The announcement that the 911R would be making its return was met with plenty of excitement. The iconic R hadn’t been seen since the ’60s and while there have been plenty of cars to wear an RS badge there’s still something about that R by itself that denoted something of importance. In this case, that importance also meant a fairly limited allocation (991 in total) and all were snapped up quite quickly by those who were offered the opportunity of purchasing one. Essentially a GT3 RS with manual transmission and no wing, the R promised to be the understated driver for those who didn’t necessarily prioritize ultimate lap times, but still wanted the most Porsche could offer in naturally aspirated form.
Like many of Porsche’s smaller production track models it didn’t take long for the R to pop up for sale by those hoping to immediately capitalize on its rarity and the difficulty of getting on the short list of initial buyers. Prices were very high and while they have gradually come down they remain very high. With the R the uniqueness of a particular car matters. It matters now and it will matter down the road. If you’re going to spend all of this money on a car that will spend most of its time being looked at rather than being driven, then it needs to have parts to look at that will set it apart.
While it doesn’t have a classic PTS color, this 911R does come with a few stylistic alterations that should accomplish that goal. Do you like orange accents? If not, this isn’t the R for you. If you do, then this one should provide what you need.
It has taken me a while to warm to the 991’s design. I’ve always found it too flat and that’s coming on the heels of the gradual flattening of the 996 and 997. It has sort of a stepped on beetle look. I still prefer the more upright windshield of earlier 911s, but ultimately aerodynamics seems to have won out.
There wasn’t any particular turning point in my perception of the 991; over time I suddenly found myself walking past them and admiring their looks. Simple familiarity I suppose. I wouldn’t say it’s become my favorite 911 design or anything of that sort, but I have finally begun to enjoy the styling. The performance, obviously, always was easy to appreciate as each iteration of the 911 tends to improve in that regard. There’s no particular reason for leading with these thoughts, though I do wonder if others have found themselves feeling similarly.
It does help explain why a 911 like this, which I might have previously ignored, now seems so appealing to me. This is a Sapphire Blue Metallic 2015 Porsche 911 Carrera S Coupe, located in Pennsylvania, with 15,350 miles on it. It has the manual transmission and sport seats. It looks phenomenal!
Here’s the second of my promised yellow 911s: a Racing Yellow 2016 Porsche 911 GT3 RS, located in Bahrain, with 4K kilometers on it. This is a case of coming across a 911 that quickly catches my eye and then as I’m looking it over thinking to myself, “I really don’t see many in this color.”
Racing Yellow obviously is a rather eye-catching color on the GT3 RS. Yet, we almost never see it. We almost never see yellow on the GT3 RS in general. Why is that? Granted, yellow Porsches aren’t the most common to begin with so they’re always going to possess a degree of rarity, but given the wide variety of brightly colored examples of the GT3 RS we see I am surprised more of them aren’t yellow. There was the beautiful Signal Yellow example I featured previously, but nothing in this much brighter version and still that’s only one other. There almost certainly are more, but how many?
In many of my features of newer Porsches the focus has been on the exterior color. Usually one of Porsche’s historic colors selected as a paint-to-sample option. This one isn’t really about the exterior color, even though Lava Orange is quite nice. This one is more about the interior color and the way it combines with that orange exterior. It also has a true manual transmission rather than PDK and that in itself is a rare thing on these new Targas. So I guess we could say that I find the total package here quite appealing even if the individual pieces aren’t incredibly special in their own right. This was a solidly put together Targa and one that remains unique enough to stand out even within the rarefied air of PTS builds.
So what do we have: a Lava Orange 2017 Porsche 911 Targa 4, located in Texas, with a Saddle Brown leather interior, 7-speed manual transmission, and 3,307 miles on it. The interior also features Lava Orange accents through deviated stitching along with painted console and trim pieces. It comes together quite well!
This is not a car I normally would post. The dealer hasn’t provided us much in the way of description and it’s PDK rather than a true manual, which isn’t typically what I seek out in these cars (though more on that below). However, this color combination is so striking that I simply cannot pull myself away from it. Here we have a situation where two very attractive colors have been combined to produce a result that I think makes each of those attractive colors even better. The exterior is paint-to-sample Aetna Blue, which first originated on the Porsche 356 and is itself a wonderfully elegant and vintage color. The interior is a Bordeaux over Black combination that seems to have just the right amount of each to make the interior look very refined. Bordeaux, itself, already is a fairly refined version of a red interior. When you put these colors together the whole certainly is greater than the sum of its parts. I really like it.
Among Porsche’s various highly sought after and iconic colors, Riviera Blue stands out. On the one hand, I have a sense of why that is, but on the other I’m not quite sure why it stands so tall. Typically Porsche’s most well known colors come from the ’60s and ’70s. They are the colors we saw on the original longhood 911s. That they are iconic is just as much a testament to their longevity, i.e. long-term desirability, than it is to the attractiveness of the color itself.
In relative terms, Riviera Blue is young having only debuted on the 993. So why does it seem to command the most attention and dollars? That’s a question I’m less sure about. One thing seems clear: when a Riviera Blue 911 comes up for auction the selling price almost always moves higher. It is a heck of a head turner, there is no doubt about its allure in that regard.
Here we see it as the paint-to-sample choice on this fairly new 2018 Porsche 911 GT3, located in Pennsylvania.
I will admit I have not always been a fan of the 991. The design took me a long time to warm up to even as I looked at the Boxster and Cayman and thought both had improved tremendously. I’ve read some criticisms of Porsche’s designs and their increasing similarity and I don’t entirely disagree with those assessments, but where I think it has improved the look of the Cayman/Boxster I have not been as much a fan of the 911.
Ever so slowly that perception is changing and I have gradually taken to the design – whether because of increased familiarity or something else, I don’t know. A couple of recent examples caught my eye so I thought I would specifically go on the hunt for a nice Carrera S to feature. As I did so I soon realized that it’s really hard to find a 991 with a manual transmission. PDK has seemingly taken over. I do understand why that is to some degree, but some of us still would like the involvement of shifting gears ourselves and I was struck by the relative lack of manuals.
I kept looking and my search did finally pay off: here we have a very subtly pretty paint-to-sample Dark Olive Metallic 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera S Coupe with just 3K miles on it and that all important manual transmission.
I have expressed my love for the Targa numerous times throughout these pages and that naturally extends to the reintroduction of the proper version as part of the 991 lineup. Porsche seems to have pegged the new Targa as the least sporting of the 911 models. It’s only available with all-wheel drive and at its debut I believe it was the heaviest (read: slowest) of the various 911 models you could buy. Though a GTS model eventually was made available it still seems like relative to a comparable Coupe or Cabriolet you’re opting for the Porsche luxury and refinement side of the spectrum. At least so far as their flagship sportscar goes. But let’s be honest, the worst performing 911 still is more than capable of lighting a fire in your belly.
While I think it would be great if there were a rear-drive Targa S at some point we make the best of what’s available. I think this one does just that. Here is a Guards Red 2015 Porsche 911 Targa 4S, located in Houston, with only 5,100 miles on it. It’s equipped with PDK, adaptive sport seats, PCCB, sport exhaust, and a few other nice items.
I have a very specific interest with this post. Though even once my question is answered I still think this 2015 Porsche 911 GT3 is worth some attention. My interest: what color is this? I don’t know if I’ve ever seen it. The ad description says it’s Meteor Gray Metallic. The ad also says it has 24,866 miles. The mileage obviously is wrong; the odometer reads 11,137 miles as indicated in other parts of the ad. The color too presumably is wrong, unless Meteor Gray Metallic now looks completely different than it did originally. I’m assuming that isn’t the case and that this is the ad text for a different car. The dealer’s site provides the same text so it isn’t simply a problem with the eBay listing.
So, does anyone know what color this is? Is it paint to sample? The asking price is quite high for a 2015 GT3 so it could be paint to sample. It’s an interesting color. I’d like to know more. (My first guess is that it’s Chalk. I haven’t seen many 911s that color, but those I have seen have shown a little more gray than this one. Perhaps that’s the lighting, or perhaps it’s a different color entirely.)
I just can’t get away from these cars. Between the GT3 and the GT3 RS I’ve been featuring newer Porsches more frequently than ever in the past. Now that the newest version of the GT3 RS has been around for a little while we’ve begun to see quite a few PTS examples come up for sale. Obviously, those grab our attention. The GT3, well, it’s just about perfect with a mixture of hard-core performance and usability that might just make it the best 911 you should buy.
For the past few years neither has been available with a manual transmission. That changes with the 2018 GT3 (the GT3 RS will remain PDK only) and I’ve been seeing a few basically new GT3s come up for sale. I’ve had my eye out for those in interesting colors and reasonable prices. Generally, when prices have been below $200K they’ve been snapped up pretty quickly; above $200K and they linger. Guess where this one is priced? You’re still paying a premium for the immediacy of having one now, just a lower premium, and it seems like $200K is where the figurative line has been drawn. Like we saw when the last GT3 RS debuted, patience will save you money, but who said patience is a virtue?