The New Porsche 911 R: An Enthusiast’s Dream
New Porsche 911 R: An Introduction
The other week, I had the chance to drive a new, 2017 Porsche 911 Carrera around downtown Denver. As I mentioned in my corresponding post, the car looks and rides wonderfully. Of course, if you’re a connoisseur of the Porsche brand, then your assessment of the Carrera versus a Targa versus a GT3 versus any of the twenty-one variants of the 911 line might be more discerning than it is for most people.
Well, if you happen to be one of those connoisseurs (or, let’s be honest, just an amateur who gets super jazzed at the sight of a slick looking performance vehicle), then the newest, limited-edition 911 model will knock your proverbial socks off (you know, the socks that were mentioned in the proverbs). And that new model, my friend, is the Porsche 911 R.
Before I delve into the reasons why this model induces fanatical responses from Porsche enthusiasts, watch the below video to get a sense of how this car looks and sounds on the open road:
But the fact of the matter is this car, simply stated, looks f*****g cool. With the Porsche name emblazoned in red along the belt line and sandwiched by black horizontal bars, the twin red racing stripes (which is an homage to the 1967 911 R) running from the back fender, over the roof, and across the hood, as well as the lack of a rear spoiler, this vehicle is a sight to behold. And, for that matter, and instant design classic. Moreover, the roar of the naturally-aspirated, 4.0-liter engine echoing between canyon walls creates a titillating sonic experience that properly compliments the car’s visual features.
Specifications, though, be damned! Watching this video doesn’t make me want to know what’s under the hood. Rather, it makes me want to find the nearest Porsche 911 R, relieve the owner of his/her keys, slide behind the wheel, then haul ass through Clear Creek Canyon.
New Porsche 911 R: It’s not about the numbers
The below, EVO-produced video begins with narrator Henry Catchpole stating: “You’ve heard the rumors, now hear the numbers: 500 horsepower, 339 pounds-feet of torque, 0-60 miles per hour in 3.9 seconds, and a top-speed over 200 miles per hour.” Yes, those numbers are, by anyone’s standards, rather impressive. But immediately after rattling off these impressive stats, Catchpole concedes: “But this is a car that’s about so much more than the numbers.” And, indeed, it is.
After a few opening statements, the host introduces Andreas Preuninger, head of Porsche GT Division, in order for him to speak about the new Porsche 911 R. Calling the R a “new breed of GT car,” Preuninger clarifies the “ethos” of the new model:
It’s a true, authentic driver’s car. It’s definitely not a race car, definitely not a track car. It’s not like a track-tool that we normally offer. It has the same technology, but it’s more like a purist’s car. A pure driver’s car: a car to use on the road and have fun on the road.
In short, if you want the power and performance of a race car, but also desire a vehicle that functions as a daily driver, then this is the 911 model for you. For more in-depth information on the new Porsche 911 R, the concept behind it, and the story of its production, check out the fascinating clip below:
But what makes this Porsche so special? Well, according to Preuninger, engineers and designers created several, unique elements for the new Porsche 911 R to make the automobile fit for “purists.”
For starters, the car sports a six-speed manual gearbox. While the PDK transmission offers drivers quicker transitions and, thus, fast sprint times, Preuninger notes that the manual transmission is a “main characteristic” of the car, at least to the extent that Porsche enthusiasts “wanted to keep their involvement with the car itself” and have “more fun while on the street.” Indeed, their is a visceral pleasure one receives from interacting with a precision machine in a more direct fashion, dictating the manner in which it functions.
Moreover, the “gearbox was developed especially for the car. It’s not something off the shelf. It’s a specific GT gearbox.” The manual transmission also benefits from the fact that it’s 20 kilograms lighter than the dual-clutch PDK transmission (and coupled with it’s carbon fiber body), making it more nimble and responsive than its GT relatives.
At one point Preuninger asks the rhetorical question: “What’s important in a sports car”? His answer?
It’s not so much, for me, the pure horsepower because there is a limit to what additional horsepower can contribute to additional driving pleasure…What counts is the feedback of the car: the absolute clear information you receive through your hands, through your bum, through your back, through your feet, and through your ears.
Yes, the technical specifications are not what he thinks “makes” the car. Rather, the clarity of the the interaction between body and machine are of utmost importance. Of course, one of the most essential machnic-corporeal interactions Preuninger mentions: “This [car] makes you grin all the time. It’s a great entertainer.”
New Porsche 911 R: How do you drive this damn thing?
In conjunction with the release of the new Porsche 911 R, the German automaker created a series of “Driving Lesson” videos that offer guidance to customers who are new to performance vehicles. In these videos, professional racer Patrick Long provides two, lucky 911 drivers (and those viewing in front of their computer screen) tips on how to optimize your position inside the car, how to turn, shift, and corner, etc.
While, at the time of writing this post, Porsche released four of these videos; a fifth segment will come out in the near future. Obviously, the drivers in the clips sit behind the wheel of the Porsche 911 R, but the same principles apply to driving many of the 911s in the Porsche fleet. Check them out below:
Unfortunately, the German automaker will only produce 991 individual cars in the new Porsche 911 R line. If you’d like to see yourself behind the wheel of one of these vehicles, you’ll want to call one of our Porsche Brand Ambassadors immediately at (855) 273-3053.
Of course, you don’t have to own an R version to experience the power and performance of a 911. To this extent, we have several 2017 Porsche models in-stock. We also have an exciting selection of 2016 Porsche 911 models. To test drive any of these cars, stop by Prestige Imports at 9201 West Colfax in Lakewood, Colorado. We’re located between Wadsworth and Kipling.