Our inspiration? The RUF CTR.
We were blown away when RUF revealed the 700 horsepower CTR at this year's Geneva Motor Show. Even though the car looks very much like the iconic 1987 RUF Yellowbird, every body panel is new and it develops nearly twice the horsepower of the original. This got us thinking: why can't other manufacturers build modern recreations of iconic exotics and supercars? New cars have lost some of the engagement these icons possessed, so we came up with five long retired cars we'd love to see built as limited-run modern cars in the vein of the RUF CTR.
The Ferrari F355 is the perfect example of a classic car that deserves to be recreated with modern parts. The F355 is one of the best sounding cars ever made, and it's even reasonably affordable today by Ferrari standards. Unfortunately, the way Ferrari built these back in the 1990s makes them extremely difficult to own. Engine-out services are extremely expensive and can even add up to more than the car's value. If a company like RUF could build a new version of this car with modern parts, it could have the same amazing driving experience without all of the drawbacks. Modern Ferraris don't feel as analog as the F355, which is why we would love to see it re-created today (gated shifter and all).
The Acura NSX has already been revived by Acura, but we can't help but agree with the criticism the car has received. The new NSX is a bit over-styled up front and the hybrid setup strays very far from the original car's pure driving experience. The original was a very simple (and extremely well-built) sports car that doesn't really exist today. Like the RUF CTR, we would love to see some company come along and build a modern version of the original NSX complete with popup headlights, a six-speed manual and a more powerful (and likely twin-turbo) V6 engine with, say, around 500 horsepower. That's what the new NSX should have been, and a company like RUF could fix Acura's mistake.
The original Audi Sport Quattro was a homologation special, which doesn't really exist anymore. Audi has previously teased us with concept cars inspired by the classic '80s sports coupe, but it seems unlikely the automaker would actually build it. If Audi doesn't have the guts to do this awesome coupe, someone should come along and build it instead. Unlike the other cars on this list, a modern Audi Quattro could be created by taking the new TT RS, which already has a 400 hp turbocharged five-cylinder engine, and changing the body to create a Sport Quattro. This process would likely be very expensive, but not nearly as much as building an entirely car from scratch.
The Nissan 240, in all of its various forms, was one of the greatest tuner cars ever built. People have given these things massive power, which makes them the perfect car for drifting. Unfortunately, the car's proclivity for drifting has left many examples wrapped around a pole and good ones with very high values. We would love to see someone build a modern version that could be used as a shell for project cars. The original car came with many different engines depending on the market, but we honestly think the engine is not that important. Instead, we would just love to have the body of the 240 so drifters and enthusiasts could simply drop in whatever engine they think is best, from an SR20 to an LS1.
The McLaren F1 has become one of the most rare and valuable cars in the world. It was once the fastest production car in the world as well, but today the F1 is considered more of a collector's item. The values are so high that insurance companies are forced to pay out when an owner wrecks one. Since there will never be another one built, each F1 is incredibly precious. However, if McLaren Special Operations built a few more F1s for a few lucky owners, it could help ensure that this historic model will always be around for future generations. This would obviously cost a ton, and would only be for McLaren's best customers. But hey, if this project doesn't happen (and it likely won't), at least McLaren is already planning an F1 tribute hypercar for 2019.