lack of manual gearboxes and the rest in the current GT3 range it looks like all that moaning was well worth it.
In short we have 1) the most exciting modern 911 engine in the shape of the normally-aspirated 500hp 4.0-litre GT3 RS motor 2) a manual gearbox and 3) the slimmest kerbweight of any 991 variant in the range, RS included. What more do you really need to know than that?
Possibly 'when can I have one?' to which the answer may be the only frustration. More on that shortly.
Built alongside the GT3 and GT3 RS in Porsche's GT department, the R revives a precious 911 nomenclature from 1967. As those well-versed in 911 history will know, the R is one of the most coveted of all historic Porsches with just 20 sold to private owners back in the day in addition to a handful of factory prototypes. Basically a 911 S with as much weight stripped out of it as possible, the R used aluminium and fibreglass panels, the absolute minimum of instrumentation, thinner gauge metal and glass than standard and topped it off with a race-spec engine revving to 8,000rpm. As a road racer it was an absolute weapon, its philosophy, rarity and racing provenance making it the reference point for many a resto-mod or backdated 911.
Now, where were we?
Demanding 8,250rpm before it'll give you the full 500hp, and 6,250rpm for its 339lb ft of torque, anyone coming from a newly turbocharged Carrera will probably wonder what all the fuss is about. Good. This assumes they'd even drive a car with three pedals and a gearstick in the first place. For the number crunchers it'll do 0-62 in 3.8 seconds (so is only a tenth quicker off the line than a PDK Carrera S) and it tops out at a more impressive 201mph.
PCCB brakes are standard, there's a mechanical locking differential out back, centre-lock wheels, a titanium exhaust and the option of a lightweight single-mass flywheel for super snappy response and, we'd hope, a properly lumpy, chuntery idle like all 'proper' 911s. If your footwork isn't quite quick enough to make it sing properly there's an auto blipping button to spare your blushes. Although it lacks fixed GT3-style aero it keeps the Carrera's retractable rear wing and has a dedicated diffuser to help maintain high-speed stability. The only possibly contentious feature is the four-wheel steering, as featured on GT3 and RS and optionally on Carrera models. Sure, it has tangible benefits in terms of agility. But also dials out some of that trademark 911 handling balance you suspect R customers might have traded for a couple of tenths for.
Price and availability? Brace yourself... Just 991 Rs will be built and the German market price is confirmed as 189,544 euros. That makes it the most expensive normally aspirated 911 you can buy, nearly 9,000 euros more than the RS with only the 202,872 euros Turbo S costing more. In the UK the RS is priced at £131,296 so extrapolate away from that while bearing in mind cost is probably the least of the problems if you want one.