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Porsche 911 R: The lightest, purest 911 money can buy

Porsche has unveiled what could be the ultimate 911. Known as the 911 R, this ‘pure-bred sports car’ packs a sizable flat-six punch, low kerb weight and rear-wheel drive.

The Porsche 911 R is powered by a four-litre flat-six boxer engine that creates 500hp at 8,250rpm and 460Nm of torque at 6,250rpm. 0-62mph takes 3.7 seconds, making it 0.4 seconds slower than the 911 RS.

Off to a bad start, then, until you see it has a top speed of 201mph, beating the downforce-happy RS by 8mph. It also weighs just 1,370kg, making it the lightest version of the 911 (50kg lighter than the GT3 RS), and only comes with a six-speed manual and short-shift lever for a more involving drive.

Precious kilograms have been saved by using carbon fibre for the bonnet and front wheel arches, magnesium for the roof and plastic for the rear windscreen and rear side windows. The rear bench seat has also been removed, as well as some of the sound insulation.

Porsche says the 911 R could have been made for twisting roads, which makes sense when you factor in specially-tuned rear-axle steering and a mechanical limited slip differential for boosting traction.

Not only that, the 911 R has gigantic 410mm discs on the front wheels to slow it down. That’s 16-inches, making them bigger than the alloys you get on some cars. Meanwhile the back has 390mm discs. Tyre width for the front and rear is equally meaty, at 245mm and 305mm, respectively.

Underneath the 911 R is the GT3 RS, except the Carrera’s retractable spoiler has been fitted in the place of the usual fixed rear wing. It also comes with go-faster stripes, which are a nod to the 1967 911 R.

The 911 R is road-legal and Porsche has tried to make it more practical by adding a lift system that can raise the ground clearance of the front axle by 30mm at the touch of a button. Buyers can also spec air conditioning and a stereo, both of which were removed to save weight.

Interior extras specific to the 911 R include a 360mm GT sport steering wheel and carbon trim strips that feature an aluminium badge with the car’s production number.

Just 991 examples will be built for the UK and Ireland, each one costing from £136,901. The first UK deliveries are scheduled for June 2016.

Porsche 911 R pictures

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