Inside the eRUF Greenster

Found these awesome photos and writeup of the eRUF Greenster Targa’s “guts” from moteurnature.com. The article was originally written in French and published in 2009, but I’ve never seen these photos make the rounds in the American online media / blogosphere, so here they are, along with the article translated to english.

This is a great inside look at the eRUF. I applaud Alois Ruf and the factory for experimenting with electric drive. I’m sure the performance is exhilerating and it must be a hoot to drive with the top off on a sunny day!

An Engine That Changes Everything

2009 will be a great year for Ruf. Originally, RUF was known as a manufacturer of special parts for Porsche. Notably, they designed a gearbox 5-speed gearbox for the Porsche Turbo in 1981, which had a standard 4 speed box. A little later, the expertise of the boss, Mr. Alois Ruf, led him to become manufacturer. These days, he starts with a Porsche “body-in-white” chassis, but the cars feature an increasing number of unique items to offer far superior performance to their Porsche counterparts, which are fast cars to begin with.

This activity continues across other models, the latest being the CTR 3 that can be seen on the lift in the background of the photos below, it is able to accelerate from 0 to 200 km / h in less than 10 seconds. Additionally, Ruf is diversifying outside of 2-seat sports cars as well. The Dakara SUV, based on the Porsche Cayenne, was debuted at the Geneva Auto Show earlier this year. But, what has caught our attention at the Geneva show and what we are here to see today, is the eRUF electric sports car.

The car does not carry the Porsche crest, and is in fact a Ruf Porsche, but the look is unmistakable. It even has a little retro flavor, as Mr. Ruf has had the clever idea give it the look of an old Targa. This is the happy marriage of nostalgia with the technology of tomorrow. We ask immediately about the specs of the electric drive system, and we are not disappointed! With 270 kW (approx. 370 hp) and 950 Nm of torque, it is considerably more powerful than the Tesla Roadster or the Venturi Fetish. In other words, electric or gasoline, Ruf continue to be ahead of all others …

One wonders, of course, with the enormous torque of the electric motor, how to transfer it to the road without killing the transmission or tires (or both), but Mr. Ruf has a lot of practice with flat-6 turbocharged engines very high torque … We were hugely surprised when we learned the name of the motor supplier. Until now, manufacturers of electric cars bought their AC propulsion motors from UQM, Shave, or SME. But even with somewhat limited equity, but Mr. Ruf has convinced Siemens to make him some motors and speed controllers.

We could not determine how willing Siemens was to commit to development of electric motors for cars (they had already done some experiments with Volkswagen), but an engineer from Siemens came to work at Ruf for perfect integration with the vehicle. This is very important, because for mass development of electric cars, there needs to be proper integration support in place. Siemens is an excellent choice for electric drive supply, as there are not much bigger multinational corporations like them with thousands of electrical engineers at their disposal, and dozens of factories around the world.

The Ruf Greenster will be produced in small numbers starting next year. Its electronic control allows it to recharge on a 220 V/16 classic outlet, and can be fully charged in about an hour on a dedicated 400 V outlet. It can also feed into the grid at times of peak consumption, and Siemens is working on a charging infrastructure management system that could be launched on a national level with Greenster being amongst the most efficient electric vehicles on the market. This is another victory for Mr. Ruf, but we prefer to emphasize that it is the gateway to Siemens in the small world of electric cars, and the German multinational’s entry through the front door of EV technology.

The unibody of the eRUF Greenster:

At the Geneva Auto Show:

Finally, check out this video of Alois Ruf being interviewed by Fox News on the eRUF: Alois Ruf on Fox News