Hardcore new Porsche 911 R unveiled

Geneva plays host to the new lightweight, manual and naturally aspirated Porsche 911 R

This year’s Geneva Motor Show has seen the unveiling of a new version of Porsche’s iconic 911 sportscar – the R.

Essentially, it’s the same as the hardcore, track-focused Porsche 911 GT3, but without that car’s extravagant wings and spoilers. Another thing that’ll please the purists is the fact that the Porsche 911 R is only available with a six-speed manual gearbox, as opposed to the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic of the GT3.

The R is powered by the same 493bhp 4.0-litre naturally aspirated flat-six petrol engine as the GT3 and, as in that model, it sends its power to the rear wheels only. This allows the 911 R to take care of the 0-62mph sprint in just 3.7 seconds and, thanks to more aerodynamically efficient bodywork compared to the winged GT3, it’ll top out at more than 200mph.

Styling-wise, as well as a more subtle appearance due to the absence of spoilers, the 911 R gets two stripes over the bodywork – available in either red or green – which hark back to racing Porsche 911s of the seventies. At each corner sit forged aluminium alloy wheels, finished in matte paint.

Inside, there are cloth-covered sports ‘bucket’ seats, while instead of full door handles, there are simple fabric door pulls, which help to save weight.

The new Porsche 911 R actually weighs 50kg less than the 911 GT3 RS, too. This is largely thanks to weight-saving features like a carbon-fibre bonnet and wheelarches, a roof made from magnesium and the rear windows and rear screen being made from plastic rather than glass. There’s less sound insulation inside and the rear seats have also been removed, while a stereo and air-conditioning are now optional extras, again to save weight.

You also get carbon-ceramic brakes, which, as well as weighing less than regular steel brakes, also provide more reliable braking under constant hard use, while the wide, track-orientated tyres that come as standard are also a nod to the car’s track-biased nature. If you’re going to use the 911 R on the road, however, it might be worth specifying the nose-lift feature, which raises the front of the car by 30mm to stop it scraping over speed bumps.

The R is on sale now, priced from £136,901. You’ll have to be quick, however, as just 991 examples will be available worldwide. First deliveries in the UK are expected in June this year.

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