The Porsche 911 is an iconic vehicle. There isn’t much the automaker can do to add to its perfection. But Porsche continues to make incremental improvements to this legendary vehicle. The latest iteration is the new 2016 Porsche 911 R, a streetcar with a lineage of racing (hence the R in the car’s name).
Powered by a 500 hp four-liter naturally aspirated flat-six engine which is mated to a six-speed manual transmission, the 911 R is suitable for everyday driving and for those times when you want to let loose on the track. The race-bred powertrain propels the car from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 3.7 seconds and reaches a top track speed of 200 miles per hour.
To keep the car firmly planted to the ground, Porsche engineers developed a specially tuned rear-axle steering that offers direct turn-in response and precise handling while maintaining a high level of stability. The mechanical rear differential lock ensures a maximum amount of traction, while the standard Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake system with 16.1-inch front and 15.4 inch rear rotors offers ultimate braking performance. Ultra-High Performance Tires measuring 245 millimeters at the front and 305 millimeters at the rear generate significant levels of grip. They are mounted on forged, lightweight 20-inch wheels with a matte aluminum finish and center locking hubs.
The Porsche Stability Management system has been specifically calibrated for the 911 R by Porsche’s motorsport department. A rev-match function, which can be activated at the touch of a button, is a standard feature, while a single-mass flywheel is available as an option, sharpening the responsiveness of the engine even further. A front-axle lift system can also be optionally equipped to maximize everyday practicality: it can increase the ground clearance of the front axle by approximately 1.2 inches at the touch of a button.
In addition to retaining the Porsche racing DNA, the 911 R has the classic styling that enthusiasts expect from a Porsche. At first glance, the body resembles that of the 911 Carrera, but many of the styling cues come from the Porsche 911 GT3. Since road use is the priority, the 911 R does without the fixed rear wing characteristic of the 911 GT3 and 911 GT3 RS models. Instead, an automatically deployed rear spoiler, familiar from the 911 Carrera models, and a rear underbody diffuser specific to the 911 R provide the necessary downforce. Optional Porsche logos on the side of the vehicle and color stripes in red or green running over the center of the car display the connection to its legendary predecessor.
The 911 R is equipped with full bucket seats with carbon fiber backrests and seat centers upholstered in houndstooth design, paying homage to the original 911 of the 1960s. A “911 R-specific” GT Sport steering wheel measuring 14.1 inches in diameter awaits the driver’s commands. Gearshifts can be carried out via a shortened, R-specific gear lever. Carbon fiber interior trim strips with an embedded aluminum badge on the passenger side indicate the limited production number of the 911 R. A feature typical of GT vehicles, the conventional handles are replaced with door opening loops.
The 2016 Porsche 911 R can be ordered now and is limited to 991 units worldwide. The starting MSRP is $184,900.