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Porsche debuts 911R with 500 horsepower and manual transmission [w/video]

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Porsche listened to its customers’ pleas when it decided to make the new 911R that debuted today at the Geneva International Motor Show. It takes the 500-horsepower naturally aspirated flat six from the GT3 RS, pairs it with the chassis and suspension of the GT3 and a six-speed manual, and shows drivers a good time rather than the quickest lap time.

Like the 911R that came before it in 1967, the new one is the lightest in the model line weighing in at 3,021 pounds — a far cry from the original’s curb weight of 1,715 pounds but 110 pounds lighter than the RS. That low weight and high power gets the R to 60 miles per hour from a standstill in 3.7 seconds. You may note that’s slower to 60 than both the GT3 and GT3 RS, presumably due to the time it takes to manually change gears. But the narrow body, little Carrera-type spoiler that deploys automatically at speed, and R-specific rear diffuser all contribute to the car’s balance at 200 mph. Yes, the 911R is the fastest current 911 and the first to reach the 200 mph barrier since the 997-generation GT2 RS. That's due to less drag on the R’s clean shape, which is devoid of massive spoilers.

One can view the top speed as a byproduct of Porsche’s commitment to give customers the best naturally aspirated flat six it has available in a narrow, simple body because, as Porsche states, the 911R was built for the corners. 

One curious bit of technology on this back-to-basics 911 is the rear axle steering system. Apparently Porsche deemed it beneficial to the driving experience despite the extra weight it adds. The 20-inch center-lock wheels are straight off the GT3 and wrapped in the same 245-millimeter front and 305-mm rear rubber. Porsche’s ceramic composite brakes with massive diameters of 16.1 inches up front and 15.4 inches at the rear are standard, lowering unsprung weight while providing more than enough stopping power.

It should be noted the 911R has an option for a single-mass flywheel, which is lighter and provides crisper throttle response than a dual-mass unit. It also contributes to a sound that imparts the restless demeanor prominent in the 997-gen GT3 RS: gear rattle at idle.

The 911R distinguishes itself from the Carrera visually with the front and rear fascias from the GT3 plus that prominent rear diffuser. The indented, lightweight magnesium roof from the GT3 RS is also present, while those normal-looking front fenders are actually carbon fiber. Customers may opt for Porsche script on the side of the car below the doors and between the wheels as well as red or green racing stripes that signify the car’s connection to the original 911R.

Inside occupants are treated to carbon fiber bucket seats with retro houndstooth center inserts. Rear seats are absent. The sport steering wheel is unique to the R, with no rotary dial to adjust engine response and shock settings. The “Sport” button on the center console, as in the Cayman GT4, does nothing but activate automatic rev matching on downshifts, ensuring a mostly analog driving experience. Standard spec also eschews a radio and air conditioning in the name of weight savings, though they can be added at no charge. Like the GT3 RS, the R features straps in place of handles to open the doors. Porsche says even more sound deadening has been removed from the R, resulting in a bit less weight and more ambient noises entering the cabin (such as the beautiful sounds of the flat six).

If you want a 911R of your own, act fast to secure one of the 991 that will be built — chances are it’ll sell out extremely quickly. Porsche says the 911R can be ordered now and will reach dealership showrooms in the summer. MSRP is $184,900, excluding the $1,050 destination fee.

For more information on the 911R, we recommend watching the video below with evo’s Henry Catchpole interviewing the head of Porsche’s GT car program, Andreas Preuninger. Then head further down for the full Porsche press release. Furthermore, go to this microsite to follow the two participants recently picked for the Porsche Driving Challenge with Patrick Long — which, as it it turns out, has them preparing to drive the 911R on a historic hill climb stage.

Source Porsche and evo via YouTube

Porsche Press Release

Excitement guaranteed – the new 2016 Porsche 911 R

Limited edition 911 variant with 500 hp naturally aspirated engine and manual transmission
Atlanta, Georgia.  Celebrating its world debut at the 2016 Geneva International Motor Show, the new 2016 Porsche 911 R follows the tradition set by the first road-homologated race car bearing the name in 1967. Produced as part of a limited production series, the original 911 R (R for Racing) was entered in rallies, in the Targa Florio and in world record runs. Like its legendary predecessor, the new 911 R features a systematic lightweight construction, a high level of performance and an unfiltered driving experience. The 911 R is limited to 991 units worldwide, and represents the lightest available version of the 911 with a curb weight of just 3021 pounds. Powered by a 500 hp four-liter naturally aspirated flat-six engine which is mated to a six-speed manual transmission, the 911 R underscores Porsche’s commitment to building emotional and engaging high-performance sports cars with a maximum amount of driving pleasure. Developed by Porsche’s motorsport department, the 911 R is the third model to use Porsche’s latest generation of high-performance naturally aspirated flat-six engines alongside the track-bred 911 GT3 and 911 GT3 RS models.

Powering the 911 R is the four-liter flat-six familiar from the 911 GT3 RS. The race-bred powertrain delivers 500 hp at 8,250 rpm and generates 338 lb.-ft. of torque at 6,250 rpm. The 911 R can accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 3.7 seconds and reach a top track speed of 200 miles per hour. True to its purist character, the lightweight model is available exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission featuring short, performance oriented gear ratios. The quick and crisp shifting further underscores the high level of driving engagement.

A thoroughbred driving machine utilizing track-bred technology

The 911 R was designed with corners in mind. The specially tuned standard rear-axle steering offers direct turn-in response and precise handling while maintaining a high level of stability. The mechanical rear differential lock ensures a maximum amount of traction, while the standard Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake (PCCB) system with 16.1 inch front and 15.4 inch rear rotors offers ultimate braking performance. Ultra-High Performance Tires measuring 245 millimeters at the front and 305 millimeters at the rear generate significant levels of grip. They are mounted on forged, lightweight 20-inch wheels with a matte aluminum finish and center locking hubs.

Porsche Stability Management (PSM) has been specifically calibrated for the 911 R by Porsche’s motorsport department. A rev-match function, which can be activated at the touch of a button, is a standard feature, while a single-mass flywheel is available as an option, sharpening the responsiveness of the engine even further. A front-axle lift system can also be optionally equipped to maximize everyday practicality: it can increase the ground clearance of the front axle by approximately 1.2 inches at the touch of a button.

Weighing just 3021 pounds, the 911 R is 110 pounds lighter than the 911 GT3 RS. The front luggage compartment lid and the front fenders are made of carbon fiber, while the roof is made of magnesium, lowering the vehicle’s center of gravity. Reduced interior insulation and the omission of rear seats also help to reduce weight. The 911 R comes standard without an air conditioning or audio system. They can be ordered at no extra charge.

More than meets the eye: classic 911 look with GT racing technology

The 911 R retains a sleek, classic look. At first glance, the body resembles that of the 911 Carrera. Only the front fascia and rear body familiar from the 911 GT3 hint at the birthplace of the 911 R: Porsche’s motorsport department in Flacht. Under the skin, the 911 R has much to show: the engine comes from the 911 GT3 RS. All the lightweight components of the body and the complete chassis have been adopted from the 911 GT3. Road use being the priority, the 911 R does without the fixed rear wing characteristic of the 911 GT3 and 911 GT3 RS models. Instead, an automatically deployed rear spoiler, familiar from the 911 Carrera models, and a rear underbody diffuser specific to the 911 R provide the necessary downforce. Front and rear fascia components are taken from the 911 GT3. The Sport Exhaust System is made of lightweight titanium, as is the case for the 911 GT3 RS. A redesigned spoiler lip is installed at the front. Optional Porsche logos on the side of the vehicle and color stripes in red or green running over the center of the car display the connection to its legendary predecessor.

The 911 R is equipped with full bucket seats with carbon fiber backrests and seat centers upholstered in houndstooth design, paying homage to the original 911 of the 1960s. A “911 R-specific” GT Sport steering wheel measuring 14.1 inches in diameter awaits the driver’s commands. Gearshifts can be carried out via a shortened, R-specific gear lever. Carbon fiber interior trim strips with an embedded aluminum badge on the passenger side indicate the limited production number of the 911 R. A feature typical of GT vehicles, the conventional handles are replaced with door opening loops.

Vehicle launch and prices
The 2016 Porsche 911 R can be ordered now. In the United States, it will be reach dealers late this summer. The starting MSRP is $184,900, excluding the $1,050 destination charge.

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