Unveiled at the 2016 Geneva International Motor Show, the new Porsche 911 R is a pure-bred sports car featuring a powerful 500hp (368kW) four-litre naturally-aspirated flat-six engine. The 911 R is arguably the ultimate road-focused 911 in the 53-year history of the model, and is limited to just 991 examples worldwide.
These characteristics place the 911 R firmly in the tradition of its historic namesake: a road-homologated racing car from 1967. Produced as part of a limited production series, the original 911 R was campaigned in iconic road races of the period, such as the Tour de France and Targa Florio, and also in world record runs.
Like its legendary predecessor, the new 911 R offers a pure driving experience, courtesy of a combination of lightweight construction and maximum performance. At just 1370kg, the 911 R is 50kg lighter than the 911 GT3 RS, making it the lightest version of the 911. With a high-revving six-cylinder, naturally aspirated engine and manual sports transmission, the 911 R once again underlines the emotion of high-performance sports car driving. Developed in the Motorsport workshop, the 911 R extends the range of high-performance, naturally-aspirated engines alongside the motor sport-inspired 911 GT3 and 911 GT3 RS models.
The 911 R is powered by the familiar charismatic flat-six 4-litre engine similar to that found in the 911 GT3 RS. This race-bred engine delivers 500hp at 8250rpm and generates 460Nm at 6250rpm. From a standing start, 0-60 mph is possible in 3.7 seconds and will continue on to a potential top speed of 201mph (323km/h). The 911 R is available exclusively with a six-speed manual sports transmission, its short gearshift travel emphasising the sporting driving experience.
The 911 R is fitted as standard with a specially-tuned rear-axle steering, so direct turn-in and precise handling is guaranteed while maintaining high stability. In addition, the mechanical rear limited slip differential ensures maximum traction. This limited edition model is also fitted with Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB) as standard, with 410mm diameter discs up front and 390mm at the rear. Ultra-high performance tyres are fitted, 245mm at the front and 305mm at the rear, which are mounted on lightweight, forged aluminium wheels with centre-locking nuts.
The control system of the Porsche Stability Management (PSM) in the 911 R has been tailored to ensure a focused driving experience. A double-declutch function for perfect gearshifts when changing down is fitted and can be activated by simply pressing a button. An optional single-mass flywheel is available, resulting in a significant improvement in the high-rev responsiveness of the engine.
The bonnet and front wheel-arches are made of carbon-fibre and the roof is magnesium, which reduces the centre of gravity. Rear windscreen and rear side windows are lightweight plastic. Additional weight-saving factors include reduced sound insulation in the interior and the omission of a rear bench seat. The optional air conditioning system and the audio system also highlight the car’s lightweight focus. For everyday versatility, a lift system can also be ordered, increasing front axle ground clearance by approximately 30mm.
From the exterior, the nose and rear body will be familiar aspects from the 911 GT3, but under the skin, the 911 R borrows its drive technology from the 911 GT3 RS. All the lightweight components of the body and the complete chassis originate from the 911 GT3. However, with a view to road use, the body does not have the fixed rear wing familiar with that model. Instead, a retractable rear spoiler shared with the Carrera models and a bespoke aerodynamic diffuser beneath the rear underbody provides the necessary downforce. The front and rear apron come from the 911 GT3, with a re-designed spoiler lip installed on the front. The sports exhaust system is fabricated from lightweight titanium.
Continuous coloured stripes in red or green over the entire mid-section of the vehicle provide a visual cue to the legendary predecessor. A further leitmotif is provided by the ‘Porsche’ script along each side of the vehicle. The driver and front passenger are given carbon-fibre bucket seat, trimmed with bespoke fabric centre panels in Pepita tartan design, a nod to the first 911 in the 1960s. Fabric pull straps on each door again emphasise the car’s lightweight construction.
In the driver’s hands sits an R-specific 360mm diameter GT sport steering wheel, and a short shift gear lever. Underlining the special nature of this limited production model, carbon trim strips in the interior with an embedded aluminium badge on the passenger’s side indicate the limited number of each 911 R.
Limited to just 991 units worldwide, the new Porsche 911 R is priced from £136,901, and the UK’s first deliveries are scheduled as from June 2016.
Edited by: Glen Smale
Images by: Porsche