Porsche RUF CTR
If you thought a standard 1980s Porsche 911 turbo was scary, then this 500BHP Red-hot poker turns the adrenaline up to 11.
It’s a little unnerving – dropping down into the snugly caressing high-backed Recaro bucket seat, and fingering the wide, heavy-duty black TRS harnesses with their thick metal castings. One thought keeps nagging: if a fairly meagre, standard Euro-seatbelt and a less-restraining leather sports seat were good enough for the standard 300bhp factory 911 Turbo, what the hell have they done to this one to warrant all this? And then we notice the half roll cage in the rear too.
The rest, apart from a few trim details and a set of devil-red dials is fairly standard. Well, as standard as any of the flatnose 911s were. Actually, that’s where the complications begin. Look at that nose – there's a chunky little badge in place of the Stuttgart shield. Ruf.
Alois Ruf and his team had turned to tuning 911s, especially Turbos, in 1977. Ruf used bigger engine bores, higher compression ratios and modified exhausts to increase power by 20 to 50%, depending on the car. Each ‘edition’ pushed the 911 performance envelope.
Underneath that wide de rigueur Turbo whale tail is Ruf’s own 3.4-litre version of the hallowed flat-six. When it left the workshop in Pfaffenhausen, the car was rated at around 408bhp. It underwent further modification in the UK and, with the help of a bigger turbo and better exhaust system, is now capable of around 550bhp. Suddenly a normal 911 Turbo feels a bit under-stacked.
The thick clunk of the harness buckles feels very reassuring. Enfolded by all this track-biased paraphernalia, we’re not sure what to expect when we turn the key. The engine barks into life in familiar 911 voice – an immediate chatter of rapping valves, semi-simultaneous cylinder firings, thrumming belts, induction gulps and grumbling exhaust. It’s louder, and there’s something more hollow about the sound, more metallic. And at the back of it all, a faint burble that warns that this really isn’t a standard 911.