RUF has something special coming for the Geneva Motor Show – something the company claims is different from every car it’s built before. As you probably know, RUF mainly builds cars from Porsche bodies-in-white, which are then modified extensively and given RUF serial numbers and model names. They’ve been doing that for years, as well as modifying customer cars.
Lately, RUF has been branching out a bit. The CTR3 of the mid-2000s, for example, used some Porsche structure up front but a rear subframe (which the company endearingly refers to as the “birdcage”) out back, allowing it to have a mid-engine layout despite not being based on the Cayman/Boxster twins. The bodywork, while looking somewhat like a mashup of 911 and Cayman styling cues, was bespoke and made out of a combination of aluminum and carbon fiber. There’s still a lot of Porsche in it, though.
At Geneva, RUF is hoping to reset a bit. The car it’s teasing (no image at this time, unfortunately) will have a totally unique structure, an in-house carbon fiber monocoque chassis to be specific. That’s a big departure for the company. The last time it tried something like that was in the early 2000s, with the semi-mythical R50 prototype. That didn’t go anywhere, for reasons we aren’t privy to. Apparently things have changed; perhaps manufacturing costs have come down (probably a factor), the market for low-volume supercars has gotten sweeter (definitely), and any engineering challenges that the R50 faced have been overcome (likely as well). Will it have a flat-six from its long-time friends in Stuttgart? No official word, but it’s likelier than not.
RUF also claims it’ll be a car inspired by the most famous RUF of all: the original CTR, better known as the Yellowbird. What that means remains to be seen, but the Yellowbird is pictured above. Back in 1987, it was turning the supercar world upside down and shaking the lunch money out of it. It, and the NSX that followed not too long after, rattled the traditional supercar players who subsequently upped both their performance and refinement games. It’s the most important part of RUF’s legacy, and so tying the new car so closely to the Yellowbird is a smart play.
We’ll find out more about this car in Geneva. Until then, enjoy this classic Yellowbird promotional film featuring a truly classic Nurburgring segment.