The modern Porsche 911 still retains the basic layout of its ancestors, a direct line you could trace back to the 1930s if you really wanted. But it’s gotten wildly complex and sophisticated, for better and for worse. Porsche is stripping away some of that and the result is the very appealing, lean, raw 2017 Porsche 911 R.
Based on Porsche’s one serious attempt to homologate a race car, the original 1967 911 R, the 2016 Porsche 911 R is a no-bullshit, elemental road-going machine: a six-speed transmission is the only option, and that’s bolted to a naturally-aspirated (much like yourself) 4.0-liter flat-six from the GT3 RS cranking out 500 horsepower at 8250 RPM and making 338 lb-ft (241 Nrp) of torque at 6250 RPM.
It’ll get to 60 in 3.7 seconds, and if you have access to a track and the right combination of talent/testicles/lady-testicles, you can hit 200 MPH.
It’s even got Porsche’s rear-wheel steering system, and, to make sure it can get over speed bumps without leaving comically-expensive underbody plastics behind, it has a button-activated front lift system to add over an inch of ground clearance.
But it’s what it doesn’t have that’s more fun, specifically 110 pounds of car less than the 911 RS.
At 3,021 pounds, it’s really quite a lightweight by modern standards, thanks to some exotic materials, including a magnesium roof, carbon fiber front hood and fenders, and certain components like the A/C and audio system being made of nothing unless you specify otherwise.
I’d have liked to seen Porsche replace the indicators and taillights with super-light Pep Boys-shelf trailer light units, like on the original 1967 911 R, but I guess that’s too much to ask.
The 911 R will come with either red or green stripes, which I think is good; a car like this really deserves stripes. Plus, the interior is finished in a houndstooth pattern that makes me happy deep, deep inside. Also, I like the throwback-looking black engine air intake grille on the decklid.
Of course, all this lack of things isn’t cheap, so the 911 R will start at $184,900, minus the $1050 destination charge.
Yes, that’s a lot of money, and on paper, it’s not going to match the numbers of the GT3 RS, but who cares? This seems like a much more viscerally satisfying car to drive, and, unless your job entails driving one of these anyway, who really cares about those numbers?
The only records you need to worry about setting in this car has to do with the length of time you stay thrilled and possibly physically aroused while you’re driving it.
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