The Porsche 911 R bucks the company’s trend of technology and complexity by featuring something that seems so simple among new cars: a naturally aspirated engine with a manual transmission. Ten-years-ago you is confused by that last statement.
Porsche bills the R as a “wolf in sheep’s clothing,” which leads me to assume wolves in Germany wear sweaters with red stripes.
The stickers are a clue this is a special 911, but the lack of an enormous wing or extremely wide-bodied exterior show this isn’t the most outrageous model in a lineup with more special editions than The Joy of Cooking. To my eye, it has just enough exaggeration in the shape over a standard 991 variant and the decals are just ’70s enough. Too few automakers are striking this right balance these days.
With what we know based on the 911 R specs that have already been spilled, this should leave a GT3 RS in the dust because of its 110-lb. weight advantage while aiming to keep the daily driving civility of a standard Carrera model. That’s a combination that will have purists salivating. A fat 4.0-liter flat-six with 500 horsepower and a six-speed manual makes for some seriously stirring reading, so imagine what it could do on a track after you’ve paid your nearly 190,000 euros (to start, of course).
It’s a combination that has been slowly lost in favor of turbocharging and PDK-ing everything. Sure, an R is less torquey and less efficient than it could be, but if that’s your takeaway then you’re missing the point.
The Porsche 911 R looks like a 911 with a sense of humor, and that can only be a good thing for enthusiasts.
Photos: Carscoops.com/Brad Anderson