What will the next generation 911 look like? There’s been a lot of speculation in the press, and black-camouflaged prototypes have reportedly been spied on public roads.
Taking in the overall shape and details of Ruf’s latest creation, the RT12R, I’d be pleased to see the classic 911 shape evolve this way. The muscular front fenders work perfectly with the wider, upswept rear arches, creating a 21st century reinterpretation of the distinctive fenders that were a 911 hallmark until they became flatter and more integrated into the bodywork with the 993 generation.
Sit in the driver seat and the view ahead unfolds over the curves of the front quarters. As with 911s of yore, they give you a reference point for the car’s width, helpful since modern Porsches are no longer small cars.
Traditionally, Ruf cars have been very low-key in appearance. But a newer clientele, cognizant of more radically styled cars available in the marketplace, began to demand a more visible return on their investment.
As this was to be a Geneva Motor Show car, a special color that would stand out was chosen. The metallic yellow paint effectively highlights the car’s shape and looks sensational in photos. The red and black stripes combine with the paintwork to form the German national colors, perfect for a 100 percent German car debuting on the world stage.
In the cabin, the steel Integrated Roll Cage (IRC) is a Ruf specialty pioneered as far back as the late 1980s with the CTR Yellow Bird. Offering full rollover protection without the optical and practical drawbacks of a normal bolted- or welded-in cage, the IRC runs close to the pillars and is effectively disguised behind bespoke Alcantara headlining. It is so well disguised you might not even realize it’s there. A corollary is the significant extra stiffening it imparts to the body shell. With around 25 percent greater stiffness than standard, the shell becomes a more stable platform for the suspension to work optimally. It also means that the suspension does not have to be as stiff in the pursuit of handling and grip, to the benefit of ride comfort.
Carbon-fiber trim panels are used on the center console and door panels, and the instrument dials with 400 km/h (or 230 mph) speedometer are also bespoke with lettering in green. Color-coded gold stitching is used throughout. Highly polished stainless steel sill plates and an alloy pedal set are the final touches to the aesthetics of a car whose all-around finish and detailing are quite exceptional.
The RT12R’s bodywork is an amalgam of RT12S and CTR3. The whole front, including the carbon-fiber front wings, front bumper/spoiler and aluminum bootlid are CTR3 parts. The carbon rear wing is shaped like the one on the GT3 RS, with a raised center section to compensate for the different airflow pattern coming over the roof. It sits on Ruf’s own engine cover that’s designed to suck more cooling air into the engine bay.
When Ruf achieved 700 hp and 656 lb-ft of torque with its CTR3 motor in 2008, many thought that this was a glass ceiling in the balance between outright power, drivability and long-term reliability. But the development department always has a few tricks up its sleeves. Three years down the line, the latest incarnation of this twin-turbocharged, 3,746cc engine sports 730 hp at 7000 rpm with a significant boost in the torque output to 708 lb-ft from 3500 to 4000 rpm. The motor is Ruf’s take on the race-proven Porsche GT1 engine block.
While the factory only moved to 3.8 liters with the latest 997 models, Ruf has offered a 3.8 for years. It has a bespoke cast alloy intake manifold and enlarged throttle body, 102mm Mahle pistons with new barrels, connected to its finely balanced steel billet crankshaft by light and immensely strong titanium con-rods. Beyond that, the cylinder heads are ported, polished and gas-flowed, while bespoke intake and exhaust camshafts make full use of the enlarged capacity. The Ruf-modified KKK K24 family turbochargers are set for a maximum boost pressure of 1.4 bar via the recalibrated Bosch Motronic ME7.8 ECU.