"R" as Racing The 1967 Porsche 911 R
It all began with a test report. Porsche employee Rolf Wütherich summarised the goal of the 911 R project in the fall of 1966: “A vehicle is to be built that is superior to the current competition in its power-to-weight ratio.” The technician, who would later became known as the race car mechanic for James Dean, conscientiously performs the related calculations. With an unladen weight of 800 kg and 210 hp of engine power, the car’s power-to-weight ratio was less than 4 kg per hp – 1.5 kg lower than that of the competition at the time. With such a vehicle, Porsche could dominate in GT sport, just as the 356 with a Carrera engine had done a decade earlier. This would be an enormous task, because progress of the 911 in motorsport came rather slow at first. After a factory team raced a slightly modified 911 at the Monte Carlo Rally in 1965, only individuals raced the 911 at GT races. The successes of private car owner Eberhard Mahle, in particular, at the European Hill Climb Championship, made the people in Zuffenhausen give more thought to the idea of developing a purebred race car version of the 911.
n October 1966, a first lightweight test car of the type 911 R (R = Racing) was built, and it was tested on the new skid pad in Weissach and on the race course in Hockenheim. The performance data that was measured showed the great potential of this idea: With a lap time of 2 min. 17.5 sec., the 911 R was just 12 seconds slower than the record time, which was set by a Porsche 906 Carrera 6. For a GT car, this lap time is an excellent figure, because the type 906 was a genuine Group 4 race car in the sports car world championship.
Along with low vehicle weight, it was the engine of the 911 R that delivered excellent driving performance. The car was powered by a six-cylinder flat engine, very similar to the one that was also used in the Porsche 906 Carrera 6. The type 901/22 race engine, which was equipped with dual ignition, titanium connecting rods and large triple carburettors, had a power output of 210 hp at 8,000 rpm. With this engine, the 911 R accelerated from zero to 100 km/h in 5.9 seconds and could cover a distance of one kilometre 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.
Engine Type 901/22
Displacement 1991 ccm
(210 hp) at 8,000 rpm.
Weight 800 kg
Fuel tank capacity 100 litres
Top speed approx. 245 km/h