RUF builds more than just the Yellowbird.
RUF began as a small, independent Porsche workshop more than 80 years ago in 1939. The company made a name for itself back in 1987 with the CTR Yellowbird, an insane turbocharged sports car based on the Porsche 911. Most of RUF's most famous creations, like the recently-announced SCR Safari Car, use a 911 as a starting point. But did you know that the company has worked on plenty of other models as well? Here are five amazing RUF models you probably forgot about.
The 997 generation 911 Targa did not have a removable roof like the original, but rather a sliding glass panel. RUF built a throwback creation as an homage to the original Targa design called the RT Roadster. Based on the 911 Turbo, it produced a total of 560 horsepower and 550 lb-ft of torque, yielding a still-impressive 0-60 mph launch time of 2.6 seconds. It features a silver roll hoop, just like the original Targa, as well as a two-piece removable carbon roof and rear window.
What happens when you drop a 991 Carrera engine into a Boxster? You get the RUF 3400S. Unveiled at the 1999 Essen Motor Show, the 3400S used the 3.4-liter flat-six engine from the Carrera, producing 310 hp, significantly more than the 249-hp figure found in the 2.7-liter Boxster S flat-six. The added power dropped the 0-60 mph time by a full second to 5.1 seconds. RUF later built the 3600S, using the more powerful 3.6-liter motor producing 345 hp.
It may be several more years before Porsche builds an electric 911, but did you know RUF made one way back in 2008? Dubbed the eRUF, it used electric motors from UQM Technologies producing 201 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque. With a top speed of 140 mph and driving range of 155 to 199 miles, the performance metrics were impressive for 2008. The eRUF never made it past the concept stage, so you can't buy one today.
Back in 2009, RUF introduced its first SUV model based on the Porsche Cayenne. Called the RUF Dakara, it used a tuned 4.5-liter version of the Cayenne's twin-turbo V8 producing 591 hp and 656 lb-ft of torque, up from 550 hp and 553 lb-ft in the Cayenne Turbo S. Although it had more power, the Dakara was one-tenth slower than the Turbo S to 60 mph at 4.8 seconds.
RUF went a bit mad with the styling on the Dakara, adding the headlights from a 997 911, a body kit, wide finders, and 22-inch five-spoke wheels. Inside, the cabin matches the exterior lunacy with custom leather and a new entertainment system with a CD/DVD player, and an iPod interface. When new, the RUF Dakara carried a base price of $327,853. Perhaps there's a reason why this RUF is forgotten.
RUF doesn't only work on Porsches. The brand sometimes branches out to other marques, like Volkswagen. The RUF VW T4 was by far the company's most outrageous project. RUF stuffed the 3.6-liter twin-turbo flat-six engine from the 993 Turbo into a T4 van, creating one of the coolest sleepers ever built. This engine produced a whopping 522 hp, which could rocket the van up to 62 mph in 5.1 seconds.
Other areas were modified to handle the power, but RUF kept the rest of the vehicle looking mostly stock, except for new wheels and Recaro seats to keep passengers in place through corners. A lowered chassis with hard shock absorbers and springs helped keep it flat, while R19 wheels with 235/35 tires and ventilated Porsche brakes helped it remain stable and stop at a reasonable distance.