The RUF Turbo R, improving on perfection

Ruf continues improving on the Ruf Turbo R, a car first produced over 20 years ago

Alois Ruf, like Alpina to BMW and AMG to Mercedes has built his entire business around Porsche. Having started working on the Porsche 911 when it first came out in the mid-60s, they have had many years to perfect their interpretation of what many believe to be one of the best cars in the World, first the Ruf CTR, CTR2, and Ruf Turbo R.

Known for their meticulous, high quality work, Ruf is one of the few German tuners recognized as a manufacturer.  Starting with a brand-new shell of a 911 from the Porsche factory, Ruf would build the vehicle from the ground up with Porsche parts and parts of their own design and manufacturer, in their own image.  While they will customize your Porsche to your liking, it is the vehicles having a RUF VIN that are most sought after.


How many Ruf Turbo Rs are there with a Ruf VIN?

Only 14 of the Turbo Rs built with a Ruf VIN.  These cars are highly coveted and when they change hands, they do so at a hefty premium.  One of the 14 Ruf Turbo Rs sold in 2019 for $764,000 at auction.


Improvements to the 993-based Ruf Turbo R

Like the 911 itself, Ruf has continuously improved upon its Turbo R since it was first released in 1998.  You can provide Ruf with a slightly used 993 Turbo and a short time later, they will return a brand-new Turbo R.  The car you receive will not have a Ruf VIN but rather retain the VIN that it had when it first left the Porsche factory over twenty years ago.

When it was first released, the Turbo R was equipped with a twin-turbo flat-six boxer engine producing 490 horsepower at 5,500 rpm. Peak torque for the 3.6-liter engine is 457.3 lb-ft at 4,500 rpm.  The body of the Turbo R retained all the steel and aluminum body panels that it left the factory with as a 993 Turbo.

Over twenty years later, the Turbo R is available with a full carbon fiber body and an engine upgrade to 590 horsepower.  As a result, a new carbon fiber Turbo R weighs in considerably below the 3,290 pound curb weight of the older Turbo R.  Factor in an additional 100 horsepower, and you can be sure that the lightened R can best the 3.6 seconds it takes to launch an older steel-bodied Turbo R.  Exact specifications have not been disclosed.

The Turbo R retains its all-wheel-drive configuration and is coupled to a six-speed manual transmission geared to provide a top speed of 205 miles per hour.


What makes the Turbo R so special?

The success of the RUF Turbo R comes not in the engine but rather all of the upgraded systems working together making for a complete package.  The suspension system, brakes, clutch, and so on are all upgraded to accommodate the additional performance.

The exterior includes a subtle RUF body kit with a front lip spoiler, two-tier rear wing with air intakes, and rain-gutter fairings.  The icing on the cake so to speak are the trademark 5-spoke lightened RUF wheels.

Upgrades to the interior includes a boost gauge on the center console, a three-spoke RUF steering wheel, a weighted metal-and-leather RUF shift knob, and integrated roll-cage.  The rear seats are removed and replaced with a parcel shelf and two storage compartments.


Closing thoughts

Ruf starts with one of the best cars on the world as its base, the 911 and improves on it to create the Ruf Turbo R.  They then continue to refine the base Turbo R to get what we have today, a carbon-fiber bodied rear-engine super car weighing in at between 3,100 and 3,200 pounds producing 590 horsepower.

While Ruf does not disclose their price to convert a used Porsche 993 Turbo into a brand-new Ruf Turbo, you can get an idea of how its perceived in the marketplace by how much an original Ruf Turbo R sold for in 2019, $674,000.  I am confident that regardless of the cost of a new Turbo R, it will be worth it in due time, as an investment and in terms of fun.




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