Porsche 911 R Revealed with 500 HP, Lightweight Body, 6-Speed Manual
Dreams do come true.
Porsche faithful, prepare yourselves: Porsche released full details on the wonderful Porsche 911 R following a leak ahead of the official debut. The 911 R is Porsche's modernized take on the untouchable 1967 911 R, which was originally created for competition at the highest level with a stripped interior, bare-bones construction, and an unplugged flat-six that helped establish Porsche as a motorsports force of nature.
The new 911 R is Porsche's answer for those who want GT3 capability but prefer a row-your-own gearbox over Porsche's lightning-fast PDK dual-clutch gearbox. Like the other high-performance GT products, the 911 R was developed by Porsche's motorsport department. Whereas the other GT cars are geared for blistering lap times, the 911 R is set up for driver engagement and "road use."
To kick things off, Porsche nicks a 4.0-liter naturally aspirated flat-six engine from the Porsche GT3 RS assembly line and slots it under the rear decklid of the 911 R. 500 hp comes in at a stratospheric 8,250 rpm, while the 338 lb-ft of twist arrives at 6,250 rpm. Power is routed to the rear wheels through a standard short-ratio six-speed manual transmission, a first for the 991-generation 911. Previously, the only manual transmission available for this generation sported seven forward gears, and is not available on anything higher performance than the 991 Carrera GTS.
Befitting the GT division heritage, the 911 R is light. So light, in fact, that it is the lightest 911 variant available today, tipping the scales at just 3,021 pounds, a whopping 110 pounds lighter than the hardcore GT3 RS. Porsche achieved this through extensive use of carbon fiber construction, including the front fenders. The roof is magnesium to lower the center of gravity, and the 911 R comes with reduced interior insulation and no rear seats. True to form, it also comes with no air conditioning system and radio, which are available as a no-cost option. This low weight, paired with the monumental power, means the 911 R is able to scuttle to 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds, and charge up to a top speed of 200 mph.
To ensure the coupe lives up to the name, the GT division bolted a sizable chunk of go-fast hardware to the R. Large carbon ceramic brakes hide behind 20-inch forged aluminum centerlock wheels on all four corners, shod with unnamed "Ultra High Performance Tires." In the rear, the 911 R carries a mechanical locking differential, a significant change over the GT3 and GT3 RS' electronic differential. Crucially, Porsche kept the trick rear-wheel steering system despite the weight and complexity.
Underneath the curvaceous skin, the 911 shares a front fascia, chassis, and lightweight components with the GT3. A special titanium exhaust is purloined from the RS as well. While the GT3 and GT3 RS feature prominent rear wings, the 911 R favors subtlety, with a much smaller deployable rear wing. Porsche claims that this, along with a bespoke rear diffuser, provides enough aerodynamic downforce for the R.
Don't worry, the garish stripe package featured on the debut 911 R is an optional extra, along with the black Porsche script running along the bottom of the passenger doors.
Inside, the 911 R inches farther away from its track-focused brethren. The R rejects suede and Alcantara surfaces for houndstooth carbon fiber-backed bucket seats. A very attractive and bespoke GT sport steering wheel appears to be devoid of any buttons, while door handles are ditched for the GT department's signature loop pulls. For those worried about scraping the front of their expensive toy, Porsche included a front axle lift system as standard, with a 1.2-inch jump in height, actuated by a button on the inside of the car.
Want one? Well, Porsche hasn't confirmed it yet, but previous reports stated the 911 R is already sold out, done through pre-sales to well-connected customers. Only 991 of the 911 R will leave the factory, all for the low, low price of just $185,950.
Take a look at the Porsche 911 R in the photo gallery below.