• 2017 Porsche 911 R

A wingless, manual 911 GT3 for purists

Despite being fitted with one of the best automatic transmissions ever built, the latest 911 GT3 has received a lot of heat from Porsche purists. Sure, the PDK shifts amazingly quick and it’s specifically tuned to deliver the fastest lap times on the race track, but most gearheads claim the 911 GT3 would be a lot more fun with three pedals and a stick. I couldn’t agree more.

Even though Porsche has made it clear, more than once, that the manual gearbox will not return in the GT3, Stuttgart eventually came to its senses and developed a hardcore, naturally aspirated 911 with a manual transmission. The new model is called the 911 R – in a nod to a race-spec, 1967 model wearing the same badge – and uses GT3 underpinnings and the same engine as the GT3 RS.

Unveiled at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, the 911 R will be built in less than 1,000 units and, somewhat surprisingly, it will cost more than the range-topping GT3 RS. Keep reading to find out what makes the 911 R special and the amount of hard-earned money you’ll have to spend to take one home.

Updated 07/22/2016: Porsche announced the official U.S. prices on the new 911 R and also dropped a new video which highlights pretty much all there is to know on the new sports car. Hit "play" to watch it and go to "Prices" section for a full list of options.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Porsche 911 R.

  • 2017 Porsche 911 R
  • Year:
    2017
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    500
  • 0-60 time:
    4 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    186 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    184900
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2017 Porsche 911 R High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Porsche 911 R High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Porsche 911 R High Resolution Exterior
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All told, the 911 R hits the market as a true sleeper, which makes it a worthy successor of its 50-year-old grandfather

As suggested by the prototype spotted testing back in 2015, the 911 R turned out to be a 911 GT3 without a rear wing. These two sports cars are identical in nearly every aspect, down to the front and rear bumpers. beefed-up rear fenders, and even the wheels, side skirts, and mirrors. The only detail that makes the 911 R stand out compared to the GT3 is the engine lid, which in the absence of a wing has a conventional grille and a retractable spoiler taken from the Carrera models. Also new are a redesigned front spoiler lip and a rear underbody diffuser.

The front and rear hoods and the fenders are made from carbon-fiber, while the roof is made from magnesium, features borrowed from the GT3 RS. Interestingly enough, the 911 R is 50 kg (110 pounds) lighter than the 911 GT3 RS at 1,370 kg (3,020 pounds), which makes it the lightest road-legal 911 you can guy in showrooms.

Much like the classic 911 R, the new model also comes with "Porsche" decals above the side skirts and racing stripes in either red or green, just like its spiritual predecessor. The stripes come standard, but customers who want a more standard appearance can opt to delete them from the options list. All told, the 911 R hits the market as a true sleeper, which makes it a worthy successor of its 50-year-old grandfather.

Interior

2017 Porsche 911 R High Resolution Interior
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The 911 R's interior was designed with track weekends in mind

The 911 R’s interior was designed with track weekends in mind. The rear seats were removed, while the front seats have carbon-fiber shells wrapped in tartan cloth, a feature reminiscent of the original 911. To further save weight, Porsche replaced the door handles with lighter pull straps and ditched both the radio unit and the air conditioner. Unique to the R model, the steering wheel is finished in black, missing the aluminum accents and the yellow 12 o’clock stripe seen in the GT3 RS. There’s also a bespoke short gearshift level, a host of carbon-fiber inserts, and aluminum badge on the front passenger’s side to indicate the limited number of the car. Both the infotainment system and the instrument cluster were revised for this model, with the former featuring a pop-up screen with the 911 R’s profile and badge.

Drivetrain

2017 Porsche 911 R High Resolution Exterior
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Output is identical to the RS at 500 horsepower and 339 pound-feet of torque.

Although initial rumors claimed that the 911 R will get the 3.8-liter flat-six in the GT3, Porsche opted to use the larger, 4.0-liter in the GT3 RS. What’s more, output is identical to the RS at 500 horsepower and 339 pound-feet of torque. The big change here compared to both the GT3 and GT3 RS is that the boxer engine mates to a bespoke version of Porsche’s six-speed manual gearbox with no option for a PDK automatic.

Definitely a race-bred 911 for purists, the R does come with a drawback due to its manual transmission: the sprint 60 mph is achieved in 3.7 seconds. Granted, it’s by no means slow, but it falls behind both the PDK-equipped GT3 and GT3 RS, which can complete the benchmark in 3.3 and 3.1 seconds respectively. On the other hand, six tenths is a small price to pay to finally have a manual GT3 RS. Its top speed, on the other hand, is superior at 200 mph, five and three mph more than the GT3 and GT3 RS, respectively.

Chassis, Suspension and Brakes

2017 Porsche 911 R High Resolution Exterior
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Not surprising given the drivetrain the 911 R rides on underpinnings borrowed from the GT3. However, Porsche didn’t just take the chassis and suspension from its track-prepped car and stuffed them in the 911 R. Most components have been specially tuned for the new sports car, a necessary measure considering that the massive rear wing of the GT3 and GT3 RS was removed. The rear-axle steering, the rear differential lock, and the suspension system have been specially tuned for the 911 R. The standard rear-axle steering gives the coupe direct turn-in characteristic, precise handling, and high stability, while the differential builds up maximum traction.

Most components have been specially tuned for the new sports car, a necessary measure considering that the massive rear wing of the GT3 and GT3 RS was removed

The Porsche Stability Management (PSM) system has also been adapted for the 911 R. There an optimized double-declutch function for perfect gearshifts when changing down and the optional single-mass flywheel. Porsche also offers an optional lift system that raises ground clearance of the front axle by about 30 millimetres (around 1.2 inches) at the press of a button.

Stopping power comes form the standard Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake (PCCB) system, which includes 410-mm (16.1-inch) front and 390-mm (15.3-inch) rear discs. The brakes are hidden behind 20-inch lightweight wheels finished in matte aluminum and wrapped in high-performance tires.

Prices

Pricing for the 911 R starts from $184,900, which is exactly $9,000 more than the 911 GT3. Although it’s not the most expensive 911, being topped by the Turbo S, the R is the most expensive naturally aspirated version of the sports car.

The 911 R also carries a long list of options. Among the most expensive ar the single-mass flywheel with reinforced clutch at $3,650, the LED headlamps in black with PDLS at $3,395, the Sport Chrono Package at $1,920, the Extended Interior Package with leather dashboard trim at $1,720, and the personalized and illuminated, carbon-fiber door sill guards at $1,640. Customers can also have side stripes with "Porsche" script for $675, carbon-fiber mirror upper trim for $1,415, and a Bose sound system for $1,590. Other options include clear taillights at $650, heated seat at $690, painted key with leather pouch at $530, and SiriusXM Satellite radio and navigation at $1,120.

All told, a fully loaded 911 R will set up you back at least $205,000. If you could buy one, that is, because all 991 units were sold out before the car was unveiled to the public.

Porsche 911 R $184,900
Options
Side Stripes with Porsche Script in Black $675
Side Stripes with Porsche Script in Red $675
Side Stripes with Porsche Script in Green $675
Bi-Xenon™ Headlights in Black with Porsche Dynamic Light System (PDLS) $1,375
LED Headlights in Black with Porsche Dynamic Light System (PDLS) $3,395
SportDesign Exterior Mirror Upper Trim in Carbon Fiber $1,415
Clear Taillights $650
Side Skirts Painted in Exterior Color $750
Headlight Cleaning System Covers in Exterior Color $295
Fuel Cap with Aluminum Look Finish $160
Single-Mass Flywheel with Reinforced Clutch $3,650
Sport Chrono Package (Porsche Track Precision App and Preparation for Lap Trigger) $1,920
Seat Heating (Front) $690
Vehicle Key Painted and Key Pouch in Leather $530
Extended Interior Package, Dashboard Trim in Leather $1,720
Extended Interior Package, Door Panel in Leather $690
Steering Column Casing in Leather $465
Deviated Floor Mats with Leather Edging $455
Carbon Fiber Floor Mats with Leather Edging $740
Deviated Carbon Fiber Floor Mats with Leather Edging $740
Door-Sill Guards in Carbon Fiber, Illuminated $1,275
Personalized Door Sill Guards in Carbon Fiber, Illuminated $1,640
BOSE® Surround Sound System $1,590
Telephone Module $265
SiriusXM® Satellite Radio, NavTraffic, and NavWeather Receiver $750
HD Radio™ Receiver $370
SiriusXM® Satellite Radio, NavTraffic, NavWeather, and HD Radio™ Receiver $1,120

Competition

Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray - Driven High Resolution Exterior
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Although it’s a front-engine sports car that uses a significantly larger, 6.2-liter V-8 engine, the Corvette Stingray should have what it takes to give the 911 R a run for its money. The V-8 cranks out 460 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of twist when equipped with the Performance Exhaust. This enables the coupe to hit 60 mph from a standing start in 3.8 seconds. Besides being as quick as the 911 R, the Chevy can also return up to 30 mpg on the highway and 17 mpg in the city, due to its Active Fuel Management system that shuts down four of the eight cylinders. The Corvette Stingray retails from $55,400, which pretty much makes it a bargain compared to any Porsche 911.

Find more about the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray here.

Conclusion

2017 Porsche 911 R High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Purists have been grumbling about not being able to buy a track-ready 911 with a manual gearbox ever since the 991-generation GT3 was launched. A modern-day 911 R will not only keep gearheads happy, but it will also enable Porsche to make use of its rich motorsport heritage for another expensive, yet highly desirable 911. Granted, it’s very expensive, even when compared to the 911 GT3, but Porsche won’t build another GT3-spec coupe with a manual gearbox anytime soon. And, with the naturally aspirated 911 enjoying its final years on the market, the 911 R has everything it needs to become a collector’s item.

  • Leave it
    • Very expensive
    • Might not be around too long

Update History

Updated 07/17/2016: We’ve created a new video that covers the highlights of the 2017 Porsche 911 R. Click play on the video above to enjoy it for yourself.

Updated 07/01/2016: Porsche dropped a new video showing the new 911 R in action at the 2016 Goodwood Festival of Speed. Hit "play" to watch the car in action at an iconic location and learn more about its special features.

Updated 04/19/2016: Porsche dropped the last episode of its "Driving lessons with the 911 R" series. In this new video two participants will put the knowledge they have gained and their driving skills to the test. Hit "play" to see them in action.

Updated 03/29/2016: Porsche dropped the fourth episode of its "Driving lessons with the 911 R" series. In this new video you will learn how to find the ideal line on the Porsche test track in Weissach. Hit "play" to watch it!

Updated 03/18/2016: Porsche dropped the third episode of its "Driving lessons with the 911 R" series. In this new video you will learn how to heel-and-toe downshift for a perfect corner entry. Hit "play" to watch it!

Updated 03/16/2016: Porsche dropped the second episode of its "Driving lessons with the 911 R." In this new video you will learn more about the g-forces. There is also a second video that highlights different features of the new sports car. Hit "play" to watch them!

Updated 03/10/2016: Porsche dropped a new promo video for its new 911 R. Check it out by pressing "play" and let us know in the comments section below if you really believe the new 911 R is faster than the satellite.

Updated 03/07/2016: Porsche will launch a series of new video featuring a driving training with Porsche works driver Patrick Long. The first lesson is all about the basics: you will learn more about the correct seating position as well as proper steering and vision control. Hit "play" to watch the video.

Updated 03/03/2016: We added a series of new images taken during the car’s official presentation at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. Click the "Pictures" tab to check them out!

Updated 03/01/2016: Porsche unveiled the new 911 R at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show.

Updated 01/28/2016: New details on the upcoming 911 R reveal that the new sports car will be built in limited edition, and, as you probably have guessed it, all the units have been already spoken for. The car will be making its official debut at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show.

Updated 10/28/2015: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming Porsche 911 R out for its first testing session. While little is known about the car at this moment, the spy shots reveal that the future 911 R will drop the big rear wing from the GT3. Official debut is set to take place at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show.

Spy Shots

October 28, 2015 - First testing session

2017 Porsche 911 R Exterior Spyshots
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2017 Porsche 911 R Exterior Spyshots
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2017 Porsche 911 R Exterior Spyshots
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Brief Porsche 911 R History

2017 Porsche 911 R
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Following the racing success of the 911S and 911T, both based on road-legal models, Porsche decided to build an even more potent sports car with a more powerful engine and a lighter body. Completed in 1967, the 911 R was nearly identical to the 911S in terms of design, but featured a fiberglass body, aluminum doors, and a magnesium crankcase. Design-wise, it was recognizable thanks to its unique taillights, front turn signals, plastic door handles, and lightweight bumpers.

The 911 R was at least 500 pounds lighter than the standard 911 and 350 pounds lighter than the 911S.

Power came from the Carrera 906’s flat-six engine rated at 210 horsepower, 50 more than the 911S. The 911 R was at least 500 pounds lighter than the standard 911 and 350 pounds lighter than the 911S, which prevented Porsche from homologating the sports car as a variant of the latter. Forced to homologate the 911 R as a separate model, which meant that 500 units had to built, Porsche produced only 20 units for non-production classes and rally events.

The 911 R entered 21 events in 1968 and 1969 – including high-profile races such as the 24 Hours of Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring, 1,000Km of Nürburgring, the Targa Florio, and Tour de France. In 1969, the 911 R scored its only outright win at Tour de France, taking the checkered flag ahead of a more powerful Chevrolet Corvette.

Although its career was short-lived and not exactly successful, the 911 R went on to became one of the rarest and most sought-after classic 911s.

Rendering

2017 Porsche 911 R Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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Ciprian Florea
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read full bio
About the author

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