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Here’s one for the hardcore, and for those who insist on a “manual GT3 RS”. The Porsche 911 R has made its debut at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, and the ingredients are mouthwatering.

R is for Racing, and this “puristic sports car” can trace its history to the road-homologated race car from 1967. Produced as part of a limited production series, the 911 R performed in rallies, the Targa Florio and in world record runs. Like the old timer, today’s 911 R relies on systematic lightweight construction – the 1,370 kg car is the lightest in the 911 family, 50 kg lighter than the GT3 RS.

The R’s bonnet and wings are made of carbon and the roof from magnesium, which also reduces the centre of gravity. The rear windscreen and rear side windows are plastic items. Also employed are reduced cabin insulation and the omission of rear seats. No air con and audio, but you can request for them, along with a lift system that raises ground clearance of the front axle by 30 mm at the press of a button.

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Moving that slim body is a 4.0 litre naturally-aspirated flat-six engine with 500 hp at 8,500 rpm and 460 Nm of torque at 6,250 rpm. This high-revving NA engine is the same one used in the GT3 RS, but instead of a seven-speed PDK automatic, the 911 R gets a six-speed manual transmission. 0-100 km/h in 3.8 seconds, top speed 323 km/h.

The 911 R’s specially tuned standard rear-axle steering provides direct turn-in characteristics while maintaining high stability. The mechanical rear differential lock builds up maximum traction. Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake (PCCB) is standard, with 410 mm discs in front and 390 mm items on the rear. 20-inch light alloys with central lock are paired with 245 section UHP front tyres and fat 305 mm rears.

A double-declutch function activated by pressing a button for perfect downshifts is also part of the 911 R’s repertoire, as is the optional single-mass flywheel. The result is a significant improvement in spontaneity and high-revving dynamics of the engine, according to Zuffenhausen.

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The 911 R is nowhere near as shouty as the GT3 RS, and without those red stripes (green is also available) and fancy wheels, could be even mistaken for a Carrera. The body/chassis is actually based on the GT3, but the R does without the fixed rear wing, and in its place is a retractable spoiler from the Carrera. There’s a rear underbody diffuser specific to the R, though, and the central exhaust is titanium.

The driver sits in a carbon full bucket seat with fabric centre panels in “Pepita” tartan design, recalling the first 911 from the 1960s. Also unique to the R are the 360 mm diameter steering wheel and short gearshift lever. Carbon trim strips with an embedded aluminium badge on the front passenger’s side indicate the limited number of the 911 R. And of course, pull straps as door openers, GT-style.

Only 991 units of the 911 R will ever be made, which means that it’s a collector’s item from the start.


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