For car and performance driving enthusiast between the ages of 35 and 50, the name RUF conjures up images of yellow, speed, and one of the coolest cars to be born during the 80s.
The year was 1987, and it was a good one. For my 10th birthday, my parents wisely offered me a subscription to Road & Track magazine. The first issue I got in the mail was June and featured a Testarossa on the cover and included details on the new Volkswagen GTI 16V. I was stoked! But then, my life got flipped, turned upside down by a yellow car from a small company called RUF.
The July magazine showed up and the headline was: “World’s Fastest Cars – Two of them Top 200!! The Slowest goes 176!” In the heart of the fold-out cover page was a yellow Porsche 911 that, dare I say it, was the best looking 911 I’d ever seen. I immediately flipped to page 50 and drank ever word on the following 12 pages.
The RUF CTR (for Group C, Turbo and RUF) also known as Yellowbird for its colour and chirping blow-off valve, remains more than 30 years later, one of the most exciting cars to see and watch destroy the famed Nürburgring. If ever you wondered what driving a car really means, this is it.
RUF was founded in 1939 and they are best known for their association with Porsche products. Unlike a regular tuning company, RUF “builds” its cars from the ground up using unmarked chassis. They design their own parts and finally assemble essentially new cars. This is why RUF Automobile is recognized as a car manufacturer and have their own certified VIN numbers.
For its 80th anniversary, RUF brought with them the first production new RUF CTR and the all-new RUF GT. The new CTR maddeningly attractive and delivers all the specs, all of them. The new car is fully designed and engineered by RUF, is powered by twin-turbo 3.6-litre flat-6 that produces 700-horsepower and 649 lb.-ft. of torque.
This new Yellowbird is a true homage to the original as it remains RWD only with all the power funnelled through a 6-speed manual transmission. According to RUF, the ‘bird will sprint from 0-100 km/h in less than 3.5 seconds, to 200 km/h in less than 9 seconds and top out at over 360 km/h or 223 mph.
The RUF GT is a more conventional car although any Porsche with a RUF badge is anything but. The GT is based on a 991 Carrera whose power has been bumped to 515-horsepower and 476 lb.-ft. of torque. It can be equipped with either a 7-speed manual or a 7-speed dual-clutch PDK transmission. As part of the ensemble, the GT gets lovely aero bits such as a duck-tail spoiler and much more. Top speed? 320 km/h or 199 mph.
If we were rich, we’d have a new CTR to park alongside our Singer, of course.
RUF Geneva Motor Show Images