This is more than just a Porsche, it's the distilled essence of RUF perfection.
After Porsche revealed the latest GT3 RS with a special 50th Anniversary Package, we thought the coolest news about a flat-six-powered sports car was behind us. But then RUF joined the chat. The German company known for building its own unique take on the Porsche 911 just debuted a new car at The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering at Monterey Car Week. It's called Project RBS - or "Bergmeister," which is German for "master of the mountain" - and is inspired by the Porsche 906 street-legal race car, the 909 Bergspyder hill climb car, and the 718 RS 60 Spyder. All of these were prodigious hill climb racers of yore.
At the back sits an air-cooled single-turbo 3.6-liter flat-six engine developing 443 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual transmission with a limited-slip differential.
It may look a bit like a 911, but the Bergmeister is a carbon-skinned roadster that's truly unique. The car combines the best of classic and modern Porsche styling with LED lighting and 993 Speedster tonneau cover with an aerofoil section wing. Most of the body is finished in a simple white, with green stripes and other green accents adding some flavor.
The Bergmeister rides on five-spoke 19-inch light alloy wheels with 245/35 tires up front and 285/30 tires in the rear. McPherson-strut front suspension underpins the front, while the rear gets a multilink setup. Massive six-piston front and four-piston rear monobloc-fixed brake calipers help bring the car to a halt with 13.9-inch ventilated carbon-ceramic discs and Bosch ABS. And, of course, the calipers are painted green.
Inside, the interior is lined with black Alcantara, including the bucket seats. Even the steering wheel is wrapped in the stuff for improved grip.
This is a no-frills cabin devoid of modern screens, just five well-placed gauges with green font mounted in front of the driver. As you'd expect from a Porsche-related vehicle, the tachometer is positioned in the center. RUF says the speedometer goes up to 220 mph, which must be lively without a roof or a full windshield. Capping off the interior is a retro houndstooth theme on the seats that looks perfect for the minimalist cabin.
Also on display at the Quail, and for the first time on American soil, is the delectable RUF SCR (pictured below in green), a more modern interpretation of the company's sports car philosophy. The SCR uses a 4.0-liter naturally aspirated flat-six developing 503 hp at a cataclysmic 8,270 rpm. Of course, power still goes out to the rear via an old-school six-speed manual.
"When we began building our own automobiles in 1974, it was all for the thrill of the drive," said Alois Ruf, owner of RUF Automobile GmbH. "We are honored to be featured at The Quail and to celebrate the passion for driving with our friends. Bergmeister embodies the most elemental driving experience, while the SCR highlights the latest technology offerings from our team in Pfaffenhausen."