'On paper the 911 R is a GT3 with a manual gearbox, the GT3 RS's engine, and no wing. However, the philosophy behind the car is more involved. This is meant to be a pure, emotive 911, a car that's about driver involvement on the road rather than the track.'- Evo magazine.
3,996cc DOHC Flat 6-Cylinder Engine
500HP at 8,250RPM
6-Speed Manual Transmission
4-Wheel Independent Suspension
4-Wheel Carbon Ceramic Disc Brakes
*Offered by the original owner with only 38 miles
*Special order Paint to Sample Non-Metallic Acid Green
*Highly optioned with custom touches throughout
*The ultimate road going 911
'On paper the Porsche 911 R is a GT3 with a manual gearbox, the GT3 RS's engine, and no wing. However, the philosophy behind the car is a little more involved than that. This is meant to be a really pure, emotive 911, a car that is about driver involvement on the road rather than the track.'- Evo magazine.
Somewhat confusingly, the seventh generation of Porsche's perennial 911 sports car was designated 'Type 991', succeeding the Type 997. Introduced at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2011, the Type 991 is only the third all-new platform for the 911 since the original of 1963, the second being the Type 996 of 1999. Its development overseen by Porsche's Chief Designer, Michael Mauer, the Type 991 represented a logical progression from the Type 997 and was slightly larger than its immediate predecessor while retaining the classic 911 look. The most important chassis change was to the wheelbase, which increased in length by 100mm, while a new transaxle enabled the rear wheels to be relocated 76mm rearwards relative to the engine, improving both weight distribution and cornering performance. Transmission options comprised six-speed or seven-speed manual gearboxes, with Porsche's dual-clutch (PDK) shift optional on the latter.
Porsche's signature 'flat-six' engine was available in three different capacities in the Type 991 (3.4 liters, 3.8 liters, and 4.0 liters) with power outputs ranging from the entry-level Carrera's 345bhp up to the Turbo S's 552 horsepower. Following its established practice, Porsche also offered Cabriolet, Targa, GT3 and GT3 RS variants to cater for all customer demands ranging from soft-top boulevard cruiser to track-day assault weapon.
In September 2015, the Type 991 was introduced in revised and restyled form for the 2016 model year, becoming the '991.2' in factory parlance. To the concern of some traditionalists, turbo-charged engines were now standardized throughout the range: a 3.0-litre unit in the Carrera and Carrera S, and a 3.8-litre one in the Turbo models. The purists did not have to wait long for their concerns to be assuaged, as in March 2016 at the Geneva Motor Show Porsche unveiled the limited edition 911 R, featuring the 'old' GT3 RS's normally aspirated 4.0-litre 493bhp engine and a new six-speed manual gearbox.
Regarded by many as the 911 R's biggest selling point, the new six-speeder used the existing transmission casing but featured new internals, while customers wishing to extract the ultimate from this engine/transmission combination could specify the optional lightweight single-mass flywheel. There was also a 'Sport' mode (selecting optimum engine revs during shifts) for those unused to finessing a manual 'box. According to Evo: 'The gearshift itself is lovely. Not overly-short, but perfectly precise, deliciously weighted and much better than the seven-speed.'
This new six-speed manual gearbox was lighter than the PDK type, while the use of carbon fiber front wings and a titanium exhaust system, coupled with the removal of sound insulation, enabled Porsche to bring the 911 R's curb weight down to 1,370kg, making it around 50kg lighter than the GT3 RS. If that was still not enough, the air conditioning and radio could be deleted, saving a few more kilograms.
The running gear retained the GT3's active rear-wheel steering, albeit re-calibrated for the 911 R, while Porsche's carbon ceramic brakes were standard. With the GT3-type large rear wing gone, a new rear diffuser was incorporated to restore high-speed stability, vitally necessary in a car capable of exceeding 200mph. Despite its stupendous performance, the 911 R had been developed principally as a road car, with lighter steering, softer suspension, and narrower tires than the track-day focused GT3 RS. But although the latter has more grip and can corner faster, the lightweight 911 R accelerates more quickly than its hardcore cousin. Evo again: 'Despite the Cup tires and 493bhp, this really is a 911 that you can drive and enjoy at sane speeds. It definitely feels lighter and shorter than any other 991. Crucially it also feels like a 911, with the capacity to subtly move with a road in the way that a rear-engined car should. Push harder and some of this nuance actually recedes, leaving you with devastating composure and huge reserves of grip.'
Only 991 examples of the 911 R will be built, and all have been offered - and sold - to Porsche's preferred customers, leaving many enthusiasts disappointed, and prompting online motoring web site Jalopnik to declare: 'The Porsche 911 R will be the best manual 911 you can't buy'.
THE CAR OFFERED
Having purchased a 918 Spyder just one year earlier, the consignor was one of the first people to be offered the opportunity to purchase the highly anticipated, ultra-desirable, 911 R. The consignor made the fantastic decision to take Porsche up on their offer and placed an order for the car on June 29th, 2016. This 911 R wears the identical serial number as the consignor's 918 Spyder (also a featured auction), presenting the for the first time, the opportunity for the general public to purchase a matching pair.
This exquisite 911 R is number 290 of the 991 examples produced worldwide. Number 290 is believed to be 1 of only 50 911 Rs ordered in a paint to sample color. The car was custom ordered in the 918 Spyder accent color, non-metallic Acid Green – the outcome is absolutely stunning, creating one of the most unique builds to leave the Porsche factory. In total, the cars window sticker lists 25 options that were added, surely making this one of the most fully loaded cars built. Some of the bigger ticket items include the non-metallic Acid Green paint to sample color, leather interior in black with stitching in GT Silver, front axle lift system, Bose surround sound system, custom tailored interior (houndstooth seats), wheels painted in black (high-gloss), and LED headlights in black with Porsche Dynamic Light System.
With only 38 miles on the odometer, number 290 is essentially a brand new, factory fresh example that has lived its short life in a temperature controlled facility in the dry southern California climate. Being the only 911 R built in this specification, number 290 offers an opportunity to acquire an example that stands out well above all others.
Find the auction on our Bonhams feed.