While purist have lamented the fact that modern supercars are nothing but turbocharged monsters with rapid-shifting automatic gearboxes, this news from Stuttgart may just be the sweetest music to their ears. As revealed by a German website, Porsche is set to unveil the 911R, just hours before its official unveiling at Geneva.
The pictures here don’t reveal much, but the 911R essentially shares the same track-bred credentials as the 911 GT3 RS. Sure, it loses the RS’ aesthetic prominence, but the bright red stripes here make up for all the kind of heads you’d like to turn when driving by your favourite shopping mall.
Under the hood (or boot, cos’ it’s positioned at the back) of this 911R is the same naturally aspirated 4.0-litre flat-six engine as the GT3 RS, and makes 493 hp and 520 Nm of torque. However, instead of being paired to Porsche’s PDK dual clutch gearbox, the 911R gets a manual transmission, which should translate to a slightly slower century sprint performance. The GT3 RS gets that dusted in just 3.3 seconds, though we reckon the 911R will manage below 3.6 seconds. Oh yes, the manual transmission here cannot be upgraded to the PDK, so it’s either this or the GT3 RS.
Porsche conceived the 911R as a tribute to their original model produced some 50 years ago. In an era dominated by turbocharged and electrified super/hypercars (Porsche isn’t spared, ironically), it’s really refreshing to see Porsche giving its core model a piece of what driving used to be in the old days – simple driving pleasure.