The RT12 was the first Ruf that could break 10 seconds to 125 mph, and it came with optional rear-wheel drive for those who thought they could handle it. The rear-driver was a thrill ride and a half and way grippier than most rivals, but with 680 hp underfoot Ruf decided it must be all-wheel-drive. That was the right choice.

This car's incredible handling goes well beyond four-wheel drive and starts at the car's very core. The integral rollcage is reckoned to increase the torsional stiffness of the base Carrera 4S chassis by a massive 25 percent and is almost invisible, so well is it integrated. And then there's the fixed suspension that Ruf opted to fit.

It comes with a 50mm lifter to get over speed bumps and such, but on the move Ruf clearly disagrees with Porsche's touch-button Sport settings and went for one low-slung setting that works well.

And the results are simply breathtaking. Keep pouring the power on through the bend and it will just keep pulling and turning long after most cars would be lying in a ditch. The traction is simply stunning for a 3,400-pound car, and Ruf has an impressive options list including lightweight doors that save 15 pounds a set and even carbon door handles that would all help the 19-inch wheels stick.

Ruf worked hard on the aerodynamic side to achieve a 223-mph top end. With longer gearing it could nail 225 mph, and that's mainly down to the front and rear bumpers, an underbody lining, and wider rear arches with the intakes set up top that give the car two inches more width at the rear. That is serious real estate when it comes to mechanical grip, and transforms the airflow over the car.

The only criticism could be that for a €230,000 car it looks a bit too much like a standard Porsche, but then that's kind of what Ruf is all about. He doesn't make tacky crap to sit outside a disco. He is purveyor of perfect engineering.

The first plan for the S was a whole new look compared to the RT12, but Ruf finally decided it simply didn't make sense to meddle with perfection, so the S comes with just a few subtle visual tweaks including carbon inlays for the LED lights, an additional lip on the rear wing, and mirrors taken straight from the CTR3 hypercar. It makes sense to keep things simple, as existing RT12 owners may well want to upgrade.

And they might want to go the whole hog and take the ceramic brakes that Ruf has finally bowed to. They were always good, but Ruf rightly questioned their longevity, and as they cost thousands to replace he felt steels were a better option in the early days of PCCB technology. Not anymore-the S comes with the full stopping power of Porsche's wincingly expensive stoppers. Combined with the rock-solid Ruf chassis, they feel even more effective here.

See, this might look like a 911, and perversely it even feels like a 911, but the reality is it's on another plane altogether. Alois Ruf is a god amongst Porsche fanatics for a very good reason, and the depth of engineering with such little exterior fuss is what so deeply impresses the aficionados he counts as customers and friends.

Me? I'm just childish, and I love that raw-ass speed.


Longitudinal rear engine, all-wheel drive

3.8-liter flat six, dohc, 24-valve. Fully built internals, gas-flowed cylinder heads with custom camshafts, twin KKK R24 turbochargers with intercoolers, cast intake manifold, custom ECU

Six-speed manual

MacPherson struts with coil springs, Anti-roll bar, hydraulic lift system (f), Multi-link, coil springs, anti-roll bar (r)

OEM PCCB assemblies

Wheels and Tires
Ruf alloys, 8.5x19 (f), 11X19 (r) Continental VMAX 235/35 (f), 305/30 (r)

Peak Power: 685 hp @ 7000 rpm
Peak Torque: 664 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm
0-60 mph: 3.2 sec.
Top Speed: 223 mph

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