By   March 2, 2016

Porsche 911 R and 911 GT3 RS

The Porsche 911 R or 911 GT3 RS

Recently the Porsche 911 R made its world debut at the Geneva Motor Show. The rear engined sports car is lighter, has the same engine as the 911 GT3 RS and most importantly comes with a manual transmission. It is also a limited edition, so you won’t likely be parking next to another R at the grocery store.

With the same power plant as is found in the GT3 RS, just how do the two stack up? While a side by side road test will have to wait, here is how they stack up on paper.

The Porsche 911 R

Porsche 911 R

From a styling stand point the 991 R tries to keep it low key. At first glance most would think it is a normal 911 Carrera, only the front fascia and rear bumper give away that there is more underneath the skin here. The 911 R is a real sleeper in the Porsche world. Many will likely assume that drivers of the higher performance oriented machine have merely added a GT3 body kit to their cars.

Porsche 911 R Interior

Inside the R reaches for its roots. The original 911 R from 1967 made its name in rally racing, including the Targa Florio and it would make some world record runs. The interior brings you back to the 60’s with its use of the houndstooth design on the sports seat inserts.

Porsche 911 R Front

Of course the fun stuff starts under the hood there you will find a 4.0-liter naturally aspirated flat-six engine producing 500 horsepower at 8,250 RPMs and 338 lb.-ft. of torque at 6,250 RPMs. Mated to the engine is a six-speed manual transmission which will cause purists to start praising the Lord.

0-60 mph comes in 3.7 seconds and flat out it can hit a top speed of 200 mph. At a weight of 3,022 lbs the 911 R is 110 lbs lighter than the 911 GT3 RS. To help achieve this lower weight the car does not come with air-conditioning or a stereo system although they can be added back at no extra charge.

The price for the limited edition car starts at $184,900 and cars will start getting delivered to dealerships this summer. You can order your R now and we expect for them to be sold out very quickly.

The Porsche 911 GT3 RS

Porsche 911 GT3 RS

From a styling stand point the 911 GT3 RS is more brash. The side fender fins and large rear wing help to make it stand out from the crowd. Where the 911 R is all about the driving experience the GT3 RS is all about faster track times. The RS is a race car for the street and it represents the sharpest tool in the Porsche shed.

As it is uses the same power plant as the R it has the same power outputs. The 991 R uses a traditional manual transmission where the 991 GT3 RS uses a reworked PDK dual-clutch transmission. The result lets the GT3 RS get to 60 mph 6 tenths of a second quicker at just 3.1 seconds. The top speed is higher in the R at 200 mph versus 193 mph in the RS. In a drag race the GT3 RS would win initially but eventually the 911 R would be able to pull away.

The GT3 RS does cost less starting at $175,900 which is about $10,000 less. Although once you are this close to spending $200,000 on a car $10,000 isn’t as all that big of a jump.

Our Take On The Porsche 911 R or 911 GT3 RS

The 911 GT3 RS is a track toy that can be driven on the road. It uses all available technology to help it get the fastest lap possible. On the other hand the 911 R is a race inspired road car. It is lighter, just as powerful and has a lower center of gravity partly thanks to the use of magnesium in the roof. But most of all it has a traditional manual transmission with short performance oriented gear ratios.

The two can be summed up this way. The 911 R offers the best driving experience in a Porsche and the 911 GT3 RS offers the fastest naturally aspirated car on a circuit.

So, which would we choose? If we were going to be on the track and wanted the fastest time possible the Porsche 911 GT3 RS is no question the better weapon. However, we spend most of our driving on public roads with only occasional track days. For a car that isn’t mainly for the tack it is about the experience and since we aren’t worried about having the fastest lap times, we would prefer to have more fun getting to our destination or around the tack. There is no question that the 911 R matches that criteria.

For us the Porsche 911 R is the best naturally aspirated choice in the Porsche lineup. Unfortunately, it is a limited edition, so even if you have the cash, you may not be able to purchase one.

If you had the opportunity to buy either the 911 GT3 RS or 911 R which would you choose? Scroll down to the comments to let us know.