The basic ingredients in the recipe for the ultimate driver’s car are pretty simple. A naturally aspirated engine for supreme throttle response, a manual gearbox – because as a driver you need to be in control – and rear-wheel drive are all you need – simply speaking. Porsche’s 911 GT3 and GT3 RS have long provided us with that recipe, until the most recent generation, the 991, which gave up the manual ‘box for a PDK one. But Porsche still cares about the keen drivers of the world, and they’ve gifted us the Porsche 911 R.
It’s the manual Porsche 911 GT3 – minus all the crazy aero – that we’ve been begging for since we knew the GT3 would have a PDK ‘box. But it’s more than just a GT3, it’s packing GT3 RS power and tech, with less weight, making it quite possibly the ultimate driver’s Porsche of the modern era.
Under the rear deck (911’s are rear engined, remember), you’ll find the 911 GT3 RS’ 4-litre flat six engine developing 368kW (500PS) at a stratospheric 8250 rpm and 460Nm at 6250 rpm. Flat out from a standstill, Porsche’s geeks in white coats claim the Porsche 911 R will run 0-100m/h in 3.8 seconds, before running on to a top end speed of 323km/h.
Despite running the drivetrain of a 911 GT3 RS, the Porsche 911 R does without the obscenely large rear wing and other aero bits and bobs. But it does get all the additional handling upgrades from the GT3 RS. A mechanical locking rear differential ensures high levels of traction, in conjunction with the 245- and 305mm tyres, front and rear. Stopping power is delivered swiftly by the 410mm front and 390mm rear carbon ceramic brake discs. These are housed within lightweight 20-inch alloy wheels, with a central locknut.
With a dry weight of 1370Kg, the Porsche 911 R is a relative lightweight – 50kg lighter than the GT3 RS to be specific. To achieve this, Porsche manufactured the bonnet and wings of carbon fibre, and the roof of magnesium. Not only does this reduce weight, but it lowers the centre of gravity for improved handling. Further weight reduction has been achieved by making the rear windscreen and rear side windows out of lightweight plastic, while interior insulation has been reduced, and the rear bench seat has been tossed out entirely. Air conditioning and a radio are now optional features – again in an effort to reduce weight.
The Porsche 911R looks relatively demure, especially considering what it’s packing beneath the surface. The overall body styling closely matches that of a 911 Carrera, with only the nose and rear end matching the GT3.
Doing without the fixed rear wing, the Porsche 911 R instead employs a retractable spoiler as seen on the Carrera model. The Porsche 911 R features an R-specific underbody diffuser to aid downforce, and a lightweight titanium sports exhaust. At the front, a redesigned front lip spoiler differentiates the Porsche 911 R, whilst Porsche logos on the sides, and colour stripes in red or green over the entire mid-section hark back to the original Porsche 911 R from the 1967 homologation model.
Inside, a full carbon bucket seat awaits the driver, with fabric centre panels in Pepita tartan design. An R-specific GT sport steering wheel – 360mm in diameter – and short gearshift lever are unique to the Porsche 911 R. Carbon trim strips embedded with an aluminium badge indicate the limited number of the Porsche 911 R, and the door handles are typical GT pull straps.
Price and Availability:
The Porsche 911 R will be a limited run vehicle, with only 991 (corresponding with the model code – we see what you did there Porsche) being sold. But before you even think of coughing up the R3 271 064.72 (189 544 euros) required to buy one, know that you can’t.
At the time of the revel at the Geneva Motor Show, the Porsche 911 R was already sold out – making it the ultimate driver’s Porsche we’ve begged for, but can’t have.