This is the new Porsche 911 R, essentially a GT3 RS with less complex aero and – joy of joys – a manual gearbox.
These images were leaked on a Dutch website and show a car with the same pumped-up width as the GT3 RS, but a much less extreme aero kit. There’s no huge splitter or diffuser, no front wing extractors, not even a rear spoiler. The interior shots reveal a more comfortable cockpit and a proper gearstick sprouting from the centre console.
This is great news for the enthusiasts of previous generations of 911 GT3 who decried Porsche’s decision to offer the current 991-generation GT3 with a PDK gearbox only. The emphasis here is on driving pleasure and everyday usability, not setting the fastest lap time possible.
Not that the 911 R will be slow, far from it. The 4.0-litre flat-six engine is shared with the GT3 RS and produces the same 493bhp and 384lb/ft of torque. It’s an engine that revs round to the 9,000rpm redline incredibly quickly, so keeping up with the manual ‘box could be a significant challenge.
As well as offering a more back-to-basics driving experience, the 911 R is intended to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first car to wear that badge. The original 911 R of 1967 was the first full race spec version offered for sale by the Porsche factory; just 24 were built before the sales department pulled the plug thinking it was too expensive to shift the 500 examples needed for homologation.
More details (and hopefully better images) will be announced when the 911 R is unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show later this week.
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By Only Motors