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Geneva show: Porsche’s road racer sold out in Oz

R for race: Porsche’s 911 gets the 4.0-litre boxer engine and light-weight panels from the vaunted 911 GT3 RS.

Porsche knocked down in the rush for its $404,707 super-light atmo 911 R


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2 Mar 2016

THE good news is that Porsche’s stripped out racer for the road, the 911 R, is Australia-bound by the end of this year. The bad news is that the “extremely limited number” destined for this market are already sold, and then some.

Porsche Cars Australia says demand has already exceeded supply for Australia’s small allocation from the global production run of 991 units.

Revealed at this week’s Geneva motor show, the 911 R’s name is a nod to the 1967 road-homologated Porsche 911 R race car that kicked butt in the Targia Florio and other rallies of the same era.

No turbos, audio systems or other fluffy stuff here – this is a performance thoroughbred for Porsche traditionalists who have a lazy $404,700 laying around, plus a bit more for on-road costs.

Following a similar philosophy of mucho mumbo and lean construction, the new 911 R is armed with Porsche’s potent 368kW/460Nm 4.0-litre normally aspirated flat six engine from that other 911 beloved by enthusiasts, the GT3 RS.

But instead of the seven-speed manual or optional PDK dual-clutch automatic transmission offered in other 911s, the R – for race – comes exclusively with a business-like six-speed manual box.

It does, however, have an automatic double-declutch mode for extra-slick down-changes.

Curiously, acceleration to 100km/h is said to take 3.8 seconds, which is slower than that of the more affordable GT3 (3.5sec) and GT3 RS (3.3sec) in auto PDK trim. Top speed is 323km/h.

Brakes are suitably hefty – ceramic composite discs measuring 410mm at the front and 390mm at the rear. Fat tyres – 245mm wide at the front and 305mm on the rear – are mounted on 20-inch light alloy wheels.

Porsche says the rear-wheel-drive 911 R’s strength is in the bends where its lack of bulk is a major asset, lowering the centre of gravity.

Prepped in Porsche’s motorsport skunkworks, the 911 R tips the scales at just 1370kg, making it the lightest of the current 991 generation.

Apart from stripping out items such as the air-conditioning and radio (which can be returned as options), the R gets feather-weight carbon-fibre bucket seats, pull-strap door openers and plastic rear windows to trim vital grams.

Those seats are lined with a tartan fabric which is said to hark back to the original 911 R.

Light-weight chassis and body components – including the carbon mudguards and magnesium roof – are drawn from the GT3, but instead of a race-style fixed rear wing, the R gets the retractable spoiler from the Carrera for road use. The front bumper gets a redesigned splitter lip.

In case other road users wonder what you are driving, Porsche logos are emblazoned down the flanks, 1970s style.

Inside, the R gets a shorter gear shift lever and GT steering wheels. Along with carbon-fibre trim that has a build number plate embedded in it.

The $404k ask for the 911 R makes it one of the more expensive 911s in Australia, topped only by the Turbo S at $444,500.

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