Alois Ruf has made quite the name for himself building fire-breathing Porsche-based tuner machines. In 1987, his RUF CTR “Yellow Bird” stomped the supercar competition in a Road & Track top speed shootout-the 470-hp twin-turbo freak, based on a then-current Porsche 911, hit 211 mph at the hands of Le Mans legend Paul Frere.
Today at the Geneva Motor Show, RUF introduced to the world a fitting tribute to the Yellow Bird: The 2017 RUF CTR, a brand-new, rear-engine speed freak that, for the first time in RUF history, is built on a completely bespoke chassis rather than a production Porsche platform-even though the styling is straight out of Porsche’s history book.
The first car engineered from the ground up by RUF is a faithful tribute to the original CTR. The rear-engine, rear-drive beast is powered by a twin-turbo dry sump water-cooled 3.6-liter flat-six engine cranking out 700 horsepower and 649 lb-ft of torque. The only available transmission is a six-speed manual, and it’s only available in rear-wheel drive, just like Yellow Bird. RUF claims a 0-62 mph sprint of just 3.5 seconds, and a top speed of 225.
The unique carbon fiber monocoque chassis features lightweight steel crash structures and an integrated steel roll cage, adding up to a dry weight of just 2640 lbs. The RUF-designed pushrod suspension system and 245-width front / 305-width rear tires on sensible 19-inch wheels ensure the newest CTR will stay planted in those high-speed sweepers.
As for that carbon fiber body, it’s a very clear tribute to the 930-generation Porsche 911 Turbo that the late-1980s Yellow Bird was based on. If it were up to us to guess, we’d say the new 2017 RUF CTR shares body panels with the resto-modded vintage 911s RUF showed at the Geneva Motor Show last year-meaning they’re all-new carbon-fiber units, but shaped to closely mimic the original. A sparse, purposeful two-seat interior nods back to the early days of RUF with round-face analog gauges and a three-spoke racing-style steering wheel.
“We began development on the new CTR five years ago with the goal of creating a thrilling, analog driving experience that combines an amazing power-to-weight ratio, manual transmission and modern racing technology,” said Estonia Ruf.
RUF plans to build 30 production examples of the 2017 CTR, with pricing to be announced later. And given that RUF is recognized by the US National Highway Transportation Safety Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency as a vehicle manufacturer, there’s a good chance the new CTR will be available on our shores-provided that you can afford such a limited-production masterpiece.
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