For those worried that the art of driving will soon go the way of the dodo, at least one carmaker has heard your cries.
Porsche has pulled the covers from a new variant of the 911 at the Geneva Motor Show, simply called the ‘R’ (for ‘Racing’), which gives fans of the German carmaker at least one more chance to purchase a genuine driver’s car.
“Wolf in sheep’s clothing”, “pure” and “classic” are all words used by Porsche to describe its new model, which blends a proper manual transmission with a naturally-aspirated flat six-cylinder engine in a stripped-out 911 body.
The engine is the same 4.0 litre powerplant found in the GT3 and GT3 RS producing 368kW (500 BHP) and 460Nm, while the gearbox is a six-speed unit.
The R tips the scales at 1370kg, making it the lightest 911 in Porsche’s current line-up and a sizable 50kg lighter than the GT3 RS.
Weight has been stripped everywhere - from the carbon-fibre bonnet and wings to the magnesium roof, along with lightweight plastic windows at the rear and rear-side.
The air conditioning and radio have also been cut to save weight, but Porsche has put these items on the options list.
A combination of RS power and a lightweight package means the R can hit 100km/h from rest in 3.8 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 323km/h. Fuel consumption is rated at 13.3 l/100km.
At the rear, the R features rear-axle steering and a mechanical differential lock, along with 20-inch alloy wheels wearing 305mm tyres and 390mm brake rotors. Front wheels are also 20-inch, but wearing 245mm tyres, and the front stoppers measure 410mm.
It’s not all raw Porsche, however, as the driver is aided by Porsche’s motorsport-developed stability management system and, should they choose, a double-declutch function at the touch of button for “perfect” downshifts.
The R also sports some real-world features, such as a front-axle lift system which raises the ride-height by 30mm. Other real-world features are missing in the pursuit of lightness, such as the back seat.
So that’s the good news, now for the bad…
Porsche says just 991 examples of the 911 R will be built, of which a handful are allocated to Australia. Most, if not all, are probably already spoken for.
Pricing starts from $404,700 plus on-road costs, with first deliveries expected to begin later this year.
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