Year: 1967-1968 | Generation: Early Years | Units built: 23 (19 vehicles plus 4 test cars)
Engine: Flat-6 | Power: 230 bhp | 0 – 60 mph: 5.9s | Top Speed: 152mph
In 1967, you could walk into a Porsche dealer and buy a 911 S which was essentially the pumped up 911. No so the 911 R. To take the newly released 911 to its limit, Porsche developed a small series of racing versions that focused primarily on weight reduction. These racers were the first among a series of 911s that would dominate GT racing for over 40 years. Only 23 were built.
Four prototypes initially surfaced from Porsche’s experimental department in Spring of 1967. Every possible component was replaced by a lightweight counterpart. With the standard interior deleted, lightweight windows, fiberglass doors, hood, engine cover and bumpers, the 911R was only 1786 lbs (810 kg), some 500 lbs (230 kg) less than the standard 911! Wow.
Included was the Type 901/22 engine from the Carrera 906 with a standard alloy crankcase. Most cars used Weber 46 IDA3C carburetors, while some featured the mechanical Bosch fuel injection system. Optionally the four-cam Type 901/21 engine which produced 230 bhp (171 Kw) was available. With this engine, the 911 R accelerated from zero to 100 km/h in 5.9 seconds and could cover a distance of one kilometer from a standstill in just 24.2 seconds – one second faster than a Porsche 904 Carrera GTS and a full 5 seconds faster than an Alfa Romeo GTA.
Outwardly, the 911 was distinguished by flared wheel arches, smaller bumpers and distinctive circular rear lights. In detail, the extent of the 911R program becomes apparent with details such as a bank of louvers in the rear quarter windows, plastic door hinges and wider Fuchs alloy wheels.
While initially conceived to race in the sports car class, the R never met homologation requirements and was forced to race with the potent prototype classes. With an estimated sales price of 45,000 DM, a 911 R was nearly twice as expensive as a regular 911 S and did not sell enough units (500 were needed for homologation). The 911 R would have contributed much more to the 911’s legacy had Porsche filled its 500 car requirement for homologation.