Porsche's new 911 R combines the cache of a vintage sports car with the performance and amenities of a modern machine.
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Classic Porsche 911s are hot right now. You know, scratch that. Saying they're hot doesn't quite do it justice. They're worth their weight in gold.
Certainly, it'd be fun to own a 50-year-old Porsche that costs as much as the average home in the U.S. However, driving a car built before antilock brakes, the proliferation of power steering and — most importantly — Bluetooth can be exhausting.
Thankfully, Porsche has combined the best of its old-school charm with the modern motoring essentials we've come to rely on. It's called the 911 R and it might be the best brand-new vintage machine you can own.
The 911 R moniker is a throwback to the 1967 911 R, which was essentially a race car for the road. Making the modern 911 R, Porsche picked up some of the predecessor's finest features, like its white paint scheme, manual gearbox and houndstooth cloth seating.
Although it has retro flare, the new 911 R is every bit a modern performance Porsche. Shoehorned in the rear of the car is Porsche's 4.0-liter flat-six-cylinder engine produces 500 horsepower. Mated to a six-speed manual transmission that routes power to the rear wheels, the 911 R will do 0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds.
Intriguingly, the rear wheels do more than propel this Porsche forward; they steer as well. With rear wheels that can turn the opposite direction as the front wheels during high-speed cornering, the 911 R is about as a ferocious handling machine as they come.
After watching the video above, I must say my favorite part, save the houndstooth upholstery, is the exhaust sound. In lieu of music, that's the sound I'd like to play at my funeral. And, unfortunately, in the afterlife might be the only chance I have to get close to that sonorous sound. That's because Porsche is only going to build 991 911 Rs.