Sime Darby Auto Performance (SDAP) has launched the new Porsche 911 GT3 in Malaysia. Unveiled in March this year, we are the first market in ASEAN to get Zuffenhausen’s track-bred sports car, which has moved to the facelifted 991 body.

First, we’ll answer the big question – the new 911 GT3 is available here with a seven-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission, but “proponents of pure unadulterated driving” (I see some nodding away while making an Obama “not bad” face now) can order a six-speed manual from SDAP. Stick shift fans, have you been addressed in such a way before?

Besides the reappearance of the manual gearbox (the previous one was PDK-only), there’s also a new engine. Replacing the 3.8 litre unit is a naturally aspirated 4.0 litre flat-six developing 500 hp at 8,250 rpm and 460 Nm of torque at 6,000 rpm.

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The motor is “virtually unchanged” from that one in the 911 GT3 Cup race car (both are manufactured on the same production line), and will be familiar to owners of the GT3 RS and limited run 911 R. However, revised engine internals allow the GT3’s motor to rev higher than the other two cars – up to 9,000 rpm.

With the PDK gearbox, the 911 GT3 weighs 1,430 kg, and goes from zero to 100 km/h in just 3.4 seconds – a tenth faster than the previous car – before hitting a top speed of 318 km/h. Choose the manual gearbox and you’ll save some weight (17 kg to be exact) but no human can shift as fast, so 0-100 km/h takes half a second longer at 3.9 seconds.

The chassis has also been reworked for even better driving dynamics – it sits 25 mm lower than the standard Carrera S, and as before there’s active rear steering, dynamic engine mounts and a locking rear differential.

As with every other facelifted 991, the GT3 receives a number of exterior revisions, including redesigned headlights with four-point LED daytime running lights, integrated door handle recesses and new tail lights. The GT3-specific front fascia has also been reworked for a more angular look – as has the rear diffuser – while vents have also been added on the rear engine cover. There’s a new carbon fibre rear wing, too. All 911s look the same? Not the GT3 for sure.

“The new 911 GT3 wears an aggressive rear wing, a giant air intake and also big wheels sheltered by widened fenders. There’s no mistaking the 911 GT3 delivers motorsport-like performance. The new 911 GT3 not only provides impressive performance on the racetrack, but it also offers the best driving dynamics for your everyday driving,” said SDAP CEO Arnt Bayer.

Inside, the GT3 has been given a smaller 918 Spyder-style three-spoke steering wheel (360 mm diameter), as well as a new Porsche Communication Management (PCM) infotainment system and the Connect Plus Module with Apple CarPlay connectivity.

The Porsche Track Precision App, which allow drivers to record and analyse driving data on their smartphones, is also bundled in as standard equipment.

As standard, the car comes with two Sport Seats Plus with enhanced side bolsters for increased lateral support and manual fore/aft adjustment (race car, remember). The seat pans in the rear are covered. Buyers can also specify Adaptive Sport Seats Plus with 18-way electric adjustment, a powered steering column and a memory function. On the opposite end of the scale, one can tick fixed carbon fibre full bucket seats.

The new Porsche 911 GT3 is yours from RM1.7 million, duty inclusive, but without registration fee, road tax and insurance. Pricey, but the GT3 is lovely, as we found out driving the previous version.