Porsche caught quite a bit of flak for making its new 911 GT3 and GT3 RS dual-clutch-only. Those models used to be manual-only, but Porsche wanted to make them the most hardcore performance cars you could buy. And to get the best lap times, they had to swap their manuals for Porsche’s brilliant PDK. Porsche enthusiasts were incredibly upset over this, naturally. So Porsche built a car just for them, well, just 991 of them — The Porsche 911 R.
The 911 R comes with Stuttgart’s spectacular 4.0 liter flat-six engine, a six-speed manual, only two-driven wheels at the back and no fancy gimmicks. It’s the enthusiast’s 911 and it’s the far purer driving experience than any of the fast 911s. And being that it’s Porsche’s most enthusiast-inspired 911, how does it stack up with BMW’s most hardcore car, the BMW M4 GTS?
Okay, so these cars aren’t exactly competitors, as the M4 GTS is highly technical and uses a ton of technology, whereas the 911 R is intentionally devoid of the stuff. But, they’re both each brand’s most enthusiast-inspired track car and both are only made in very limited numbers (991 for the 911 and 700 for the M4 GTS). Plus, it’s gotta be fun to flog these two on a track.
And that’s exactly what Auto Moto did on a track just outside of Paris.
As you’d expect, the Porsche 911 R is the enthusiast’s car of the two. Its engine sings to redline with the sort of pure noise and linear response that only a naturally-aspirated engine can provide. While the BMW M4 GTS’ 3.0 liter twin-turbo I6 with water-injection is unbelievably impressive and very powerful, putting out 493 hp, it just doesn’t have the beautiful noise that the 911’s 4.0 liter flat-six does. The M4 GTS sounds great and it’s very loud, but it isn’t a beautiful noise. However, both cars do 0-60 mph in 3.8 seconds.
The two cars have very different and distinct characters as well. Whereas the Porsche is delicate, light on its feet and precise, the M4 GTS is brutally efficient. The former is a sports car with track capabilities, the latter is a track car that’s road-capable. The Porsche has better steering and a more neutral chassis. However, the M4 GTS’ manually-adjustable suspension and rapid-shifting DCT gearbox makes it incredibly fast and probably faster on a track.
So which car does Auto Moto claim is best? The Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio. Right before the one host is about to claim a winner, the other pulls up in the Alfa and tells him to get in and go for a ride. They both take it out on the track and are impressed with its enormous power and performance. The Alfa’s 2.9 liter twin-turbo V6 makes 503 hp, more than both the Bimmer and Porsche, despite having the smallest engine. It also makes a wonderful noise and has a six-speed manual. Plus, it’s well-balanced, fun to drive, the best looking car of the three, more comfortable on the road than both and actually available to buy.
The BMW M4 GTS and Porsche 911 R are incredible cars, but they’re astronomically expensive and already completely sold out. The Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio is not only about half the price of the other two, but it’s actually available for the public to buy. So it’s deemed the best car of the three. Didn’t see that coming, did you?