We figure the typical Porsche 911 GT3 buyer can be described one of two ways: a track enthusiast looking to add to his or her collection or a 911 fan who thinks the standard model just isn’t enough. But sometimes, the customer is actually the competitor. This was the case when Honda bought a 911 GT3 from Porsche, who wouldn’t let the sale go unnoticed.
In a recent story from Automotive News, Honda’s Nick Robinson details how Porsche found out his team purchased a 911 GT3. It looked like the automaker’s efforts to buy the vehicle in secret were initially successful, that is until the GT3 was recalled and needed repairs. Honda’s development team took the GT3 in to fix an issue with the engine connecting rods.
It’s certainly not unusual for automakers to buy a competitor’s vehicle for testing purposes. Honda had apparently purchased the Porsche to benchmark it against the Acura NSX supercar, examining the steering characteristics of its rival. Of course, Porsche was meant to think the buyer was just an average customer. But Porsche quickly discovered something was up, presumably while looking at the car’s black box data.
Porsche left a kind little note under the engine cover of the car when returning it. “Good luck Honda from Porsche. See you on the other side,” it read.
Honda had apparently also bought a McLaren 12C while developing the NSX. Even after taking it to the dealership a few times, McLaren never really caught on, Honda says. Oops, that is until now.
“They wanted to know, where did you go 205 mph? What track?” the vehicle dynamics project leader for Honda told AN.
The 911 GT3 is a track-focused car, and the McLaren 12C produces more power than the NSX, which puts out a total of 573 hp from its 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 and three electric motors. Perhaps the rumored Acura NSX Type R will more closely match its European rivals? We’ll have to wait and see.