The incredible 911 R wasn't in the original plans.
Say what you will about Porsche and its new turbocharged lineup or decision to offer its high-performance supercars with hybrid tech, but the automaker always has a way of making its true fans feel loved. The Porsche 911 R was easily one of the best cars at the Geneva Motor Show thanks to its screaming 4.0-liter flat-six, GT3 RS-inspired styling and proper six-speed manual transmission. The supercar is a direct response to enthusiasts that complained that the automaker chose to utilize the PDK transmission in the 911 GT3 and GT3 RS.
According to an interview with Road & Track, Hermann-Josef Stappen, who is in charge of technology communications for Porsche, revealed that putting the motor from the GT3 RS into a supercar with a manual gearbox was not planned from the outset. The 911 R was a direct response to the enthusiasts that complained about the lack of a manual transmission in the GT3. Stappen even happened to call out Chris Harris by name. Porsche managed to develop the 911 R in only a year, which is quick by today's standards, but shouldn't be that surprising since the automaker used components from it's parts-bin. While the engine is out of the GT3 RS, the gearbox, which is the first six-speed manual in a 991, was developed specifically for the supercar.
Porsche is claiming that the 911 R is a more road-focused supercar compared to the track-ready GT3 and GT3 RS. The automaker believes that only a few customers will track their 911 Rs, but the majority of customers will primarily use the car on the road. The switch to the PDK-only transmission has clearly made the GT3 and GT3 RS quicker on the track, but the 911 R promises to be more engaging. The 911 R proves that automakers do listen to enthusiasts and while we can question why Porsche built the supercar, we should be thrilled that the thing even exists.