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The 911 R Is A 500-HP Love Letter To Classic Porsches Of The Past

It's manual-only and its engine is naturally aspirated. Perfect.

Ever since the Porsche 911 GT3 family went paddle shift-only, driving enthusiasts across the world have been begging the automaker to eventually offer the car with a manual gearbox. And it seems Porsche's higher-ups were paying attention to those pleas as there's now a new member of the hardcore 911 family: the 911 R. Named in homage to the original homologation car from the 1960s, and limited to just 991 units, the Porsche 911 R is for all intents and purposes a 911 GT3 RS without the wild aero package. It also only comes with a six-speed manual.

This raw 911 variant has a 500-hp 4.0-liter flat-six engine that howls its way all the way to 8,800 rpm. Likewise, all the under-the-skin trinkets that make the GT3 RS such an involving super sports car—like the rear-wheel steering and mechanical limited slip differential—are all retained. Other features, though, should make this the most engaging 911 variant you can buy: a curb weight of 3,021 pounds makes it the lightest 911 model on sale today (as well as 110 pounds lighter than the GT3 RS on which it's based), and there's even a driving mode that enables double-clutching, hearkening back to the days before the advent of synchromesh. We so can't wait to get behind the wheel of this beauty!

The 911 R looks much tamer than the 911 GT3 it shares DNA with. That results in a car which looks "normal," with the only indication of its true potential being the twin red racing stripes, which also come in green! Of course the action doesn't happen outside but under the hood. Enthusiasts, which is who Porsche is trying to appeal to, will likely be happy that all the extra aero bits were hacked off. Speaking of things removed, there's no air conditioning or audio system as standard, but those features can be optioned at no extra price. With regard to price, the Porsche 911 R checks in at $185,950, that including a destination fee of $1,050. If that sounds too much for an NA, manual-only (almost) 911 GT3 then you're not who Porsche is after anyways.

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