When Porsche announced that its newest iteration of the 911 GT3 and GT3 RS were going to be PDK dual-clutch manual only, fans were incredibly upset. It was almost as sacrilegious as when Porsche switched from air-cooling to water-cooling. The new Porsche 911 GT3 and GT3 RS are some of the most ballistically fast performance cars in the world. Very few cars are as rapid around a track as the 911 GT3 and GT3 RS. However, they lack the purity and connection that their predecessors seemed to have had, which seems to be a growing trend for Porsche. Hell, even the standard 911 Carrera switched to turbocharging, further aggravating fans. Well Porsche has decided to remedy all of that with its latest 911 iteration, the Porsche 911 R, which just debuted at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show.
The 911 R is everything Porsche fans have wanted for a long time, a pure 911. No turbochargers, no all-wheel drive and, most importantly, no automatic gearbox. This is the purist’s Porsche that so many have been waiting for.
The brand-new Porsche 911 R will come with the 4.0 liter flat-six engine from the GT3 RS and will make 493 hp at its 8,250 rpm redline. It also makes only 339 lb-ft of torque, but its torque peaks at, an unusually high for today’s car world, 6,250. This shows its race-car heritage, as it’s more of a screamer than a torque monster and that’s a very good thing, something that used to be a characteristic of BMW engines. It’s also quite refreshing.
You’d be forgiven for wondering what that lever thing is in the middle and why the 911 R has three pedals, as it’s been a long time since we’ve seen those things in a high-end performance car. That glorious engine will be mated to a six-speed manual transmission, something that has gone completely missing in most, if not all, high-end performance cars. That’s the biggest news for the 911 R, as it will come with a manual transmission and nothing else. So the 911 R will only be naturally-aspirate, only come with a six-speed manual and only be rear-wheel drive.
However, this purity does come with a slight penalty to performance, in comparison to the PDK-equipped or turbocharged cars. 0-60 mph for the 911 R comes in 3.7 seconds, which is quite a bit slower than the GT3 and GT3 RS’s time. It’s crazy that we live in a world where 3.7 seconds to 60 mph is a performance penalty, but it’s true in this case. However, the lack of crazy aerodynamics on those other aforementioned cars allows the 911 R to reach 201 mph, thanks to its slippery body work.
But outright performance isn’t what the 911 R is about. It’s about fun and excitement, it’s about the thrill of driving and it seems like it will nail that perfectly.
The Porsche 911 R looks very good and seems like it could be one of the best sports cars on the planet when it finally debuts. It looks like the kind of car we all wish BMW would make; no fancy aero, no turbochargers and a six-speed manual only. Just something pure and special feeling. We’re excited for the Porsche 911 R and to see how it competes with the rest of the great sports cars on the market.