02 Nov

Weekly Roundup 11/2/13

This week’s roundup is all RUF RT-35. In our case, one standard RT-35 and two RT-35S models.

First is this silver RT-35. I don’t know the exact color, but if it’s a Porsche color I would guess Arctic Silver or possibly GT Silver, even though it’s a little on the lighter side for GT. I first saw this posted on the official RUF Automobile Facebook Page as their header image back in February. It was parked outside the RUF front showroom on the driveway with its silver paint gleaming on a sunny winter day. I commented on the photo, but no other details were posted.

I was making my rounds on Google a few weeks later and happened across a thread on the e90post where a member by the name of comar1979 had posted photos of this RT-35 in the parking lot of the BMW Welt facility in Munich, Germany. Some observant members realized what it was and posted in the replies. So far, these are the only photos I have of the car and don’t have any details on it. Would love to see some interior shots as well as VIN and current whereabouts. Let me know if you have anything: info@rufregistry.com

Next up is what I believe to be the first production RUF RT-35S. This car is finished in a yellow hue and was on the stand at the Geneva Auto Salon earlier this year. Again, I don’t know the exact color, but would guess it’s “Yellowbird Yellow”. The RT-35S is similar in appearance to the standard RT-35, save for tall fixed wing in the back replacing the ducktail. Engine enhancements include a power bump to 650bhp. This particular RT-35S is a right-hand-drive model with a manual gearbox and a unique piano black finish on the dash and door trim that accents the leather and alcantara interior very nicely (with yellow deviated stitching of course!). It is equipped with the GT2 seats, the wheels are painted in a gunmetal color with carbon-ceramic brakes and yellow-painted brake calipers. Finally, the mirror housings appear to be bare carbon instead of paint-matched to the body.

Finally, there is the green RT-35S. I simply LOVE this color, and believe it is a throwback to the mint green Porsche color from the 964-era of the early 1990s. Information and pictures are even more sparse on this particular car, but the pictures show that it is equipped with the Lollipop seats like those found in the CTR3 and like the yellow RT-35S, the interior appears to be covered in much more alcantara than the standard RT-35. Again, if you have any more pictures & info on this car, please e-mail me: info@rufregistry.com

25 Oct

Weekly Roundup 10/25/13

I’m going to begin doing a weekly roundup for some of our friends who are not on facebook. If you are, Like our page here!

Here are some of the cars I have added to the registry.

First is the last of the 3 Porsche 996-based RUF RGTs. These cars pre-dated the Porsche GT3 in the U.S. market, and as such, are fairly sought after. The other two cars are the Estoril Blue RGT and the copper colored one (I don’t know what the name of the color, if anybody out there knows or owns this car, please e-mail me at info@rufregistry.com so I can update it), both of which are in the registry already.

Next is the very first Porsche 991-based RUF RT35 roadster. The standard RUF RT35 coupe (first 991-based car from RUF) debuted approximately a year and a half ago and hot on the heels of the new 991 Porsche 911 cabriolet, RUF worked their magic and now we have the RT35 roadster. This first car is finished in nice dark blue exterior with a Luxor Beige interior complimented by “throwback” tartan-print fabric covering the seat centers.

Finally, the first white RT35 I have ever seen. This car was tested by Auto Zeitung and a few pictures have been floating around on Instagram as well. I didn’t expect white to look so good since the 991 is quite large for a 911, but I think the RT35 actually looks very handsome in white and I like the silver-finished wheels rather than a more aggressive black or gunmetal on this particular car.

25 Sep

Great RUF for Great Britain

Bob Forstner reached out to us recently with a very special RUF, the first right-hand-drive 964, an RCT Conversion that was used as the demonstrator vehicle for the UK. I have added the car to the registry and will let him tell you the history in his own words.

We were really excited to be able to buy the original RUF GB demonstrator.

This car was featured in several magazines, one being 911 & Porsche World, September/October 1994.

I have a very large history file with it.

Nachtblaumetallic 37W
Grey Interior with Dark Blue Piping, Sports Seats Left and Right
Delivered by Porsche on 01.07.1993

It was built as the demonstrator for Ruf UK.
Base is a Carrera 2 with sunroof and air-conditioning.
The owner we bought it from had bought it in 1997.

The car has everything possible including:
RUF RCT Engine,
RUF Exhaust System
6 Speed Transmission
EKS Clutch System,
Ruf Brakes,
Ruf Wheels
Ruf Suspension
Ruf Steering wheel
Ruf Aerodynamic package with front spoiler, rear spoiler, rain duct spoilers.

With kind regards,

Robert L. Forstner

Special thanks to Bob Forstner for the pics & info. If you’re interested in this vehicle or any other RUF vehicle, check their webiste out here: Bob Forstner Park Lane

16 Aug

RUF Photos from Wilton House

Robert Forstner reached out to me and provided these great pictures from the Wilton House Classic & Supercars show. Most all of these vehicles are familiar, with the exception of the Cassis 911 Carrera CR conversion. If this is your car or you have any further information on its history, please get in touch with me at info@rufregistry.com. Enjoy the photos and a special thanks to Robert Forstner for sending to me to share with you.



16 Jun

Excalibur Park Lane now official RUF Agent for the United Kingdom

June 11, 2013: RUF Automobile issued a press-release appointing Bob Forstner’s Excalibur Park Lane as the official RUF agent for the United Kingdom. Excalibur Park Lane currently handles Pagani, Lamborghini and Bentley among other marques. To read the official press-release from RUF click here, and to inquire about cars available from Excalibur, check out their website by clicking here.

The parntership was kicked off by a silver CTR3 Club Sport showing up to the Childrens Trust Charity supercar event with Bob Forstner decals affixed to the rear 1/4 panels.

Photo courtesy LS3 Photography.

11 Jun

We’re BACK!

Dearest RUF-aholics,

Apologies for missing in action for a number of months. I have been extremely busy with my graduate studies and have not had the time to even check the Registry, let alone update with new info and add cars.

But, now that summer is here, I will be adding new vehicles and more interesting and fun info that I come across.

As always, feel free to e-mail me (info@rufregistry.com) with your cars and any interesting RUFs you run across out there on the world wide web!

Thanks for the support!

Founder, RUF Registry

19 Feb

Implications of Genii Capital and RUF partnership?

On Tuesday February 12, just two days before Valentine’s Day in the United States, a press release was issued announcing Genii Capital Group had taken an interest in RUF Automobile GmbH (Click Here to download a PDF of the actual press release). Genii’s biggest connection to the automotive world thus far has been their ownership and management of the Lotus Formula 1 team headed by French engineer Eric Boullier. Luxembourg-based Genii Capital’s founding boardmember, Gerard Lopez, is a certifiable gearhead and personal friend/customer of Alois Ruf. Lopez has been named as the Chairman of the Board in a non-executive role at RUF.

What does this mean to the future of RUF?

Certainly some adjustments will be made, and possibly some growing pains experienced. After all, it is a company with fairly traditional family roots that was put on the world map with a bang in the form of a little yellow car with an insatiable love of speed and a man with the passion to deliver the finest Porsche-based motorcars to discerning and particular clientele around the world. Most recently however, Alois Ruf’s vision has opened up to new drive-systems with the fully electric Greenster and Stormster (Click Here to go inside the eRUF Greenster). RUF has been ripe with innovation for a while now, but constrained by their growth capability due to a number of possible factors like the availability of capital and technical innovation amongst others.

Alois Ruf posing with one of his 911-based electric vehicles.

Then there’s Genii. A relatively young investment firm with a chairman in Gerard Lopez that has passions parallel to those of Alois Ruf. Genii has an impressive portfolio of companies from technology to real estate that they have helped develop, and although they are young, Lopez has been in the venture capitalist industry since 1998 as co-founder of Mangrove Capital Partners. When Genii took over Lotus F1, they were in complete shambles, but with Boullier at the helm and drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean, they have slowly but surely paid their dues in the past few years and are poised to be world championship contenders this coming season. Through clever innovations like the Coanda exhaust and excellent management of powertrains and consumables after the implementation of restrictions on engines and tires in 2012, Lotus F1 is now a force to be reckoned with. Genii’s vision, strategy and accessibility to the best resources in a given industry seem to be their strongest competitive advantages.

Gerard Lopez, center, walking with Eric Boullier on the right.

What will be the result of the Ruf-Genii marriage?

Most immediately, there is the announcement of “something special” at the Geneva Auto Salon in March. This will likely be the final production version of the 991-based RGT-8 that nearly everyone in the Porsche world has been anticipating. An 8-cylinder 911 will finally be a reality, and according to the press release from Ruf, the engine is to be a centerpiece to identify new strategic opportunities. How? It would be not be surprising to see the V8 make its way into the CTR3 supercar, possibly turbocharged. Further in the future, it could also serve as the basis for a completely RUF designed, built and sold supercar with little to no Porsche componentry. Then there are the electric drivetrains that Alois has been championing himself. With tightening motor-vehicle emissions standards around the world, the electric systems could open up a number of great opportunities for RUF to become a bona-fide manufacturer of a full-line of vehicles from sports-cars to sedans to SUVs. Finally, there is Lotus F1′s prowess in all things automobile which will also undoubtedly serve to better existing and future RUF products.

The all-RUF V8 engine.

Beyond the V8 and potential new models, there are farther reaching implications, literally. With the emergence of BRIC countries and the far-east as a heavy-hitting market that cannot be ignored, Genii’s venture-capitalist expertise in growing-out great companies (their portfolio includes quite a few tech companies that have either gone on to greatness or been acquired for their assets) will no doubt come in handy servicing this quickly expanding and increasingly sophisticated market. These customers will also help fund the previously mentioned RUF innovations and cars. Long-time Ruf fans will remember the ill-fated production facility in Bahrain that was quickly abandoned due to the nose-dive in the world economy. With Genii at the helm of the expansion and their successful turnaround of the Lotus F1 team, not to mention the recovering world economy, it is unlikely we’ll see another incident like Bahrain. There could even be another attempt at a facility placed somewhere outside of Pfaffenhausen to service the middle and far-east markets.

A sampling of the current RUF lineup.

In 1987, from a sleepy town in Germany came the fastest car in the world. From that moment on, Alois Ruf has been hard at work for Porsche lovers who have demanded more than the factory was willing to offer. Now with Genii capital on board, it may just be time for RUF to spread its wings and fly out from under the Porsche shadow. Long live RUF Automobile GmbH!

The one that started it all, the one and only RUF Yellowbird.

Photos courtesy Hans-Rudolf Schulz, Sutton Images and RUF Automobile GmbH.

12 Feb

RGT-8 Final Testing before Geneva Auto Salon

A link posted to the RUF Automobile official Facebook page to a German article indicates there are some final finishing touches going on the RGT-8 powertrain before the Geneva Auto Salon debut of the production 991 RGT-8 next month with order fulfillment starting soon after. The article posted on the German site Automobil Revue highlights some of the key statistics of the new engine/car.

V8 engine lighter than Porsche Flat-6
Engine mass sits farther forward in the body than Flat-6
All-aluminum construction (see photos below)
90-degree bank angle
180-degree flat-plane crank
Water Pump, A/C Compressor and Alternator all driven directly off crankshaft
500 Nm (369 lbs. ft) torque at 5400 rpm
Redline around 8000rpm
Paired exclusively to the 7-speed manual gearbox
0-100 km/h: 3.9 seconds
0-200 km/h: 11.5 seconds
315 km/h Top Speed

Pics and stats courtesy Automobil Revue.

09 Feb

Autobild Sportscars, October 2011

How about this Autobild Sportscars article from October 2011. It features the then-developing RUF 911 Turbo PDK, the ABT Audi R8 GTR and the Vath Mercedes Benz SLS AMG.

It’s great to see so much diversity with the Europeans and their supersports cars. The Audi an AWD, mid-engine V10, the RUF an AWD, rear-engine Flat-6 biturbo and the Benz a RWD, front-mid engine V8.

I can’t read it, because it’s in German, but just looking at the acceleration figures, the RUF is leaps and bounds ahead of the other two. Even with nearly identical horsepower across all three cars, the 0-300 km/h is 10+ seconds faster than the next fastest car.

Click on the picture for a full-size readable version of each page.

14 Jan

Will the real RUF NATO please stand up?

I’ve received a few e-mails recently asking about the RUF NATO and I’ve really come up somewhat empty on good hard info regarding not only the spec of the car, but its current whereabouts. One thing is for sure though, there are two cars currently in Japan that have been referred to on various forums as the RUF NATO. This blog post will serve to uncover the publicly available info regarding the original NATO, as well as the two cars in Japan.

The Original NATO:  
According to Joe Rusz article “Ruf Housing” from the Road & Track Special Report published in 1986, we know that the NATO is rather stripped down and was used as a “rolling test-bed” for RUF products. Joe was invited to the Hockenheimring with other RUF enthusiasts for a trackday where Stefan Roser, who was later made famous in the FASZINATION at the Nurburgring video driving the Yellowbird, gave him a wild ride in the NATO after it was fitted with an experimental turbo and intercooler that bumped horsepower up above 400bhp. Click on the photo below for a full-size readable version of the article, where the car is wearing German license plate “MN-04258″, MN standing for Mindelheim, the region in Germany where the RUF factory is.

Bingo Sports:  First we have a car that was being represented by Bingo Sports of Tokyo. To me, this car is far too sterile to be the original NATO. It could have been restored to some kind of standard, although to what level and specification a tuner test-vehicle should be restored to is always questionable, as parts and tuning are constantly being tweaked and fudged with to try different configurations on all major components of the car. Still, this car does make for a pretty compelling “replica” if it isn’t the real thing that’s just been over-restored. Besides its outward appearance with rain-gutters shaved (original had them in place), no roof aerial, and “shark fins” on the leading edge of the rear fenders, the car is configured as a BTR III, the final BTR configuration with Motronic fuel injection. The dashboard in this car is also out of a 1986 or newer with its improved defrost ventilation and larger corner ducts. Since Rusz article was published in ’86, it is possible that the NATO was less than a year old at the time, but I have a very hard time believing Alois Ruf would buy a brand-new 930 to make his test-vehicle and for it to end up looking that “ratty” in less than a year. Still, the dash panel could have been retrofitted to an earlier car, but it’s unlikely, as sheetmetal behind the actual dashpad would have be modified. The final piece of evidence though is the 10th digit of the VIN (I have not posted a pic of the VIN plate for privacy reasons) that is the letter M, indicating the car is a 1991 model year. This also complements the video on YouTube of what appears to be the same vehicle indicating the car to be a 1992, which could be a typo or the vehicle could be registered in Japan as a 1992. My conclusion is that this particular car, while very nicely done, is likely a RUF-built replica inspired by the original NATO.

Old Boy: This particular “NATO” popped up fairly recently in Japan being represented by Goo Auto Inc. of Okayama, and later spotted wearing “Old Boy” dealer license plates. At first glance, it is quite convincing and the VIN info provided by Goo Auto indicates the car is a 1986 model year. Again, the question of why Alois would buy a brand-new 930 Turbo and have it end up in such a state is questionable. Of course, it could have be re-VINed too due to its extensive modification. Anyway, it was very ratty when originally posted for sale by Goo Auto and has since been given a sympathetic restoration and spotted around Japan at various shows. Its right-rear fender is riveted on, it wears a boost-control knob on the leading edge of the dash panel, and its ignition switch is absent from the original position on the left side. Before the car was restored, there was a hole where the ignition switch is, which raises red flags, although we aren’t pointing any fingers or making accusations. Also, the front and rear compartments are both black, indicating the car was originally black. Further details on the interior include a bolted in hump extension between the seats which was necessary to fit the longer transmission after the RUF 5-speed was fitted, a bolt-in rollbar and gutted door pockets/lids. Could this be the real NATO? It’s certainly more convincing than the one for sale at Bingo Sports.

I’ve dispatched an e-mail to RUF in Pfaffenhausen for more details, but have not heard back. If you have any info on the real NATO or on either one of these cars, please do not hesitate to e-mail us at info@rufregistry.com.

, , , , , ,