Porsche’s new road racer


Just when you thought Porsche couldn’t upgrade the 911, along comes the 911 R. This variation has a build production run of 991 units, and according to the European pundits, they are all sold already.

Revealed at the Geneva motor show, the 911 R’s name is a nod to the 1967 road-homologated Porsche 911 R race car that excelled in the Targia Florio and other rallies of the same era.

Worth 14 million plus duty?

This car is presented as a stripped out road racer with no creature comforts such as audio systems or air conditioning here – this is a performance thoroughbred for Porsche traditionalists who have a spare 14 million THB (plus freight and Customs duties), plus a bit more for a tank of petrol.

The new 911 R has Porsche’s potent 368 kW/460 Nm 4.0 liter normally aspirated flat six engine which has been appropriated from the GT3 RS.

However, looking at the road-going side, this 911 R does not come with a seven speed manual or optional PDK dual-clutch automatic transmission as offered in other 911’s, the R – for race – comes exclusively with a six-speed manual box.

Interestingly, acceleration to 100 km/h is said to take 3.8 seconds, which is slower than that of the more affordable GT3 (3.5sec) and GT3 RS (3.3sec) in auto PDK trim. Top speed is 323 km/h.

Porsche generally ensure that brakes are far more than just adequate with ceramic composite discs measuring 410 mm at the front and 390 mm at the rear. Tyres are also wide – 245 mm at the front and 305 mm on the rear – and are mounted on 20 inch light alloy wheels.

Light-weight chassis and body components – including the carbon mudguards and magnesium roof – are drawn from the GT3, but instead of a race-style fixed rear wing, the R gets the retractable spoiler from the Carrera for road use. The front bumper gets a redesigned splitter lip as well. In the weight saving, the 911 R gets feather-weight carbon-fiber bucket seats, pull-strap door openers and plastic rear windows.

Prepared in Porsche’s motorsport skunkworks, the 911 R tips the scales at just 1370 kg, making it the lightest of the current 911 generation.

If you need a dose of nostalgia to justify the expense, the seats are lined with a tartan fabric which is said to hark back to the original 911 R.

Inside, the R gets a shorter gear shift lever and GT steering wheels. Along with carbon-fiber trim and a plate that has a build number embedded in it.