Sales debate - Should you be worried about buying a Porsche 911 GT3 991.1?
The 991.1 GT3 has certainly led an interesting life to date: unveiled to much animosity in spring 2013 due to its non-Mezger engine, electric-assisted steering and PDK-only transmission, by the autumn early cars were catching fire, which led to a worldwide recall and replacement engines. The saga rumbled on for months and proved costly for the company, yet unbelievably the 991.1 GT3’s stock remained high among enthusiasts, with used examples trading for well above list price.
Then in 2017, owners on the US-based Rennlist forum began raising concerns around long-term reliability, which prompted Porsche to unveil a ten-year (or 120,000-mile) engine warranty, from date of manufacture, for all 991.1 GT3s. The warranty gave confidence to buyers, and the 991.1 GT3 has remained good news since, with examples still commanding around £90,000, nearly ten years after first release. But therein lies the issue: the expiration of Porsche’s ten-year warranty is on the horizon for the earliest vehicles, after which owners will be left vulnerable to the possibility of having to fork out for a new GT engine, at considerable cost, should any problems occur. And occur they do: our own ‘Living the Legend’ columnist, Tony McGuiness, recently documented his 991.1 GT3’s engine replacement after finding scored bores and excess oil in cylinder two. So, should a buyer be worried about buying a 991.1 GT3 right now?
“I certainly would be,” says Jonathan Franklin, owner of the eponymous Porsche specialists. “I’m already nervous buying them now as a dealer, and there is still a couple of years to go on the warranty. The closer we get to that deadline, I think the more likely those cars are going to prove hard to shift.”
Franklin’s industry colleague, Karl Meyer, is also urging caution. “I don’t think anybody really knows what’s going to happen with 991.1 GT3s,” he says. “People were paying big money for them before Porsche offered the ten-year warranty, so there’s that aspect, but as prices of the cars inevitably come down, it might make the prospect of a replacement engine – if it ever needs it – uneconomical in the grand scheme of things.” It seems the 991.1 GT3’s future is far from certain, and it could be in for a rocky time, values wise, over the next few years.