Cutting through the noise of sport utilities and electrics, Porsche dropped a bombshell at this year’s Geneva Motor Show and revealed the long-rumoured 911 R. Lighter and more powerful than a regular 991, it’s less race-nerdy than the GT3 track-oriented variants – and it’s exclusively available with a bespoke, six-speed manual gearbox.
Developed by Porsche Motorsport, it’s the lightest 911 you can buy today, crossing the scales at a svelte 1,370 kilograms, but the best part of the R is that it’s fitted with the most powerful naturally aspirated 911 engine available – the 500-horsepower, 4.0-litre flat six from the GT3 RS. The body structure has been given a total rethink in terms of weight savings.
Carbon fibre is used for the hood and front fenders while the roof is made of magnesium. There’s no rear seat and both air con and a radio are optional. Front seats are carbon buckets, upholstered in leather and fashionable tartan. To keep weight down even further, the R’s brakes are carbon ceramics, aligned with the overall lightweight program for the car. Cool factor = mega.
With the proliferation of supercars fitted with automated gearboxes, the manual-only spec of the 911 R demonstrates that Porsche is listening to their customers – and weeding out the pretenders at the same time. There’s no question that Porsche built this one for maximum enjoyment. If you have any doubt, just listen to it:
The last time Porsche built something this interesting the 997 GT3 RS 4.0 – Porschephiles lost their minds and gobbled up all six hundred units in no time at all. Since then, values of the RS 4.0 Mezgers have easily doubled on the second hand market. Whether the 911 R will do the same among Porsche fanatics remains to be seen and while the company is not saying, undoubtedly each and every one has been sold.
A handful of the CAD $211,000 2017 Porsche 911 Rs will land in Canada and all will have been spoken for well before they leave Germany.