Well, this is the last post in my 7 Days of Porsche Tuners series, and I’ve saved my personal favorite, and the one I feel is the best, for last. Today’s tuner is RUF, a German (ha! of course!) tuner located in Pfaffenhausen, Germany.
RUF was started by Alois Ruf, Sr in 1939 as AUTO RUF, a general service garage. The business took on different ventures over the years including a gas station, full-sized passenger tourist bus, and bus company. Son, Alois Ruf Jr., is more responsible for the focus on Porsche customizations as his passion for true sports cars developed. When Alois’ father, Alois Ruf, Sr., died in 1974, he vowed to continue the company’s development and philosophy of innovation and quality.
RUF early on focused on the Porsche 911 platform for their customizations and enhancements with the first model making it’s debut in 1975. They quickly grew to be one of the most respected international sports car manufacturers and suppliers of specialized components in the world. They even built (and still build) Porsches from the ground up.
I have always loved RUF Porsches, especially the 911 Turbo models from the 80’s. That has long been on my list of ultimate cars to own someday. Most of the RUF enhanced cars are subtle, but are unbelievable performers. The quality and engineering is unparalleled. To me, they embody what you expect from German engineering and manufacturing.
RUF continues to be a leader in super sports cars. For instance, in May 2007, the RUF Rt12 (pictured at the top of this post) won 1st place in the readers’ choice of the German “sports auto” magazine in the category of super sports cars. They beat out supercars like the Bugatti 16.4 Veyron and the Ferrari 599 GTB.
One of the most amazing creations to come out of RUF to date is the CTR 3. Not badged with the Porsche nameplate, it’s a pure RUF manufactured car that looks like it’s based on the Cayman with a mid-engine placement. Get these specs though: 700 bhp, 0-62 mph in 3.2 seconds, 0-125 mph in 9.6 seconds and a top speed of 234 mph! Just think, if driving in California, you could be headed to jail in about 7 seconds if you just stomped on the accelerator and didn’t let up. That’s speed we read about, but few of us will ever have the chance to appreciate first hand. I’m guessing that’s one of those things you don’t fully understand until you actually experience it.
One other thing about the CTR 3. Check out the interior. If that isn’t subtle class, I don’t know what is. I’ve always loved the suede covering on the Lamborghini Gallardo dash and headliner, so of course I love this RUF interior. Always feels cozy and rich when you’re sitting in that type of space.
As for cost, RUF cars certainly don’t come cheap, but you definitely get what you pay for. The quality and final product is worth the money, assuming you have it to spend. I looked at a RUF Porsche a few months ago that made it onto the Tempting Porsches list. It wasn’t quite as enhanced as the models shown on the RUF web site, and the RUF engine had been swapped for a crate Porsche engine, but it still had some of the RUF enhancements. Be awesome to own one of these cars some day.
As a side note, the RUF Yellowbird shown below was a 1980’s supercar capable of doing 213 mph. Only 25 were produced. Here’s a little more info:
Based on Porsche’s 964 turbo, the CTR featured carbon body panels (almost unheard of in the 1980’s) to keep weight down to a mere 1100kg. The 462 bhp was transmitted to the rear wheels through an in-house 6-speed gearbox, again a rare sight in 1988. This combination of high power and low weight meant slingshot acceleration. 60 mph arrived in just 3.7sec, with 100 mph coming up 3 seconds later – both world records at the time, and still incredibly fast even today. [Via SuperCarWorld.com]
You can visit either the RUF corporate site or the RUF North America representative site for more info and pictures. Definitely worth checking out.