CarsJames Perez

Porsche 911 R: The Resurgence

CarsJames Perez
Porsche 911 R: The Resurgence

There’s no denying the Porsche 911 is an iconic car. When it came into production in 1963 it flipped the world on its head. Compare the smiling face, compact size, and premium performance to American cars of the age and the difference is night and day. And then four years later in 1967 something magical happened. Porsche introduced the 911 R. A sportier 911. Set aside the fact that this was a newly improved model, the design differences are starkly apparent. The design language that developed within that four year timespan felt like changes you’d expect in the following decade. Lines and design cues became sharper and more aggressive over the standard model. The 911 R took these enhancements to an entire new level. And then it disappeared. Until now that is. With its new 911 R, Porsche is unveiling a puristic sports car in classical design that pays significant homage to it’s ancestor. And not just any sports car. One that means serious business. Its 500 HP four-litre naturally aspirated flat engine and six-speed sports transmission places the new 911 R firmly in the tradition of its historic role model: a road-homologated racing car from 1967. Produced as part of a limited production series, the 911 R (R for Racing) performed in rallies, in the Targa Florio and in world record runs. This special limited-edition model of 991 units is currently the lightest version of the 911.

With the high-revving engine and manual sports transmission, Porsche is once again displaying its commitment to especially emotional high-performance sports cars. With all the dual-clutch gearboxes and turbocharged offerings out in today’s market Porsche threw a high-flying middle finger straight at the face of new-school automotive engineering, took one for the team, and gave us an old-fashioned driver’s car we can genuinely enjoy. Something that connects driver to car, hand to gear lever, emotion to action, and brings out the little 17 year old, boner prone high schooler in all of us. At work in the rear of the 911 R is a six-cylinder similar to the one you get in 911 GT3 RS delivering 500 Horsepower which lets you joyfully rev it out to 8250 rpm while it sings the pleasant tune of burnt gasoline and winding thrills. From the exterior, the 911 R gives a reserved impression. At first sight, the body resembles that of a standard 911 Carrera. Merely the nose and rear body similar to that which you get on a 911 GT3 hint at the birthplace of the 911 R. Which, in our opinion, isn’t such a bad thing. Rather than flaunt it’s specialness, the 911 R instead chooses to subtly reward it’s privileged owner with an exclusively gratifying driving experience. The 911 R shares exclusivity and indulgence with its cousin the 911 GT3, but in its own special way.