There is no doubt that Porsche is an innovative and desired brand. If you have ever heard of Ruf, you probably already know this story. The Ruf 911 was created from pieces of the regular Porsche 911, but the similarities end there for the most part. The Ruf 911 gained popularity more recently from the video game Gran Turismo 2, but it was created long before that.
What is the difference between Ruf and Porsche?
It isn’t so much that Ruf is different from Porsche. Ruf is a division of Pfaffenhausen. Ruf Automobile manufactures, upgrades, and restores vehicles. The brand offers an upholstery department, a panel beating department, paint, engines, and a section for classic cars. The company uses unmarked Porsche bodies, known as “bodies in white,” according to Wikipedia.
Ruf makes the cars from the ground up from there. The company uses materials from the brand to create cars instead of disassembling cars that already exist. As such, Germany recognizes the brand as an actual manufacturer instead of just a performance brand. Because of this, each vehicle gets a Ruf VIN and not, say, a Porsche VIN.
Ruf has a tuning facility and the ability to restore vehicles as well. Additionally, the company offers Porsche-to-Ruf conversions, servicing, and crash repairs. Ruf is known for the CTR Porsche that broke the 211 miles per hour record.
The other 911, the Ruf Porsche 911
In 1978, Ruf created the first non-turbo custom Porsche called the 911 SCR. This 911 SCR was a naturally aspirated 3.2L engine producing around 217 horsepower. However, just because it used the 911 body, it was called a 911. Is it actually a 911 in that case? People have been debating this for years now.
Arstehnica has more on the history of Ruf. The 1987 Ruf CTR, known as the Yellowbird for its yellow color, participated in a video called Faszination on the Nürburgring. This was a promotional video done by Ruf to promote the car. The Yellowbird was fitted with a 3.4L engine and two turbochargers that got about 463 horsepower. At the time, this was much faster than anything Porsche had on the road or track.
In 1988, the Ruf CTR broke the 211 miles per hour barrier and became the fastest production car in the world at the time. So, to say a Ruf 911 is the same as a regular 911 is not really true. The cars share the same chassis, but that’s really it. Ruf replaced the body panels, upgraded the suspension, changed out the brakes, and totally changed the engine.
The 911 GT1 Straßenversion (Strassenversion)
The 911 GT1 was designed for racing but happened to require a street-legal version, according to Wikipedia. Thus, the 911 GT1 Straßenversion or Strassenversion (street version) was born. The GT1 was first released in 1996 and didn’t share much with the 911. The only parts shared by both cars were the front and rear headlights. Some parts of the front chassis were also from the 911.
The track version 911 GT1 came equipped with a 3.2 L (200 cu in) water-cooled, flat-6, twin-turbocharged, mid-engine. It participated in 135 races and won 47 of those races. The Straßenversion had a 3.2 L (3,164 cc), twin-turbocharged, flat-6. Some drivers think the 911 GT1 is as close to a 911 that you can get without being a 911, but that’s still up for debate too.