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Engine options, speed, acceleration and refinement

We’ll start with Porsche’s PDK dual-clutch automatic gearbox, given that this is the first 911 RS not to come with three pedals – and given that the same switch caused quite a stir in enthusiast circles when Porsche put it into effect with the lesser GT3.

Fitment of the PDK gearbox also means this is the first RS with launch control, which works predictably and brilliantly. Our two-way average of 3.4sec to 60mph shows that the car is every bit as quick as Porsche claims (3.3sec to 62mph) when you account for the fact that our figures are set two-up and full of fuel.

What the 4.0-litre flat six motor lacks in mid-range torque, it more than makes up for with hard-edged and full-blooded noise

Porsche’s claim for the previous RS was 3.9sec; for the GT3 it was 3.5sec. This RS will run sub-3.5s flawlessly and ridiculously easily, time after time.

And while you might bemoan the disposal of the car’s third pedal and the driver involvement bound up in operating it, take a moment’s pause – because Porsche has been busy addressing that.

Pull both paddles simultaneously in the RS and the gearbox will instantly disengage both clutches; release them again and it’ll smartly re-engage drive. That allows you to choose as many revs as you like for a standing start, for instance, and also grants more sophisticated control of the driveline during fast cornering.

It’s still not like driving a manual, but for those who miss that extra pedal (and we’re not sure we do, given how quick-shifting and well mannered the PDK in this car is), it’ll feel like progress.

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The RS’s engine, meanwhile, can unquestionably be ranked among the very best of any super-sports car on the market. It’s not the most forceful in outright terms, although it is potent enough to make this 911 as quick to 100mph as the twin-turbocharged Mercedes-AMG GT S we figured.

But what it lacks in mid-range torque, it more than makes up for with hard-edged and full-blooded noise, spine-tingling range and a building, dramatic power delivery. Throttle response is nothing short of sensational. Torque builds with a linearity that you can depend on during fast circuit driving, similar to the way that a sniper depends on the accuracy of his rangefinder.

You can also depend on the RS’s carbon-ceramic brakes. They require a bit more pedal effort than those typical of a super-sports car, but they’re hugely powerful and were entirely untroubled by fade, even after many laps of MIRA’s handling circuit.

With more heat in them than our weekly repeatable test procedure provides, they probably would have made the RS one of only a handful of production cars ever to stop from 70mph in less than 40 metres.