Geneva Motor Show 2012: RUF Automobiles collection
RUF GmbH is a German company that most think are simply a Porsche tuner. Yes, they ‘tune’ Porsche’s models, but RUF are so thorough with their reworking that they are actually classified as a vehicle manufacturer in their own right. On the registration documents it says RUF, not Porsche. The only other ‘tuner’ like that is Brabus and their mental Mercs. After a relatively quiet 2011 RUF has introduced a variety of new models at the Geneva Motor Show designed for the performance car enthusiast.
The CTR 3 Clubsport (seen in orange/carbon in the gallery) is an evolution of their unique Supercar the CTR3. Based around the front end of a 911 GT3 and the back end of a Cayman it is supposed to get the best of both models. The Clubsport revives a classic Porsche name and was designed to recall mid-engine Le Mans racers from the 1950s. Over the standard CTR3 the Clubsport gets exposed carbon fibre elements all over the body, including the front splitter, bonnet, winglets, side skirts, wheelarch extensions, roof vent and the massive rear wing. Power comes from the 911’s 3.8-litre flat-six engine; which is strengthened and lightened and has two turbochargers strapped on, which now develops 742 bhp and 708 lb/ft of torque. It is connected to a six-speed manual transmission which enables the car to hit a top speed of 230 mph.
Next up we have the Rt35 anniversary edition which celebrates the original 1977 RUF Turbo from, you guessed it, 35 years ago. Shown in dark metallic green with matte green wheels, it is based on the latest Porsche 911 and has a turbocharged 3.8-litre flat-six engine that produces 623 bhp and 608 lb/ft of torque. When connected to a PDK transmission, the model tops out at 205 mph. Visually we think RUF has pulled off the unthinkable here and have actually managed to improve on the 991 – the front end gets a GT3-esque vent ahead of the bonnet and there’s a more aggressively styled bumper with three large intake openings. Aggressive yes, but still sympathetically styled in with the rest of the car. The wings are wider, increasing the track and there are the standard RUF style wheels, again a subtle design. The rear wings are wider as well, but they house additional vents to feed the turbocharger which look fantastic – very smooth an organic and similar to those found on the greatest turbocharged RUFs of the past. The rear end features a diffuser in carbon, four exhaust pipes and a subtle ducktail spoiler. We genuinely think that with grey wheels and a tan interior this could be the perfect supercar.
For those who like the 911 but think the flat-six engine is a little passé, RUF have revealed the RGT 8 (seen in bright yellow in the gallery). It is based on the 991 like the Rt35 but uses RUF’s own naturally-aspirated 4.5-litre V8 engine with 545 bhp and 369 lb/ft of torque. Connected exclusively to a six-speed manual transmission, the engine allows the car to hit a top speed of 198 mph, all with a race-bred V8 soundtrack. It’s also worth noting that RUF developed their own engine cover for the 991 to allow proper access to the engine, which is a nice touch so that owners can see the work RUF have done.
The company also introduced the RXL which is a Porsche Panamera (in white in the gallery) that has been stretched 400mm, primarily for the Chinese market. While it looks a little ungainly, the Chinese who can afford these sorts of cars generally prefer to be driven so the extra room in the rear makes sense. To beef up the visuals, it has 22-inch alloy wheels and an upgraded 4.8-litre V8 engine with 410 bhp and 383 lb/ft of torque.
Images courtesy of various amateur photographers who made it to Geneva, and we thank all of them.