There are many tuning houses in the world, but few of them modify cars heavily enough to be officially classified as manufacturers by their respective governments. Germany’s Ruf is one such company, however, and this week they tossed us some specs on their newest remanufacturing of the mid-engine Porsche Carrera GT, the 2012 CTR 3.
If you’ve never heard of Ruf, there’s a good reason for it. Because though they’ve been around since 1939 and have been building their own custom Porsches since 1975, they’ve only ever made 16 cars of their own.
Following the European (and particularly German) affinity for naming cars after their children’s latest bites of soup, they’ve called their new creation the CTR 3, though the “3” does have some significance, because one of Ruf’s earliest vehicles was the 1987 CTR 1. This was based on a Porsche 911, and its twin-turbocharged 3.4 liter punched out an astonishing 469 hp. You may not be astonished if you’re used to the 1,115 hp of the Koenigsegg Agera R or the 1,200 of the Bugatti Veyron SS. But in 1987, it was a massive figure, and it was put to good use. The CTR 1 (nicknamed “Yellowbird” by the non-Europeans) had a 0-60 time of 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 211 mph. That made it the fastest production car on Earth.
Time sailed by, and the title was taken by the Jaguar XJ220, the McLaren F1, and others until Bugatti finally cemented it with the 267 mph Veyron SS. Could Ruf reclaim it with this newest version of the CTR 3?
No. It “only” has a top speed of 236 mph, which isn’t even close. But as the highest speed increases, fewer companies are concerning themselves with the record. Because having the fastest car doesn’t always mean having the fastest car. The Veyron SS isn’t the quickest around the Top Gear test track. It’s close, but it’s too heavy and complicated for the corners. And really, there aren’t many roads in the world level and straight enough to run a car to those speeds, and Bonneville is probably the only official raceway that could handle it.
No, the CTR 3 isn’t designed to set flashy records or become a byword among supercar firm executives. It’s designed to race. That’s why, like its ancestor, it’s been armed with a twin-turbo Porsche flat six, this one a 750 hp 3.8 liter. And since that’s ten fewer cylinders than the Veyron, 236 mph is not unimpressive. Unlike some of its Porsche cousins, the CTR 3 has a sequential gearbox with only six speeds, and its aluminum and kevlar body means it weighs just over 3,000 lbs.
With all those numbers behind it, the CTR 3 can reach 62 mph in 3.2 seconds, and 125 in just 9.6. It should be nice around the corners, too, since it comes with an integrated roll cage for safety rigidity, and a lengthened wheelbase for greater control. CTR 3 owners can even brake later into those corners, since it has 15-inch disc brakes and six-piston calipers- front and back.
So the legend has stepped back a bit, choosing to contend with the likes of Ferrari and Lamborghini rather than Koenigsegg, SSC, and Bugatti. But contend it certainly shall.
The new CTR 3 is due out this year, and a price has not yet been announced.