Every time I saw a display of exquisite car control I can’t help but go back to the video of Stefan Roser driving the wheels off the RUF CTR around the Nurburgring, it totally redefines the term of driving on the limit. The onboard footage of Stefan muscling the RUF CTR as it swings from understeer to oversteer is an absolute spectacle of bravery, he quickly and effortlessly makes quick steering corrections along the high-speed kinks of the Nordschleife track. Its amazing to see how perfectly he manages to balance the weight from the rear to the front to enable the car to have the perfect turn in. If it isn’t already obvious, driving the RUF CTR Yellowbird required some serious skills behind and the wheel and a formidable understanding of the layout of the car, which is critical not just to post a quick lap time but also to keep the car pointing in the right direction on the track.
For starters, the CTR was based on Porsche 911, with high amounts of rigidity added to the chassis to favor handling and aid occupants safety. Next was to upgrade the brakes, the suspension and adding a few custom body panels and trims to aid weight saving. The vents over the rear fenders were created to facilitate better airflow to the intercooler. However, the biggest modification was done to the 3.2-liter flat-six engine of the 911, which facilitated the power output to be raised to around 500BHP though RUF’s specification sheet read power output at a modest 469BHP. The torque figures were rated at around 550NM and with the car weighing only a meager 2535LBS, meaning, it went like an absolute rocket. RUF made the obvious choice of entering the Worlds Fastest Car contest of American Car Magazine and won the coveted title of the Fastest Production Car in the World where it did a 0-60MPH in an eye batting 4 seconds and a 0-100MPH time of 7.3 seconds as it topped out at a staggering 211MPH, which is extremely quick even by today’s standards.
Winning the title of the Fastest Production Car in the World meant it had developed quite a cult following around the world. What drew the enthusiasts more towards it was the fact that it had to be driven with uniquely controlled aggression and driving style, which meant that the driver had to transfer the weight of the car across the four corners of the car to be able to extract the best out of it. It primarily came down to understanding how the car was built, it had a narrow, short wheel based chassis which meant that the car was very twitchy and one had to steer it with controlled aggression to keep it pointing in the right direction. Then came the weight, with the engine located at the rear, the car was extremely light on its nose, which meant it understeered into corners and you had to balance it by moving the weight forward by either getting off the accelerator or getting on the brakes.
The engine on the RUF CTR was turbocharged with the turbo kicking in low down the rev range, add the light weight of the car to this equation and you got yourself a car that could spin its wheels right up to the fourth gear. So, driving this car meant being on the knifes edge at all times, and anything too sudden or uncontrolled would have you heading towards the nearest obstacle at lightning speeds.
So at the 30th anniversary of the original RUF CTR, RUF wanted to create an absolute tribute for this masterful machine which won many accolades for the company RUF back in 1987. This mean, RUF went all out in leaving no stone unturned in bringing out the best of what the CTR represents. The chassis is a monocoque carbon fiber construction with steel reinforcements in the form of an integrated roll cage for added safety. As a matter of fact, this one is a first-hand designed chassis completely developed by RUF. It also gives you an insight into how far the company has progressed from essentially being a Porsche tuning company. Single nut central locking 19 inch forged alloy wheel do the duties of putting down the power made by the 3.6-liter twin turbocharged flat six engine which is inspired from the engine of the original RUF CTR from 1987. And to keep the monstrous character of the car alive, it delivers earth moving 808nm of torque at as low as 2750rpm and making a maximum power output of 710HP. This means the 2017 RUF CTR accelerates from 0-60mph in a neck-snapping 3.5 seconds and 0-125mph in a track tearing 9 seconds. Duties of transferring all the mammoth power and torque is performed by a six-speed manual gearbox, keeping it true to the manual characteristics of the old CTR. Also kept true to the original CTR is the minimalistic interior design covered extensively with Alcantara for its weight saving and aesthetic properties, the seats are made from carbonfiber and the pedals from aluminum to complete the race car look. All this means that the 2017 RUF CTR is capable of doing a top whack of 225MPH. So it is deceptive when RUF calls this a sportscar, like it did with the original 1987 CTR, its an absolute monster of a machine and resurfaces the term sheep in a Wolf clothing!
The 2017 RUF CTR is a supercar disguised as a sportscar. However, RUF has ensured and infused the old school approach to bring supercars alive and by using technology to bring in more driver involvement. Therefore, if you just pay enough attention what you see is probably the last manual supercar ever to be made and this already gives it a legendary status even before it sets its tyres on the track.
Images source – RUF