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RUF CTR Anniversary driven

“The Yellowbird is a car that made us internationally renowned from one day to another. We were the world’s fastest car – all the big companies were slower. No matter if it was 20 years ago, ten years ago or just yesterday, everybody talks about this car.” These are the words of Marcel Ruf, who talks with passion and pride when I ask him to describe what the RUF CTR of 1987 did for his father’s company.

It was that 3.2 Carrera-based ‘Yellowbird’ which put RUF Automobile on the map. A real-life David versus Goliath moment, it was faster than Ferrari’s F40 and Porsche’s 959, inspiring an entire generation of automotive fanatic. Those three letters responsible for building it became an alluring brand synonymous with engineering precision and purity henceforth.

We’re here on Rufplatz to celebrate 80 years of a company which has been integral to the culture surrounding the 911, a sports car we all – RUF included – admire greatly. RUF has always found a way to improve on Porsche’s recipe, consistently evolving the 911 years ahead of Zuffenhausen.

It led to RUF becoming a certified manufacturer in its own right by the German authorities in 1981, and since then we’ve been on the road to this very moment, a dream Alois Ruf Jr has harvested for decades: to build a complete sports car from scratch. That car is the new RUF CTR.

Revealed in 2017 – 30 years since the original – the latest CTR has undergone further testing, tweaks and even a name change. The CTR Anniversary, as it is now known, is at last approaching the finished article, and is a fitting way for this family-run business to celebrate its 80th birthday.

Putting the festivities to one side, this new CTR is arguably the most important RUF creation in years. Times have changed, and now there’s much stiffer competition for ultra high-end, Porsche-inspired craftwork, most notably from a well-known company some 5,000-miles away in north Hollywood.

Looking more inwardly too, the fact this is the first RUF to be built completely from scratch carries a significant cost. Company sources tell me it could be between €12 to 15 million to develop the CTR, all of the investment coming directly from RUF itself. It’s a statement of confidence to say the least, the carbon fibre monocoque at its centre forming, we are told, the basis of RUF cars of the future as well as now.

On paper the CTR Anniversary’s credentials (we’ll come to those later) have well and truly resonated with the uber wealthy, so much so that all 30 cars of the initial build run were sold within a week. I say initial build run, as off-the-bat demand for the CTR Anniversary caught out not only RUF itself, but owners of the first CTR, too, who simply didn’t react quick enough to bag the latest example.

“We felt it was important that those owners of the original CTR were given the opportunity to have an Anniversary, so we spoke with the 30 buyers of the new car and asked how they felt about us increasing production to 50 cars to solve the problem. Thankfully they gave their blessing, so we were able to offer the extra 20 spaces only to those who had a CTR1,” Marcel Ruf explains. A potential sticking point dealt with efficiently and calmly – how typically German.

Production of the CTR Anniversary is set to run until 2022 (by which time the company will also have started building its new, naturally aspirated SCR) with deliveries beginning later this year. A handful are very near to completion, these being assembled by hand on the factory floor during our visit. However, sitting outside and resplendent in the house colour of yellow, there’s an example ready for the road – and we’re going to be driving it.


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991 v 992: the ultimate battle

It’s fair to say Porsche’s executives can be mighty pleased with the way the company’s eighth generation of 911 has been received so far. The Neunelfer is, after all, the bedrock of Zuffenhausen: an entire automotive operation is administered with this iconic car at its centre.

Of course it’s crucial that any new 911 must succeed in obtaining the approval of a global fanbase so impassioned by it. In the case of the 992, succeeded it has… and then some.

Not since the arrival of the 997.1 has a new generation of 911 been met with such resounding acclaim by all corners of the motoring spectrum. The 992 has built nicely on the foundations of the 991 before it, an era which didn’t exactly enjoy the same instant endearment.

Its bloated size over the outgoing 997 was lamented, as was the uptake of electrically assisted steering, both of which were seen as surefire signs of a general creep away from the 911’s all-out sports car demeanor in favour of a more comfortable grand tourer.

Despite what might best be described as a takeoff with turbulence, the 991 has gone on to become one of the most popular 911 generations of all time, right where it matters – in the showroom. Even after that mid-life introduction of turbocharging for the entire Carrera range, customers continued to back the car handsomely with their wallets. As a result, the 991 is a best-seller.

The 992 is still wet behind the ears in terms of its production cycle. There are only four models to choose from, Carrera S or 4S in Coupe or Cabriolet, but, with sales managers in an effervescent glow from early reviews, it’s about time the new arrival was put directly against its predecessor.

The 992 Carrera 4S Coupe’s RRP in the UK might be £98,418, but once you’ve added some sensible options you won’t see much change from £115,000 – our Dolomite silver press car here comes in at £116,467.

That’s the same figure you can expect to pay for a 991.2 GTS right now, either straight from the production line, as some late examples are still being built alongside the 992, or from a host of used examples currently available with around 1,000 miles on the clock. The stage is therefore set: what’s better, a new 992 C4S or a well-specced 991.2 C4 GTS?


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The Panamera Turbo S e-Hybrid Contains A Wonderful Dichotomy

Porsche’s big wagon has nearly 700 horsepower, it’ll go nearly 200 miles per hour, and it weighs more than 5000 pounds. Somehow it is big and comfortable but also incredibly sporty. Somehow it manages to dawdle around in silent electric-only mode, then seconds later crank up a huge turbocharged V8 when you swap to Sport mode. It can move five people in comfort, as well as all of their stuff. It can also haul ass. Carfection reviewer Henry Catchpole says « It’s a bit like a 918 Spyder in this [wagon] body, » and I don’t know about you, but that sounds tremendous.

The Panamera Turbo S e-Hybrid Sport Turismo is one of the longest names in Porsche nomenclature history, but it all sort of makes sense when you boil it down. Obviously it’s a Panamera. The Turbo S means it has a 550 horsepower turbocharged 4-liter V8. The e-Hybrid bit gives the car a 136 horsepower electric power bump. And finally, Sport Turismo means it’s got a humpback that can fit your tall luggage better than the standard Panamera body with a trunk.

« Possibly the most ridiculous car I think I’ve ever driven »

And of course Henry means ridiculous in the most endearing way possible. This car is a step toward everything for every driver. It’s fast and fun and incredibly loud when you want it to be, but calm and quiet and eco conscious when you need it to be. This is imperative for many large European cities, which don’t allow cars to run on gasoline power in city centers without paying a quite hefty fee. You can easily swap to eco mode and crawl around the city on full EV power before you head out to the country for a romp around on full turbo power. It’s the best of both worlds.


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Here Are Some Of The Loudest Porsche Race Cars Of All Time

Porsche’s glorious flat six engine is known for its sonorous high-RPM note, and when the engine is unmuffled, it only sounds better, but is also much louder. Often times, at big racing events, the Porsche competitors are driving the loudest cars on track. There are some Porsche engines that are even louder than that, however, as the 928’s V8 can make a huge rumble, and Porsche’s Formula 1 flat-eight is louder still. The loudest thing Porsche has in the collection, though, is allegedly the 1974 911 Turbo RSR.

At 138 decibels, the Turbo RSR is nearly as loud as a small jet engine aircraft taking off. It’s loud enough to cause hearing damage after more than 30 seconds of exposure. It’s not just a weapon on the track, but an attack on the senses. Literally.

Across the top five, Porsche’s assembled a few really rare and really exciting race car models. Obviously, without the need for mufflers, race cars are quite loud at the race track, but I can imagine they feel quite a bit louder standing feet away from the loud end while in a quiet museum building. The premise of this video is absurd, but incredible at the same time. You can tell these two are just having a blast doing their job.



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Follow Your Unique Dreams With Porsche’s Newest Episode Of 9:11 Magazine

Once a month, Porsche challenges themselves to tell five unique stories in just 9 minutes and 11 seconds. This month, the common theme is dreaming. If you click play on the video below, you’ll be treated to the following five stories:

  1. Magnus Walker’s vision of the Martini Turbo
  2. The stop watch that won Le Mans
  3. The one and only Norfolk 964
  4. The Mathe monoposto
  5. Herbert Linge’s extraordinary life

The first story, if you’ve heard Magnus Walker talk about his past anywhere, you’ll likely already know. At the Earls Court motor show when he was a child, Mr. Walker saw the bright white 911 Turbo with Martini stripes on the Porsche stand, and immediately fell smitten. He dreamed for years of owning and driving that car. Porsche tracked down the 1976 show car in Martini stripes and gave Magnus the keys for a day in his home town. How cool is that?

Also in 1976, Porsche was almost excluded from the Le Mans results that ultimately gave the company its third overall win. The Martini-liveried 936 that wound up winning the race ran an incredible overnight stint and pulled out to a huge lead. Then, just before the end of the race, it came in to the pits smoking and sputtering with a dead cylinder belching smoke. The team needed to run two more laps as the checkered flag fell in order to be considered the winners, so they disabled the cylinder and sent the car back out. In order to meet the time necessary for the lap to count, the team taped an Omega stopwatch to the steering wheel. That ridiculous plan worked as hoped, and the team won.

In case you didn’t know, there is a single Porsche on Norfolk island. It’s a tiptronic 964 Targa, which is an incredibly rare combination. For a small island with a 50 kph speed limit and more cows than humans, that’s a strange ride. The owner says it’s always been worth it.

The Mathe Monoposto racer is difficult to explain. You’ll just have to watch it. Just know that it is amazing.

And finally, hearing Herbert Linge tell the tale, albeit an abridged version, in his own words is an absolute privilege. Check it out!


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