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OFFICIAL: 2016 Porsche 991 R unveiled ahead of Geneva

Driving enthusiasts rejoice! The manual performance Porsche 911 lives on and it’s officially here in time for the 2016 Geneva Motor Show in the shape of the much-anticipated Porsche 991 R, a lightweight homage to its famous Sixties namesake.

Yes, you read that right. The new 2016 Porsche 911 R features a clutch and manual gearbox with six (rather than the 991 generation’s standard seven) forward ratios.

With Porsche keen to stress the new transmission’s “short gearshift travel” and a host of other attributes, the ‘R’ is sure to provide the most analogue driving experience since the demise of manual, Mezger-engined 997 GT3s.

911 R Light (18) copy

Contrary to the initial rumours, the manual gearbox in the Porsche 991 R is not mated to the current GT3’s high-revving, 3.8-litre flat six. However, before you shed a tear, worry not for, instead, the 911 R is bestowed with the full-fat 4.0-litre engine from the 991 GT3 RS, complete with 500hp and 8,800rpm redline.

This brings it inline with the original 911R, which was the most powerful Porsche 911 ever built upon its release in 1967. The new neunelfer’s synergy with its leichtbau ancestor also sees a continuation of the lightweight philosophy that defined the early car.

Although based inside the wider, first generation 991 GT3 bodyshell, the 2016 Porsche 911 R is the lightest 991 ever built, hitting the scales at 1,370kg, 10kg lighter than a standard 991.1 Carrera and a full 50kg less than the latest Rennsport.

911 R Light (8)

This allows the Porsche 991 R to sprint from 0-62mph (0-100kph) in 3.8 seconds, 0.1 seconds faster than the 997 GT3 RS 4.0. However, the revived ‘R’ is not about its pure performance figures.

Instead, as all the rumours suggested, the 2016 911 R is tuned to thrill out on the open road rather than extract the maximum lap time out on the track. To that end, Porsche has broken with tradition an not provided a Nürburgring Nordschleife time (though we’re sure the first owners will rectify that).

Porsche has given the rear-wheel drive neunelfer a mechanical limited-slip differential, combined with Porsche Torque Vectoring, to ensure excellent traction through the 305-section rear tyres (the fronts measure up at 245, both on 20-inch diameter centre-lock wheels).

911 R Light (4)

Interestingly though, contrary to it’s lightweight mantra, the 991 R retains the rear-wheel steering system seen on the 991.1 GT3 and GT3 RS. Porsche claims this is to provide the idiosyncratic blend of agility and stability that the electro-mechanical system has become known for.

Unlike previous cars from Porsche’s motorsport department, the 991 R does away with any fixed rear-end aerodynamics, shunning a rear wing in favour for a Carrera-style moveable decklid, the grill of which uses a mesh covering, evoking the iconic R-badged original.

The front and rear ends are almost directly carried over from the Porsche 991.1 GT3 (albeit with a revised lip spoiler at the front) while the R gets a bespoke set of striped decals – available in either red or green – designed to mimic the 24-hour world record-breaking 911Rs used in 1967.

911 R Light (20) copy

Inside, on top of the carbon-clad gear lever and clutch pedal, the highlights are the 918-style carbon bucket seats. In a further nod to the short-wheelbase neunelfer upon which the 991 R takes its inspiration, the seats are finished in brown leather with ‘Pepita’ houndstooth fabric centres.

The Porsche 991 R also gets it’s own 360mm version of the Sport GT steering wheel, complete with black rather than silver trim pieces, while the rear seats have been deleted (as can the PCM and air conditioning units).

Only 991 examples of the 2016 Porsche 911 R will be built with word on the grapevine suggesting that all of them are already sold out (many to 918 Spyder owners). However, should you be lucky enough to source one through your local OPC, the UK list price is £136,901.

911 R Light (7)


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Salon de Genève 2015 : RUF, les autres Porsche

Autre préparateur qui a toute mon estime, RUF…



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Salon de Genève 2015 : Porsche en piste !

Face au stand Audi, restons en Allemagne chez le cousin […]



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Video: Matthias Müller talks 991 GT3 RS at Geneva

Porsche has thrived under the leadership of Matthias Müller; model line-ups have expanded, sales are on the up and, as the release of the Porsche 991 GT3 RS proved, the company still has the ability to thrill.

Therefore, when Herr Müller speaks, we listen. Here he talks about the new 911 GT3 RS and the Porsche Cayman GT4, two of the most exciting cars in Weissach’s line-up, both launched last week at the Geneva International Motor Show. It’s a minute of your time well spent.

For all the latest Porsche news, make sure you bookmark Total911.com. And, for all the best 911 films, check out our dedicated video section now.


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Porsche 991 GT3 RS: from prototypes to production

We have often referred to the new Porsche 911 GT3 RS as ‘the worst kept secret in the automotive world’. Why? Because we’ve known roughly what it would look like since 16 April 2014 when we spotted the first prototypes in the vicinity of the Nürburgring.

With their Turbo body shells, complete with air intake scoops on the rear arches, some rumoured that the new Rennsport would be turbocharged. Some even thought we may be looking at a potential 991 GT2 RS instead.

These first shots showed the Porsche 991 GT3 RS without those aggressive front arch louvres. Instead, a piece of tape, bent into a gentle parabola hinted that 997 GT3 RS 4.0-esque dive planes would be used to increase front downforce.

Photo by CarPix

There was also plenty of camouflaging tape on the bonnet and roof, hinting that there would be styling changes to come on the full-blown production version. Would it be a roof scoop? Is it just a ruse?

The following day – 17 April 2014 – we got our first snaps of the car attacking the Nordschleife [above] and it became obvious that the new GT3 RS sat much lower than the standard GT3. We also got our first glimpses of the new carbon fibre decklid.

Looking pretty ready for production, we were expecting the 991 GT3 RS to be unveiled at the end of the year. However, by then the GT3 engine saga was in full swing, delaying the Rennsport’s release.

A few months later, a video surfaced [above] from another test at the ‘Ring putting to bed the turbocharged rumours. The new Porsche 911 GT3 RS would definitely feature a naturally aspirated flat six combined with a PDK gearbox.

After a hectic Spring and Summer of GT3 RS spottings, it wouldn’t be until 11 December 2014 that we would get our first glimpses of the car without any camouflaging.

Camping out in Northern Sweden, our Total 911 spies spotted the car winter testing [below], revealing more pertinent visual details, including those pressure-relieving arch vents and the bonnet/roof groove.

Photo by CarPix

With so much of the car on show, it was obvious that a launch wasn’t long away and, with Geneva – home of the 991 GT3’s unveiling in 2013 – a launch at the first European motor show of 2015 seemed the most likely option.

Our suspicions were confirmed early in the new year but, despite knowing what the car would look like (thanks to further leaked models and photos) it didn’t make the prospect of the new Rennsport any less exciting, especially as we knew few technical details.

Now, with the car on show to the world, the secret is finally – and officially – out in the open [below]. The new Porsche 911 GT3 RS looks truly amazing in Lava Orange. All we know have to wait for is our first drive. Until then, we can only continue speculating and comparing to Rennsports of old.

911 GT3 RS


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