Alois Ruf was a tuner and modifier of Porsches prior who graduated into automobile manufacturer, being awarded that status in 1981 by the German Automobile Manufacturers Association. The earliest Ruf-designated cars, numbered BTR1, BTR2, and BTR3, were constructed in the 1980s and each was built using the Porsche 911 as their basis. Powering the BTR were engines based on the 3.3-liter Turbo but with a larger 3.4-liter displacement and fed via a Ruf inter-cooler or an oversize KKK turbocharger. The 369 horsepower was transmitted to the road via a Ruf five-speed gearbox. The suspension and brakes were also of Ruf design, and the finished cars could be purchased either directly from the Ruf factory, or customers could have their own cars converted.
The Ruf concept progressed via the CTR and CTR2, the latter based on the Type 993 model introduced for 1995. Road & Track magazine nicknamed one of the first CTRs as 'Yellowbird' on account of its bright yellow livery, and the name stuck. Having a top speed of approximately 213 mph, the original CTR held the title of the world's fastest production vehicle for many years.
The CTR2 was based on the Type 993 Porsche 911 Turbo, with its 3.6-liter engine, tuned by Ruf, delivering 520 horsepower and 505 ft/lb of torque. Later versions produced as much as 580 horsepower. Upgrades to cope with the increased output included modifications to the suspension system, larger brakes, lightweight glass, integral roll cage, redesigned rear wing, Kevlar body panels, and Recaro racing seats with Simpson five-point safety belts. Like its predecessor, the CTR2 and its recorded top speed of 217 mph was the world's fastest production vehicle at the time of its introduction. Both two- and four-wheel drive versions were available.
Two examples were built for the 1997 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, receiving numerous modifications above the 'regular' CTR2s. Both examples were built to comply with Pikes Peak and FIA regulations as well as being street legal. Composite materials were used for the front fenders, rear decklid, sill-extensions, and dual rear wings. The front decklid and doors were constructed of carbon fiber. The rear dual-level adjustable spoiler provided downforce while also directing airflow to the twin side-mounted air-to-air intercoolers. The main rear wing is much higher than the standard model and augments the adjustable bi-wing for enhanced downforce and aerodynamic balance. Öhlins crafted the fully independent and adjustable suspension system using motorsport-grade components. The 'standard' CTR2 engine was upgraded by RUF using titanium connecting rods and a lightweight flying, with power reaching 702 bhp and 575 ft.lbs. of torque. The engine had a very linear torque curve peaking at a relatively low 5,000 RPM, which was preferable for a hill climb that placed a premium on acceleration coming out of slow bends. The engine was backed by a specially built RUF six-speed manual gearbox with shorter gear ratios for quick acceleration. Weight reduction resulted in a mere 2,807 overall weight.
Both of the RUF Pikes Peak prototypes were driven to and from the course by brothers Steve and David Beddor. Steve Beddor finished 2nd in the event's Open Class while his brother David in the second Ruf finished 4th in class. Steve Beddor's Ruf CTR2 Sport prototype would go on to win the Virginia City Hill Climb three times (1999-2001) while racking up numerous other 1st place finishes in circuit races and other events. by Daniel Vaughan | Jun 2021
Just before World War II, Alois Ruf, Sr. formed 'AUTO RUF', a company that serviced vehicles and was situated in Pfaffenhausen, Germany. A year later, in 1940, a gas station was added. A bus company was added in 1949. The company grew into a prosp....[continue reading]
The Pfaffenhausen-based company RUF was started in 1939, but it was the RUF CTR of 1987 that entered the company into the international spotlight. Nicknamed the 'Yellow Bird,' the CTR shocked the motoring press when it hit a top speed of 211 mph just....[continue reading]
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