The Porsche 911 R is a featherweight reminder of what a sports car should be

Porsche 911 RPorschePorsche 911R

Porsche unveiled the latest iteration of its iconic 911 sports car at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show on Tuesday.

Dubbed the 911R, the new Porsche is a modern take on a raw, old school sports car.

The 911R — R stands for “Race” — is an homage to the Porshe 911R rally racer of the 1960s.

For this car, it seems that Porsche has taken a page out of the playbook of another legendary brand — Lotus.

In fact, Porsche has taken the British sports car maker’s motto — “Simplify and add lightness” — and made it their own.

With the 911R, lightweighting has been elevated to a new level.

At just 3,021 pounds, it’s the lightest of the 22 different versions of the 911 money can buy right now.

Instead of asking what they want, the 911R is asking its drivers what they can do without.

Because if can be left out, it’s not here. Gone are the radio and air conditioning. Although they can be returned free of charge at the customer’s request. The rear seat and much of its sound insulation has also been omitted. Even the interior door handles are gone! They have been replaced by door-opening loops.

That covers the simplify part.

Now for the “add lightness” bit.

Porsche’s PDK dual clutch transmission is one of the best around. It’s fast-shifting and highly efficient. But it’s also complex and heavy. Which is why the 911R comes only with a throwback 6-speed manual, complete with a clutch pedal.

In addition, carbon fibre front hatch and fenders reduce weight over the front end, while a magnesium roof lowers the center gravity.

In total, the 911R is 110 pounds lighter than the already featherweight 911 GT3 RS track monster.

When all of this lightness and simplicity is paired with a 500 horsepower, 4.0-litre, naturally aspirated flat-6 engine, you get a sports car with a manufacturer claimed 0-60 time of 3.7 seconds and a track top speed of 200 mph.

The 2016 Porsche 911R reaches US showrooms later this year with a base price of $184,900. If you want one get in line now, because there will only be 991 of the cars produced worldwide.

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