Video: Porsche 991 R driven – the verdict
It’s the most anticipated 911 in years: at last the new 991 R heralds the return of a manual gearbox to a true performance Porsche. Touted by Porsche themselves as ‘a driver’s car for the road’, the R brings back those vivacious sensations of pure driver involvement that the PDK-clad 991 GT3 and GT3 RSs lacked.
The R hasn’t merely adopted a standard Porsche manual gearbox, though. It’s a reworked transmission featuring only six gears, one less than those found on other 991 contemporaries. Gears 2, 3 and 4 are incrementally longer as a result by way of a small (very, very small) compromise for getting rid of that overly long 7th ratio.
Melding a 500hp Rennsport flat six engine to a GT3 body (complete with narrower track over the RS), and with no fixed rear wing, the R slips through the air with gusto. The caveat here is a slightly more nervous rear end at high speeds than say a GT3 or GT3 RS, but then this is a driver’s car, remember, so for us that adds to the R’s appeal.
The R has plenty of low-down torque available and pulls relentlessly all the way to an 8,500rpm redline, by which time a celestial flat six howl engulfs the cabin thanks to plexiglass rear windows and a comprehensive removal of sound deadening. The R’s pared back nature reveals a slightly more mechanical engine note over the RS too, despite the two cars sharing the same 500hp 9A1 powerplant. It is the pace of the R’s directional changes that enamours us most though, this lightweight firecracker hunting each apex down with unrivalled conviction.
That’s enough of our written notes, though. Watch the video below to see the 991 R in action as we reveal our verdict on this limited numbers, lightweight special.