We are at the end of an era. Naturally aspirated, manual cars are slowly becoming a thing of the past. Increasing environmental restrictions are forcing manufacturers to produce lower capacity, boosted cars to meet the ever more stringent regulations, driven by efficiency and emissions. Sadly, we’re also seeing these design implications finding their way in to the sports car market. Even the latest offerings from Porsche, Ferrari and BMW have moved over to smaller turbo charged engines.
The effect has also been amplified by a war of statistics. In recent years, it has become the main marketing focus for sports car manufacturers to chase lap times around the infamous Nurburgring. To achieve these ever reducing lap times, they have had to add aero, paddle shifted gearboxes and even four wheel steering. The issue is, although creating a quicker car in statistical numbers, it doesn’t necessarily translate to more driver involvement and ultimately, greater driver fun.
It’s the consideration of all these factors that makes the latest developments of Porsche GT department, even more special. Enter the new 911R, lead by the infectiously passionate Andreas Preuninger, they looked at everything at their disposal to create the ultimate driving experience. Every element of the car has been chosen to improve and enhance driver involvement and experience. Just listening to the recent Evo Magazine interview with Preuninger is enough to get your heart racing, especially if you have an ounce of petrol running in your veins. His passion is infectious.
The GT department took inspiration from the original 1969 911R, a car that was so focused on reducing weight; they even removed the passenger sun visor. The original car is a rare beast with only 24 having been built, 4 prototypes and 20 production cars. Many of these hard-core originals spent their lives on road rallies and racetracks.
The new 911R will feature the 4.0ltr, naturally aspirated engine from the current generation 991 GT3 RS. Mated to an all new six speed gearbox, honed for the R. Gloriously, even the radio and AC are optional, the off the shelf the car is specified with neither. One option that just has to be selected is the lightweight, single mass flywheel, giving the experience enhancing clatter to really let you know what’s going on.
“One of the lucky ones…”
Andreas has a passion I fully understand. My octane-fuelled obsession is centred entirely on driving experience. I’m fortunate enough to have an eclectic car collection, but to some it seems eccentric, a random mix of genres. However, if viewed from a ‘driving’ experience perspective, it starts to make sense.
The moment I heard rumours of the car in Porsche GT departments works, I knew there was a 911 shaped hole in my car owning soul, a silhouette with an ‘R’ badge. My immediate port of call was Porsche Centre Colchester, a professionally run team of passionate petrol heads that always go the extra mile. As a customer on and off over the last fifteen years I recently had the pleasure of having my ‘Riviera Blue’ 991 GTS supplied by OPC Colchester. The hand over was one of the most memorable to date, made even more special by my young daughter experiencing the same handover experience with her ride-on 356. Chris Bays, Sales Executive at OPCC, really went to town with a silk cover, big reveal and even a handover photo. Amazing.
After a tense six months waiting for updates and news, on the opening day of the Geneva Motorshow, I received a call from Richard Eniffer, Sales Manager at OPCC. I was one of the lucky ones! I had to sit down to take in the news; it felt like being ten years old again on Christmas Eve. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, a unicorn of a car. My mind is already filled with potential alpine adventures, recreating the rallies of the original 911R in ‘60s and ‘70s.
I now just have to decide on the spec, and for that I’ve decided to look at the original 1967 911R, taking inspiration from the racing icons of their time.
The [CarCrazedFool] Porsche 911R really will be a legend. Reborn.