The Proto Sports Car
Overwrought computer controls can stifle the joy in driving; the limited-edition Porsche 911 R reminds you how epic it feels to be one with your machine. It's offered only as a six-speed manual, to let you interact mechanically with its 500-horsepower flat-6 engine at every moment. As the lightest 911, it relies on an engine from the GT3RS and suspension from the GT3 — both hardcore models built for track rats, essentially. But the 911 R is engineered for lower-speed thrills as well. "It's kind of a motorcycle substitute, made for concentrated driving, not traffic," says Andreas Preuninger, head of Porsche's GT line. "A true sports car in the old-school sense should not be as fast as physically possible, but as fun as possible going fast. Modern cars with that character are becoming rare." [$184,900; porsche.com]
1966 Porsche 911 R
Porsche built the 1966 911 R to qualify for a race series that required stock models. Though it looked similar to standard 911s, the R had a mostly fiberglass shell and weight-saving upgrades on everything from oil pans to door handles. It was spare and brash and fast. In homage to its predecessor, the 2016 model shaves weight with carbon-fiber fenders and a magnesium roof. And should you really crave the elemental experience, you can opt for one without air-conditioning or a radio.
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