Auto Motor Und Sport April 1978

I’m going to be posting some cool scans of articles on or featuring RUF vehicles in the coming months. Here’s the first one from the 13th week of 1978, Auto Motor Und Sport tests the then-new 911SCR. Wish I knew German to properly translate. If anybody would like to fill us in on non-technical details, please post in the reply and I will update accordingly. Click on the photo to view the full-size image.

  • 98oktan

    Great site! Found it while looking for pictures of the CTR Yellowbird. So anyway, here’s my translation of the above:

    Ever since the brawnier “elevens” have been pushed to the sides of Porsches model line-up, especially long-standing customers of the Zuffenhausen sports car manufacturer feel let down.

    Even the last survivor of the 911 range draws criticism from the “die-hards,” as Porsche boss, professor Ernst Fuhrmann once called them: “You might get the impression that Porsche deliberately degenerated the last 911 to hasten its demise. The SC is slower, handles worse and drinks more than its predecessors.”

    These harsh words come from a man who has been an avid follower of “his” brand since the fifties, has owned six rear-engined Porsches and does not want to be named. And he’s a customer of Alois Ruf in Pfaffenhausen, Bavaria.

    This south German tuner, up until recently only known to the insiders among Porsche fans, got some publicity last year by lending auto, motor und sport a 3.3 litre turbo (see auto, motor und sport 22/1977), even before Porsche themselves carried out a similar hike in displacement.

    While Porsche weren’t too amused about that, Ruf’s latest creation adresses a field where Porsche doesn’t show obvious activity, at least for the time being. Says Ruf: “I wanted to build an alternative to the autobahn-storming 924 and 928, a brawny driving machine that is more demanding for the driver, but offers a lot of fun.”

    In order for this new car to be less expensive than a 928, Ruf based it on a humble SC coupe instead of a turbo.

    Following Ruf tradition, the SC/R looks restrained and simple – which is exactly what makes it so impressive. This way, this deep green Porsche can show that the changes that were made to it were motivated only by technology: the body with its standard wheelarches rests 4 centimetres lower, the engine cover is crowned by the large wing of the old 3-litre turbo, and the frontal aspect is dominated by a special spoiler, Ruf-developed and TÜV-approved.

    The benefit of this ground scraper: the middle section houses an intricate oil cooler that holds 0,75 litres and the standard bumper can stay in place. The Bavarian tuner looks set to sell a great number of these airdams – which is not simply down to good looks, but also to wear. In conjunction with the car’s lowered stance, it doesn’t leave a lot of ground clearance, making careless drivers leave paint chips even on regular curbs.

    Drivers who choose this Ruf driving machine should not only be careful, however, but also bring that certain dash of enthusiasm that back in the day was found in owners of the Porsche RS. For you see, Alois Ruf’s ambition to present a “pure driving machine” includes the cabin as well. Don’t bother looking for carpet inside this car, its role being taken over by well-fitting rubber mats.

    The doors were not only robbed of sound deadening material, but also of their armrests and proper doorhandles. In place of the standard, sumptuous door trim there is sparse-but-functional black felt, with only a red leather strap to open the door. Just like the RS. The Bavarian modern-day RS replica is completed by racing bucket seats and eminently practical automatic four-point harnesses by Autoflug, mounted below the rear window.

    The engine bay’s treatment was no less rigorous: First of all, Alois Ruf amputated the smog equipment, consisting of a belt-driven air pump that doesn’t only cut emissions, but power as well. If you believe Alois Ruf, the engine passes the mandatory German emissions check just as well without this pump.

    A further step towards more power concerned the displacement. Ruf bored the cylinders by 3 mm to 98 mm, thus arriving at 3185 ccm (SC: 2994 ccm). That called for new pistons, which are also used to increase compression. The modified engine compresses its mixture at 9.8 to 1 (standard SC: 8.5 to 1) and therefore, unlike the Zuffenhausen original, it needs 95 octane gas.

    Ruf pilots won’t mind. While the SC never says no to a drink, the more powerful, but also more efficient Ruf SC is more restrained: Despite better performance figures, it used 17.3 litres per 100 km (standard SC: 18.1 litres) and a slightly lighter right foot will see 15 litres.

    A speedy exit of spent gases is taken care of by Alois Ruf’s special exhaust system, identified visually by its second tailpipe and acoustically by its even more distinctive trumpeting.

    The result of Ruf’s DM 5500 engine revision is impressive. The boxer went from its standard 180 PS up to 215 PS and accelerates the Bavarian Porsche in a way that demands respect even from turbo pilots.

    For while their cars endure rather slow power delivery at first, followed by a turbo-typical sudden explosion in power that is problematic especially in curves, Ruf drivers can feel the legendary Porsche punch in the back even from low revs.

    Indeed the Ruf engine boasts tractablilty that is hard to equal: surging wherever you put your foot. If you start your acceleration fest in the lowest gear, at least the first couple of gears will give you a hard time keeping up with the shifts.

    If its temperament beyond 200 kph is less brutal than the turbo’s, that’s down to the gearing: it sports a long fifth gear to push top speed into turbo territory and avoid hitting the 6800 rpm rev limiter. With a top speed of 255 kph, the plan succeeded.

    Thanks to Ruf switching from the standard wheel well-mounted oil cooler to the front-mounted version, the tuned engine keeps its cool even through fast driving. Whereas SC drivers have to live with oil temperatures reaching 120° C on the autobahn, even a prolonged full throttle run can’t push the Ruf’s gauge past the 90° mark. And on winding country roads, the car’s real habitat, its driver can fully concentrate on the driving – oil temperature sits at a steady 80°.

    With Bilstein shocks, turbo tire sizes of 205/55 VR 16 up front and 225/50 VR 16 at the back as well as an 80 percent locking diff, Alois Ruf laid the foundation for handling that matches the power. The SC’s comfortable ride might have gone missing, but the target clientele is going to mind that just as little as the infernal cacophony under acceleration. They will draw joy from other qualities.

    This modified Porsche is capable of cornering speeds that used to be the reserve of racing cars and after a short time puts quite a strain on your neck muscles. Reaching these speeds, of course, takes expertise in handling rear-engined cars. When entering a corner, the Ruf SC reacts with almost shocking understeer as the almost rigid locking diff is trying to push the car straight on. Only spirited, but well-dosed pressure on the accelerator can neutralize its stance and will provoke an even four-wheel slide. If you’re planning to get around the corner as quickly as possible, you best leave it that way.

    Even more joy can be found by utilizing the excess power on tap to go sideways, to which the Ruf reacts benevolently as long as it’s enjoyed in moderation. Still: you can have too much of a good thing, and once you reach that point there will be a complete loss of grip at the rear.

    All this makes the Ruf Porsche a worthwhile and, above all, responsible investment only for those sports car fans who acquired their driving skills through Zuffenhausen rear-engined cars, Porsche traditionalists whom the Stuttgart works can no longer offer what they were used to from the Carrera 2 to the Carrera RS.

    These truest Porsche buyers will stick with Zuffenhausen. They can continue taming their Porsche “au naturel” as Ferry once created it. Porsche’s reputation among the “die-hards” is safe.