ANDREAS Preuninger looks across at me with a broad grin, then twists the ignition key to indicate we’re in business. The 911 R’s 4.0-litre flat-six fires with a growl, overlaid with plenty of transmission rattle; once on the move other noises join the chorus, a result of the stripped back passenger cell.
My guide knows every blade of grass within 50km of Weissach, which partly explains his flat-out approach, but it soon becomes clear that the highly physical experience is completely under control.
The 911 R’s cornering prowess and high-speed stability is phenomenal, and the composite brakes practically warp time itself, but the car’s prime virtue is its almost telepathic reactions.
My head is catapulted back as Preuninger’s foot floors the throttle; below about 4500rpm the large-capacity six feels almost like a laissez-faire V8, but beyond that there’s an unreal push to the 8500rpm cutout, with a relentless energy the new 3.0-litre twin-turbo Carrera engine can only dream of. It’s the perfect engine for this hooligan in disguise.
“For me personally, the 911 R is a kind of motorbike substitute for public roads, less so for track days,” explains Preuninger.
“This car can be raucous or refined; it combines the best of both worlds.”
Fast, emotional, involving and extreme, the 911 R is an eyeopening experience, but with such a limited build run, you’ll need to act fast – or wait for the next GT3 (see breakout).