A week ago today, Porsche announced the 2022 911 GT3 Touring. With it came the announcement that California residents wouldn’t be allowed to purchase the manual transmission, making the seven-speed PDK the only option — the same applied to the standard GT3. Porsche told us at the time that California’s noise regulations were keeping the manual GT3 and GT3 Touring from conforming.
Today, that’s no longer the case. A Porsche spokesperson just informed us that together with the California DMV and California Highway Patrol, it has found “a solution” to legally selling the manual 911 GT3 and GT3 Touring in California. Porsche’s official statement follows.
“Following consultations with California authorities, Porsche Cars North America (PCNA) is pleased to confirm that its dealers will be able to sell the new 911 GT3 with a six-speed manual gearbox – meaning that, when the first cars arrive in the fall, they can be legally registered and driven in all 50 states. The work in the past week by the California DMV and California Highway Patrol to find a solution has been appreciated and helped to identify an appropriate regulatory path forward.”
You’re likely looking for a reason for why the car is legal now when it wasn’t just seven days ago. Porsche’s statement continues by explaining that the manual GT3’s previous illegality was due to California’s non-adherence to the latest SAE noise regulation testing procedures (SAE J8205) adopted in May 2020 and used everywhere else in the country. Instead, California used an older SAE test (SAE J1470) that’s been in use since March 1992. The manual GT3 passes the new test, but failed the old test.
Porsche confirmed to us that it made no mechanical changes to the GT3 and GT3 Touring, but instead found a path forward through California’s regulatory web. The rest of Porsche’s statement can be found below.
“On June 11, Porsche Cars North America received a notification from California Highway Patrol outlining that their existing test procedure (SAE J1470, from March 1992) was obsolete but it could not identify a procedural process to allow Porsche to test the new 911 GT3 equipped with a manual transmission through the modern test procedure (SAE J2805, from May 2020). Discussions with the regulators continued but without visibility to a solution we took the difficult decision to inform dealers that the manual option would no longer be available in California, since there would be no way to legally register the cars in the state. We communicated this on June 15th, coinciding with the planned announcement of the 911 GT3 Touring package. PCNA thanks California DMV and California Highway for their responsiveness and helping quickly identify an appropriate regulatory path forward. The 911 GT3 arrives in the US in the fall, and will join 16 other model variants in the Porsche range that can be specified with three pedals.”
Obviously, this is good news for anybody in California who placed an order or has an allocation for a manual 911 GT3. In case you were worried, the car is just as loud as it was before this announcement. Making the manual available to folks on the west coast is extra important with the extreme demand for Porsche products typically seen from California residents, so it’s good news for Porsche, too.