There are few car models that can ratchet up excitement in stages like a 911. First there's the base model, which understandably generates a certain amount of excitement. Then the boys and girls from Weissach announce a new GT3 version, which keeps the track day fans dribbling. Next Porsche reveals a new version of the Turbo. But the real weak-at-the-knees moment comes in the form of the new RS.
Ever since the classic 'ducktail' Carrera RS 2.7 was released back in 1973, the RS badge has only ever been applied to the most hardcore roadgoing 911s, and has created some of the most iconic Porsches ever.
The technical specifications certainly seem promising, though. The classic flat-six engine, like the motor in the latest GT3, has gone up from 3.6 to 3.8 litres. It now produces 444bhp, up 35bhp on the previous GT3 RS, and 15bhp up on the 429bhp GT3.
The most impressive figure associated with the new 911 GT3 RS, however, is a specific output of 118bhp per litre - a stunning figure for a naturally aspirated road car. That power is transmitted to the road via a six-speed manual gearbox - no fussy PDK twin-clutch tech here - with shorter ratios than in the GT3. Porsche hasn't revealed any performance figures for the new GT3 RS, but it's a safe bet to say that it'll be quicker than the GT3, although with a lower top speed.
More significant to the RS's 'sporting behaviour' are wider tracks front and rear, necessitating blistered front arches and wider rear bodywork. Beneath those chunky arches sit beefy 245/35 ZR 19 tyres at the front, and 325/30 ZR 19 tyres at the rear. The front tyres measure 9 inches across, while the rears are a whopping 12 inches wide.
The new Porsche 911 GT3 RS hits UK showrooms in February 2010 priced from £100,760 (a healthy £19k more than a GT3).