(Wealthy) Californians Can Buy 2022 Porsche 911 GT3 Manuals After All

Rich people in California, rejoice! It turns out that you will be able to purchase a brand spanking new 992-generation Porsche 911 GT3 with a six-speed manual transmission in the Golden State after all. In case you missed it, due to an antiquated California noise regulation, it looked like Porsche would be unable to sell either flavor of its newest high-performance GT3 (the winged original or the wingless, trendy Touring model) in the car’s biggest market.

Moreover, you couldn’t simply buy a three-pedal GT3 in say Nevada and then register the car in California. For nearly a week, it looked as if there would be no 2022 model year GT3s for either the Hollywood or Silicon Valley set. Here’s Porsche’s initial explanation for why the GT3 ran afoul of California’s regulations:

“We strive to offer as much choice as possible to meet and, we hope, exceed the expectations of our customers—and this extends to even our most focused model, the 911 GT3, which offers a greater range of personalization options than ever before. At the same time, we have to fully accept and respect national and local guidelines in every market—not just in the U.S. but around the world. Unfortunately, this precludes a manual gearbox option on the 911 GT3 in the state of California because of a sound regulation that is in the process of being updated. We had anticipated an updated regulation at the time of launch, but this process is not yet complete. The seven-speed PDK option has received full certification. The manual gearbox will continue to be offered in every state outside of California.”

What exactly was the issue? Glad you asked. “The issue is focused on an outdated test procedure still found in California Highway Patrol regulations. It’s called SAE J1470 and it dates back to 1992 when manual cars might have four or five gears. It’s since been superseded by a new and more modern procedure called SAE J2805 from May 2020. The former test is no longer current (and the 911 GT3 would not pass), and the latter test has not yet been adopted by California—meaning we’re somewhere in the middle and therefore cannot register the car in manual form in California right now.”

To summarize, the SAE test for automatics allows for the vehicle to be run at a particular speed in top gear, whereas this nearly 30-year-old SAE J1470 reg says that manuals have to be in fourth or fifth gear at that particular speed, making them too loud for the regulation.

But that was a couple of days ago. In the interim, Porsche and the authorities in California worked out a solution. Here’s Porsche’s most recent update:

“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 be 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 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.”

All good things to those who wait.

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