The facelifted Porsche 911 GT3 has been spied doing hot weather testing in southern Europe.

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These latest photos seemingly confirm a report last year claiming that the new 911 GT3 would re-introduce the option of a manual transmission.

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According to the spy photographers, this development vehicle was spotted in a fleet of GT3 prototypes. The car seen here is the only one with a cover over the transmission area. All the other vehicles reportedly had their dual-clutch (PDK) shifters on display.

There are other signs that we're looking at a manual GT3, including the absence of shifter paddles behind the steering wheel and the lack of a gear indicator panel in the instrument pack.

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It's likely that the updated GT3 will feature the same six-speed manual transmission as the limited-edition 911 R, which was unveiled at this year's Geneva motor show.

Out the back, the GT3 will once again feature a naturally-aspirated flat-six motor. The outgoing GT3 has a 350kW/440Nm 3.8-litre engine redlined at 9000rpm, while the GT3 RS is motivated by a 368kW/480Nm 4.0-litre flat-six.

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These GT3 development vehicles have a few false panels up front to hide the styling of the lower air intakes.

That said, the styling changes for the updated GT3 were outed last week when Autoblog.nl published 3D renderings (above) of the car from Porsche's Netherlands website.