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2016 Porsche 911 R: A Racing Enthusiast’s Dream

Updated April 5, 2016

The Geneva Motor Show has shown many great cars this past week and the 2016 Porsche 911 R is no different. 49 years ago, Porsche’s first road-homologated race car was introduced bearing the same name. Joining the ranks of the GT3 and GT3 RS, the 2016 Porsche 911 R is guaranteed to thrill on and off the track.

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The new Porsche 911 R brings back a pure, racing experience with its manual only gearbox. The enthusiast’s transmission is mated to a 500 horsepower 388 lb-ft of torque, 4.0-liter six cylinder sourced from the 911 GT3. This is said to propel the 911 R from 0-60 in just 3.7 seconds. While not as fast as the GT3 or GT3 RS (3.3 and 3.1 seconds respectively) the 2016 911 R is the lightest 911 weighing in at just 3,021 pounds. The 911 R is also distinguished with a top track speed of 200 mph which is just 5 mph shy of the Turbo S.

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Born for twisting mountain roads and tight corners, the 911 R has a well-equipped chassis to go with its powerful engine. Rear-axle steering has been specially tuned and offers great stability and control. The Porsche stability management was retuned by the motorsport department while the standard-only gearbox comes with rev-match activated with the touch of a button. For true racing enthusiasts, a single-mass flywheel is optional. However, if practicality is what you need for your limited edition 911 R, a front-axle lift system is available which improves ground clearance by 1.2 inches with a single button touch. Who says you can’t make a race car a grocery getter?

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With most of the body work resembling the Carrera more than the GT3, this racer was meant to be nostalgic and low-key. Being 110 pounds lighter than the GT3 RS, the front luggage lid and fenders are carbon fiber and the roof is composed of magnesium to lower the center of gravity. The front and rear fascias are borrowed from the GT3 while the rear diffuser is specific to the 911 R. A pop-up spoiler much like those in the Carrera replaces the big wing typical of the other GT3s. Available stripes in red or green as well as side logos show the connection to the 911 R heritage. Finally, the 20-inch wheels in a matte aluminum finish with center locking hubs caps off the exterior look.

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Much like other race versions, the extreme weight savings usually means taking away items other people may consider a necessity. For example, the 2016 911 R does not come standard with air conditioning or a radio. However, this can be ordered at no extra charge (I never thought I would read the statement “no extra charge” in a Porsche press release). While the aircon will be missed by anyone in warmer climates, the lack of stereo isn’t the end of the world. After all, the 4.0 liter flat six coming produces its own music out of the custom titanium exhaust. Other light weighting measures include less sound deadening and no back seats. Again, if you plan on taking this to the track do you really need a back seat? The seats sport a retro houndstooth center design and are backed with carbon fiber. A specialty 14.1” steering wheel just for the 911 R finishes the interior racing feel alongside the shortened R-specific gear lever.

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While an amazing tribute to the original race homologation cars from the 60s, it will take a passionate collector to pick up one of these rather than a GT3 or GT3 RS. Of course, most Porsche drivers are very passionate about their cars and would likely jump at the chance to own a track-focused, heritage-inspired, limited edition 911 R. With only 991 units being produced, buyers will have to act fast. Order banks are open now, while the first cars won’t reach US dealers until late summer. Just be sure to open your wallet wide as the MSRP is $184,900 not including the $1,050 destination fee. As always, an out the door price will likely be closer to a quarter million as Porsche has an unlimited options list.

 

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Eric Climer
About Eric Climer

I haven't always been a car fan, but if you ask my wife I never shutup about them. I'm always eager to see what is new while appreciating and admiring the classics. As with every car lover, I dream of having a garage larger than the house!

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