On February 8, 2017, a special version of the Porsche 911 R limited edition – one that pays tribute to legendary actor Steve McQueen – would change hands. It is because this PTS (Paint to Sample) Porsche 911 R McQueen tribute would be placed under the hammer at RM Sotheby’s auction event in Paris, France on that very day.
Porsche first unveiled the 2017 Porsche 911 R at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show with only 991 units produced and made available. Typically – when the PTS option is not availed – the 911 R will feature a livery the same as the 1967 911 R and will come with GT3 foundations and engine. The latest 911 R is essentially a 911 GT3 except for the fact that its 4.0-liter engine is not paired to a PDK transmission and features no rear wing. From the front end to the rear bumpers, the 911 R and the 911 GT3 look the same. Elements like its side skirts, rear fenders, wheels, and the mirrors are the same for the two models.
However, the absence of the PDK transmission means that the new 911 R is fitted with a six-speed transmission. While the PDK transmission boasts of quicker shift times and smoother gear changes, many see the manual transmission as vital elements for a vehicle to be a true driver’s car.
This is practically why -- despite the disadvantages -- the new 911 R is a hot-selling vehicle with just 991 made. To make up for the lack of aerodynamic benefits brought by the rear wing, Porsche gave the new 911 R a retractable spoiler derive from Carrera models and a redesigned front spoiler lip and rear underbody diffuser.
The 911 R is powered by a dynamic 4.0-liter engine that could deliver up to 500 hp of output and 339 lb.-ft. of torque – just like on the 911 GT3 RS. This engine and the manual transmission allow the 911 R to sprint from zero to 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds and reach a top speed of around 200 mph.
Notably, the new Porsche 911 R weighs around 50 kg lighter than the GT3, thanks to its carbon fiber fenders, front bonnet and rear hood as well as its magnesium-made roof. While 911 GT3 RS is designed for speed, the 911 R is made to deliver a more worthwhile experience between the car and the driver.
Now, the 911 R McQueen tribute up for auction is wrapped in a Slate Grey exterior color with silver accenting stripes on the bonnet. Its door panels feature yellow Porsche lettering on lower section. Inside, the 911 R McQueen tribute features a black leather cabin with bucket racing seats as well as hounds-tooth inserts. Moreover, the 911 R McQueen tribute comes with illuminated sill panels that say, "Racing is life. Anything that happens before or after is just waiting."
Once sold, around 25 percent of the final auction price – above the reserve – will be donated to Gustave Roussy foundation, one of the leading cancer research institutes in the world.