Alois Ruf junior took charge at RUF in 1974 and focused on development, innovation and quality when redesigning and modifying the Porsche 911. They made their debut introducing an enhanced Porsche 911 in 1975 and from there it is a story of breaking records. In 1977 RUF launched its prototype five-speed gearbox which changed the gear ratios in order to adapt to and utilize their engine’s added power and torque. In 1983 RUF continued to improve their reputation with their BTR model that produced 374 bhp from Porsche’s 3.4 liter turbo engine. While speed and power was important, RUF was also one of the first in the industry to address chassis design and improvements to the wheels and brakes. 1985 was a perfect example of wheel and brake improvements with RUF’s collaboration with Dunlop. This resulted in a 17 inch wheel utilizing the Dunlop RunFlat System that was originally being engineered for the 1986 Porsche 959.
1987 was a huge year and a birth of a ledged at RUF. Not only was RUF approved by the EPA and DOT for becoming an approved manufacturer in the United States but they released the infamous $223,000 1987 Porsche 911 CTR. The iconic “Yellowbird” was born and history books were rewritten. This 469 bhp twin turbo was a true beast. The Yellowbird outperformed the Ferrari F40 and Porsche 959 on top speed tests reaching an unbelievable 211 mph in 1987 and 212.5 mph in 1988 Road & Track’s car shootout. It was bar none the fastest production sports car at the time of its release and even held the Nürburgring lap record for several years. In 1991, RUF the CTR and BTR models became available with an updated six-speed transmission and larger 18 inch wheels.
Here is the choppy 1980’s video of the “Yellowbird” tearing up the Nürburgring.
In the 1990’s RUF incorporated their ingeniousness by switching to water cooled engines combining the best of the Porsche 993, 996 and Boxster models to create the RUF 3400 S. The 3400 S was basically a mid-engine 911. Somehow RUF managed to highly modify and improve the Boxter chassis and drive train to be able to accommodate a 911 engine.
In 2004, RUF created a monster, the current RT 12 (based off of the 997) which symbolized 12 generations of RUF turbo. It incorporated a massive 650 bhp 3.8 liter twin turbo engine with an available AWD option. It boasts a 0-60 time of 3.2 seconds and a top speed of 219 mph with standard gearing. In 2012 they celebrated 35 years of modifying and reengineering the 911 Turbo with a RT 35 model.
Check out this video to learn about RUF from the classic “Yellowbird” to the ultimate $620,000 CTR3!
(Image Source: www.centermocyc.com)