3 Touring, featuring the same front bumper, double-vented bonnet and rear diffuser setup with centre-mounted twin tailpipes. The rear deck lid is unique, though, with the same vertical brake light as the standard 992 flanked by mesh vent openings.
Porsche’s 4-litre naturally aspirated flat six will almost certainly be nestled beneath, but given that the ST appears to straddle the line between the GT3 and GT3 RS in some ways, it’s unclear which state of tune it’ll adopt. For reference, the GT3 generates 503bhp and 347lb ft, with the RS offering an uplift of 15bhp but a fraction less torque.
The ST from 1970 was designed for competition, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if Porsche took the GT3’s chassis setup to further extremes to complement the lightweight measures. Featuring double wishbone front suspension for the first time, the 992 GT3 already feels distinct from models of yore, and the ST could carve out its own character with a unique setup. Either way, it’s sure to command a hefty premium over the £146,400 GT3 Touring, and production numbers will be limited.