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First driving impressions Porsche 911 R: 500 HP, vacuum cleaner, manual transmission

Hans-Dieter Seufert
Mitfahrt Porsche 911 R (991) (2016)
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E s there probably in the whole wide world no more inopportune place to write this. But all this Nürburgring fuss about best times is getting boring. One day people - probably even we ourselves - will misunderstand the idea of ​​the 911 R and clap it over the Nordschleife to record a lap time. This tells you how much time you can save compared to, say, an A 45 AMG over 20.6 kilometers. The R is not about saving seconds, but enjoying every single one.

Two more details: First, the R, which project manager Andreas Preuninger drives up, is a gently camouflaged pre-production model. Secondly, we have discovered that the R is the most grandiose 911 of all time, both past and future.

Porsche 911 R, where have you been for so long?

In the grandiose one Models not poor in 911 history, there is already an R, the Targa Florio class winner and speed record setter. In 1967 a certain Ferdinand Karl Piëch helped develop it in the test department. R for racing - the 911 S is cleared out and rebuilt for this: hoods and doors made of aluminum, bumpers and fenders made of GRP, side /rear windows made of two-millimeter Plexiglas /Plexidur, front window made of four-millimeter thin glass, rear seats, insulation and the passenger sun visor gone.

The two-liter boxer has titanium connecting rods and is boosted to 210 hp. Because it doesn't seem so suitable for everyday use, instead of the planned 500 homologation models, only 24.

Hans-Dieter Seufert
Pure: No spoiler, no body kit , just a 911. With 500 hp.

991 copies of the new 911 R will be available, white withLettering and green or red racing stripes, plus wheels in a raw aluminum look. We strap ourselves into the carbon sports seats. You wear the very adorable Pepita cushion. From the middle of the car rises a gear lever, a really manual one for six gears.

An R stands for 'six-speed manual gearshift

The Carrera, explains Preuninger, has a six-speed gearbox plus overdrive, nobody needs it here. So in the 15 months of development his team constructs a six-speed box from the seven-speed box as well as everything else. Turn the ignition key and two meters further at the rear starts: a boxer. A four-liter. A six-cylinder. A naturally aspirated. From the GT3 RS. Through the thin insulation, it thunders from the titanium exhaust system, plus a long noise from precise mechanics - not loud, but pure. Gear in, clutch comes, R braces himself loose.

As we roll out of town, Preuninger explains, there are many customers who want the drive and chassis of a GT model, but who don't need the talent on the racetrack and don't want the race appearance Cayman GT4 extends the R the portfolio - as a counterpoint to the GT3 RS. The R is a car for the connoisseurs and experts of the country road, conditioned more for driving pleasure than for the best time.

It lacks the wings, the wide wheelhouses, and a little bit the stubborn seriousness of the GT pack, but not their technical brilliance. With a magnesium roof, polycarbonate windows and carbon hood /fenders, the R weighs 50 kilos less than the anorexic GT3 RS. It also has rear-axle steering, 'it weighs two kilos, but makes the R much more agile,' says Preuninger.

Hans-Dieter Seufert
Rarely: a GT3 RS with Manual transmission? Gabs most recently at the 997th

Luck is on the Street

You can already see that as copilot. How the R throws itself in curves. How he bites into the ideal line with the enormous grip of the ultra-high-performance tires, never letting go of it. How he then - depending on the escalation wishes of the driver and the PSM's strategy - with gentle or dramatic rear-end pushing, but increasingly enormous thanks to the mechanical lockOpen traction to run down the next straight. With the single-mass flywheel (around 2,000 euros extra), the engine turns even more smoothly, even more frenetically.

The diffuser at the rear produces downforce from 120 km /h. The R has a lot less of that than a GT3, but is in the best aerodynamic balance. The narrow, wingless R is very fast - of course, in terms of performance. '500 hp are enough for the country road,' says Preuninger. Who would have thought that, we think and continue to listen: 'The R is the distillate of what makes a 911.'

Hans-Dieter Seufert
991 insignia: The 911 R is built almost 1,000 times. It will be difficult to get hold of one.

In the motorsport department in Flacht you already know exactly what the very best Porsche customers are expect from the R: a 911, puristic as it used to be, but modern. We should therefore also mention the composite braking system from the 918 Spyder and the speed adjustment when shifting gears, but above all everything that it does not have: There is no back seat, no PDK, no radio, no roll bar, no comfort frills or tweaks and probably no chance of getting one either.

Orders start on the first day of the Geneva Salon. Porsche informs that the limited edition is expected to be sold in a very short time. It should be the only time that every second really counts with the 911 R.

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