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911R (991)

CAR (UK) - - Car Interactive -

THE 911R IS ABOUT HOW IT FEELS TO DRIVE A 911. OR, IF YOU’RE FEEL­ING UN­CHAR­I­TA­BLE, HOW IT USED TO FEEL

The great­est 911

Built: 2016 I En­gine: 3996cc lat-six, 493bhp I Top speed: 200mph

At a ba­sic level, it’s a GT3 RS with a manual ’box and no spoil­ers. But the 911R sums up ev­ery­thing we love about the 911 and Porsche. It’s us­able, pli­able and, though ev­ery­thing Porsche did to cre­ate it also made it faster, that was al­most a pe­riph­eral bene”it. The 911R is all about how it feels to drive a 911. Or, if you’re feel­ing un­char­i­ta­ble, how it used to feel to drive a 911.

The R is built around a GT3 shell rather than the wide-boy RS ver­sion, but does get the RS dou­ble-bub­ble mag­ne­sium roof, car­bon bon­net and a pair of car­bon front wings. There are poly­car­bon­ate rear and side win­dows, no back seats, but no roll cage op­tion either. At 1370kg, the re­sult is the light­est 991 911 ever.

Pre­dictably then, with the RS’s 493bhp ”lat-six stu˜ed up its jack­sie, it’s shock­ingly ur­gent, though slic­ing through the manual trans­mis­sion’s six gears by hand makes it slower against the clock. Who cares about that, or the fact that the spoiler-free tail feels less tied down? That you can feel it squirm is vin­di­ca­tion in it­self.

Not every­one will agree with us plac­ing the R at the head of our great­est Porsches list. Not Porsche’s hard­core racing fans. Not the air-cooled-or-bust crowd. And de”initely not the mugs who were per­suaded to part with up to $1m for al­most-new 911Rs af­ter prices went strato­spheric and are now sit­ting on a car worth around half that – though still twice the list price back in 2016.

Per­haps the name is slightly disin­gen­u­ous, too. The orig­i­nal 911R from 1967 (p84) ex­isted only to go racing. This one will be lucky if it es­capes its cli­mate-con­trolled car­coon for fear of erod­ing its value. But even two years on this 911R (and the sim­i­lar-in-ethos GT3 Tour­ing it in­spired – p84) feels like a piv­otal car, one we needed to re­mind our­selves that the ex­pe­ri­ence of a jour­ney is more im­por­tant than how fast and e¥iciently we com­plete it. Let’s grab onto that while we’ve still got a wheel to hold.

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