The Safari 911 trend is showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, it’s seemingly inspired other unconventional off-road builds, like the NORRA Vespa scooters, the adventuring Indian Scout Sixty, and Gambler Mazda Miata. And now RUF, the German company famous for tuning Porsches, is making its own Safari 911.
RUF’s past Porsches
Technically speaking, RUF is a full-fledged manufacturer, not a tuner. The company’s cars, although based on Porsches, can’t technically be badged as such. But that doesn’t make them any less incredible.
Although RUF had been known as a Porsche tuner and servicer before, it truly stepped into the limelight, Road & Track explains, after a track test run in 1987. Company co-founder and CEO Alois Ruf, Jr., had taken a Porsche 911, added two turbos and several other modifications, and brought it to an R&T test in Germany. There, his CTR, nicknamed ‘Yellow Bird’ for its brilliant yellow paint, did 211 mph. Until the McLaren F1, RUF’s CTR was the fastest production car in the world.
RUF kept refining the CTR and eventually created a completely new version in time for the Yellow Bird’s 30th anniversary. The CTR Anniversary has a bespoke carbon-fiber chassis and body. It’s not taken from any Porsche or any other car, Roadshow reports. It weighs just over 2600 lbs and has a 3.6-liter twin-turbo flat-six pushing out 710 hp. Luckily, even though it’s rear-wheel drive, it has ABS and traction control.
The RUF Rodeo Safari Porsche 911
The Rodeo’s RUF-designed engine also shares no parts with any Porsche engine. The car can actually accommodate two different engine configurations, Motor Trend reports. In naturally-aspirated form, the 4.0-liter flat-six develops “around 510 hp”, reports Petrolicious. But RUF can also install two turbos, boosting the engine to 700 hp.
All that power is routed through a 6-speed manual and an all-wheel drive system. The driver can adjust how the AWD splits power on the fly with a knob on the center console. However, RUF’s take on the Safari Porsche 911 goes further than that.
The Rodeo Concept comes with all-terrain Michelin tires, and custom long-travel suspension. The latter also increases ground clearance. RUF added a front bumper guard (bull bar), multiple skid plates, 4 auxiliary fog lamps, and a tow hook. There’s also a custom roof rack with additional lights, Motor1 reports, and a concealed roll cage for extra protection. There’s even a shovel mounted on the back.
The RUF Rodeo also has a custom leather interior, with saddlebags instead of door pockets. The seat fabrics were reportedly inspired by Navajo designs.
Pricing and availability
At the moment, the RUF Rodeo Concept is just that. And with its debut at the 2020 Geneva Motor Show canceled because of coronavirus, it’s difficult to gauge reception. However, if the reception is indeed positive, RUF may put it into production in some form. But it won’t be cheap.
MT reports the CTR Anniversary retails at around $800k, similar to most of Singer’s cars. And R&T expects a production Rodeo would definitely be priced in the six-figure range. This isn’t an insignificant amount of money, especially considering a Rolls-Royce Cullinan is arguably more off-road-capable, just as bespoke, and actually cheaper.
Then again, a Safari Porsche 911 built by the team behind the Yellow Bird might be worth it.
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