BMW has Alpina, Fiat has Abarth and Porsche has Ruf. All three of these companies are focused on completely reimagining contemporary BMW, Fiat, and Porsche models.
The difference between these three and AMG, RS, or BMW M is the fact that these three companies not only tune the cars, but they also do many other tweaks and changes, so much so that the vehicles are then registered as Alpina, Abarth, or Ruf, not BMW, Fiat or Porsche.
This means that Aplina, Abarth and Ruf take the chassis of regular BMW, Fiat and Porsche models, but add a bunch of bespoke parts which change the car in its essence, enough for them to be considered standalone branded cars. All three of these are licensed by their respective manufacturers to change the names of the cars and also offer specific VINs.
The roots of the Ruf company extend back to 1975 when Alois Ruf Jr started modifying Porsche 911s. The first Ruf Porsche was revealed in 1977, a 930 911 packed with a stroked 3.3L motor. Later in 1978, Ruf released the 911 SCR with a naturally aspirated 3.2L motor producing 217hp.
Ruf has since continued offering enhanced Porsche 911 models. Some of these models like the Ruf CTR and the Ruf CTR2 have also reached top speed records exceeding 211-217mph. This means that these two models were the fastest production cars on the planet for a brief moment before the imminent arrival of the legendary McLaren F1.
But Ruf Automobile did not stop there, as the next greatest hit from the German manufacturer came in 2007 with the CTR3 which celebrated the 20th anniversary of the first CTR model. Ruf was adamant at completely overhauling a regular 911 to such an extent that in 2010, Ruf even offered the first and only V8-powered 911 in history.
Ruf CTR models
Where RUF has made the biggest improvement on Porsche vehicles is the power output, as Porsches from those eras were fairly tame compared to Ruf-enhanced 911s. One of the most legendary Ruf models was the Ruf CTR Yellowbird, a tastefully and beautifully overhauled 911.
The Yellowbird certainly is one of the most iconic cars from that era, especially because the Yellowbird outperformed all the major competitors from that era. Cars like the Lamborghini Countach, Ferrari Testarossa, and even Porsche’s own 959, which is also now hailed as one of the greatest engineering marvels by Porsche, have been humiliated by the Yellowbird.
All Ruf 911s have a distinct VIN, which means that they are completely standalone models which on paper have no relation to Porsche. What Ruf did with the CTR 2 911s was also nothing short of spectacular as these models offered up to 700hp and were competing against full-on purpose-built strict racecars.
Ruf made an impact with the CTR2 at Pikes Peak international hill climb, Virginia City Hill Climb contest, and many other contests by only winning continuous pole positions.
Ruf CTR3 and the Ruf eRUF model A
The Ruf CTR3 was released in 2007, and this was the first time that Ruf has completely redesigned the entire 911 from the very top to bottom. The CTR3 offered a unique body and a mid-engined configuration that was nothing short of groundbreaking.
The CTR3 is equipped with a 700hp 6-cylinder engine and RUF has worked closely with Multimatic and Bosch to produce the CTR3. For a spot of context about Multimatic and Bosch, this is the very same company that still produces the new Ford GT in Canada, and Bosch is one of the leading electronics-engineering companies in the entire industry.
eRuf model A was a completely electric 911 from the late 2000s. The eRuf model was capable of 140mph top speed, 204hp, and an estimated range of 250-320 miles. Of course, in today’s day and age of Plaid 1000hp Teslas, this seems laughable. Back in the 2000s, however, this was the peak of the EV industry.
Sadly, the eRuf model A was never truly available for purchase, but it does show what Ruf was capable of in the late 2000s. Ever since Ruf started enhancing Porsche 911s, every single model they’ve released has had a positive reception, and many models will forever represent the very peak of German car engineering.
What other Porsche aftermarket tuners are there?
Nowadays, Porsche has a lot of different aftermarket tuners. Some of them offer complete overhauls like Singer and Ruf, and others like Techart or Manthey Racing are mostly aimed at amping up a regular 911 for better track performance.
How much does a Ruf 911 cost?
This is the part of the story in which it all starts making a bit more sense. Ruf models were and still are excruciatingly expensive, as some of these models cost 3-4 times more than the 911 models they were based on.
For a spot of context, the CTR Yellowbird retailed for $250k, which in today’s money is upwards of half a million dollars. This is peanuts compared to the price this model fetches these days, as a used Ruf Yellowbird was sold in 2018 for more than a million dollars.
The CTR3 was priced at $725k when it was released and nowadays holds an estimated value of $1.3-1.4 million.
How many Ruf 911s are there?
One of the main reasons why Ruf models are so expensive is the fact that only a few dozen cars were ever produced. The original CTR was limited to 29 units, the CTR2 had 16 standard units and 12 CTR2 Sport versions. The CTR3 was also limited to 30 units.
It’s safe to say that there are only a few of these knocking around, they are really hard to find if you are interested in buying one. People love these cars, and they want to keep them forever, which means that the value of these cars is surely going to continue skyrocketing in the coming years.
Why is Ruf so famous?
Funnily enough, the main reason why Ruf 911s are so famous today is the countless number of video games that have featured Ruf models rather than regular Porsche models. This is because Porsche signed an exclusive agreement with EA (Electronic Arts) to only offer Porsches in EA games such as Need for Speed.
This meant that virtually every other video game offered Ruf 911s. Games such as Gran Turismo, Assetto Corsa, Asphalt, Test Drive, The Crew, and many others only offered Ruf 911s. Because of this Ruf, has gained a large cult following among many video game enthusiasts.