Porsche plots back-to-basics GT-derived 911 with a focus on driver involvement rather than lap times
18 February 2016

The Porsche 911 R has been spied testing with minimal disguise, ahead of its speculated launch at the Geneva motor show next year.

The manual-only stablemate of the GT3 and GT3 RS carries no badging in these early spy shots, although a twin central exhaust set-up, with a distinct rear diffuser but no rear wing, suggests it is the 'pure' 911 variant first reported by Autocar in June of this year. These latest spy shots also show the test mule running on the new wheels, also recently seen in spy shots of the upcoming facelifted 911 GT3. 

Read our full Porsche 911 R review here

Porsche's hardcore 911 is expected to launch early in 2017, with next March's Geneva motor show being the most likely setting for the new car to make its debut.

The new model is likely to pay tribute to the original 911 R, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2017. It's expected that the 911 R will be a permanent addition to the 911 family, rather than being a limited-run special edition. The new car is thought to be an entirely distinct entity from any that have been seen in the 16 years since the introduction of the original GT3 in 1999.

Porsche is putting a focus on simple driving pleasure with the 911 R, meaning it will be radically different from the track-based RS models and the standard GT cars that are designed to be usable every day.

The new car will not be engineered specifically to set competitive lap times or provide a sensible means of daily transport. Instead, it will be set up to maximise feel, response and driver interaction. Crucially, it will mark the return of the manual gearbox to the 911 GT range for the first time since the demise of the 997 generation in 2011.

As is clear from the spy shots, the new car is expected to lose much of the aerodynamic addenda that have become synonymous with GT models and come with the narrower body used by base-spec 911s, with the large rear wing of the GT models conspicuous by its absence.

It will most likely have skinnier, less grippy tyres and a chassis set-up dedicated less to generating grip and more towards providing a friendly on-limit balance.

The engine is likely to be similar or identical to the normally aspirated 3.8-litre unit used by the current GT3, despite the move to turbocharging for all non-GT 911s at the end of this year, although Porsche remains tight-lipped about the 911 R's existence, so could not confirm any details about the 911 R. 

Read more:

Blog - How the Porsche Cayman GT4 is inspiring the new 911 GT

Read the full review of the first-ever turbocharged Porsche 911

 

Our Verdict

Porsche 911 GT3
Like its predecessors, the new 911 GT3 has been developed to provide a platform for Porsche’s lucrative clubsport division

Latest 911 GT3 is big and brutal; despite this Porsche has made it faster, more responsive and more user-friendly than ever

Join the debate

Comments
22

4 June 2015

Even though the electric steering on the GT3 and GT3 RS has been generally praised in reviews to date, will Porsche return to the 997 hydraulic setup?
What the hell, let's demand at least an option of unassisted steering!
Return to an air cooled engine would make it lighter too

4 June 2015
Ryan Bane wrote:

Even though the electric steering on the GT3 and GT3 RS has been generally praised in reviews to date, will Porsche return to the 997 hydraulic setup?

This was going to be my question!


4 June 2015

Would love to see Porsche utilize NA and Turbocharged Flat-4s in the Cayman / Boxster and 911, always felt Porsche missed a trick from the late-80s / early-90s upon canceling the Porsche 984 "Junior" project (especially its flat-4 unit) once the likes of the original Turbocharged Flat-4 Subaru Legacy and Impreza appeared on the scene.

4 June 2015

Sounds like they should call it Porsche "GT86" :) A great concept for a purer driver's car.

4 June 2015

Best news for a long time. Putting the driver first! Obviously a good idea.

When it comes to it, why would anyone into driving not prefer this to a car that was a bit faster on a track, but ultimately a hopelessly slow 'racing' car?

5 June 2015

This looks to me like the story of the 911 Safari that appeared a few years back,and where is that now? I don't believe this.

Madmac

5 June 2015

They should make a smaller and lighter 911 for the future. It has become too large and wide with the 991.

6 June 2015

I may be wrong, but I think hydraulic PS is becoming unacceptably expensive because there is so little demand that it has basically become bespoke. Don't know what that means in terms of actual incremental cost on a car like this. Unfortunately, there is a whole generation of drivers who have never experienced the unbelievable feel you can get from a good non PS or a really good PS. It's like taking off 5 condoms.

30 October 2015

Clearly there is discontentment with the fact that there is no manual GT3 even in RS form, clearly there is a market for it and clearly the new turbocharged range will simply not satisfy those who really want to drive hence this contrived car. Why cant they just put that box in the GT3?

ofir

1 November 2015
Ofir wrote:

Clearly there is discontentment with the fact that there is no manual GT3 even in RS form, clearly there is a market for it and clearly the new turbocharged range will simply not satisfy those who really want to drive hence this contrived car. Why cant they just put that box in the GT3?

Isn't it because the GT range has direct links to motorsport and it's desire for ultimate pace? I can't think of many top line race series that still use manual gearboxes can you so it would only stand to reason that a motorsport derived car would feature a paddleshift arrangement? This new R looks like a perfect complement to me for anyone who already has a GT version. One will give you the ultimate satisfaction on track when your trying to push yourself as far as you can go and the other could be the best compromise for on road use and all it's limitaions

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