With everyone looking to grab a track-oriented machine nowadays, there don’t seem to be that many better options than the brand new 911 R, listed as a pure sports car with a classical design.
Taking after its legendary predecessor, which performed in rallies and other racing events such as the Targa Florio, the latest variant features a lightweight construction that keeps total weight at 1,370 kg, thus making it the lightest version of the 911 currently on the market.
Performance-wise, it's got a 4.0-liter naturally aspirated flat-six good for 500 PS and 460 Nm (339 lb-ft) of torque, resulting in a 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) acceleration time of just 3.8 seconds. The driver also gets to enjoy a six-speed manual sports transmission with short gearshift travel, as Porsche points out.
Once up to speed, the 911 R will max out at 323 km/h (200 mph) - quicker than the GT3 RS, which makes sense since the 'R' undercuts it by 50 kg (110 lbs). By the way, those who care about fuel consumption data in cars such as these should probably know that the R (13.3 l/100km) is less economical than both the GT3 (12.4 l/100km) and the GT3 RS (12.7 l/100km).
In terms of driving dynamics, Porsche has focused on making the 911 R as good at going around corners as possible. Its specially tuned standard rear-axle steering helps it during turn-in, while the mechanical rear differential lock builds up maximum traction. Also, in order to give it as much stopping power as possible, Porsche installed ceramic composite brakes (PCCB) as standard.
From an aesthetic stand point, the 911 R resembles the Carrera, with just the nose and rear body reminding us of the GT3. However, the drive technology comes from the GT3 RS, while the GT3 bits make up the body and chassis components.
During their press conference in Geneva, Porsche made it clear that while this is a track-oriented car, not exactly meant for day-to-day driving, it's still a perfectly capable cruiser within city limits, even with heavy traffic around - which is part of the reason why the German automaker went with a retractable rear spoiler (familiar to Carrera models) instead of a massive fixed rear wing.
Inside, the 911 R offers carbon full bucket seats with fabric center panels, an R-specific GT sport steering wheel, carbon trim and pull straps as door openers.
Porsche has stated that they will only be building 991 units of the limited-edition 911 R, which should make this a rather hot commodity.