On paper, this Porsche seems like it would be a step backward from the GT3 RS. Yes it has the same 500 horsepower naturally aspirated engine, but almost everything else is different. There is a 6-speed manual gearbox, a narrower body and wheel set taken from the GT3. The fenders don’t have those crazy louvers, and the rear quarters are smooth where the RS has intake inlets. There’s no huge downforce-and-intimidation-creating rear wing.
According to Motor Trend’s Jason Cammisa, its the things this Porsche is missing that make it so great. There’s hardly any sound deadening in the car, so little that you can hear the throttle actuator in the engine compartment, you can hear the induction noise as clear as if you were sitting in the throttle body, you can hear the rocks being thrown at the inner fender by its sticky rear tires. All of the things its missing means it is technically a slower car at most race tracks, but that it is also a more visceral and involving driving experience. This 911 has everything you need to have a good time, and none of the things you don’t.
I’m still not convinced that “R” was the best name for this car, and being such limited production means I’ll never get the opportunity to test one out myself, but after having watched this video, I really get a feel for why the 911R has sold out so quickly. This is an enthusiastic and entertaining drive that really only Porsche can provide. With a rumor that the next GT3 RS will available with three pedals and a stick shift, perhaps Porsche will provide this level of entertainment for anyone who wants to buy one.