|Ruf CTR "Yellowbird"|
|Manufacturer||Ruf Automobile GmBH|
|Production||1987–1996 (29 built from scratch, rest converted from customer cars)|
|Body and chassis|
|Class||sports car (S)|
|Body style||2-door coupé|
|Layout||Rear-engine, rear-wheel drive|
|Engine||3.367 litres (205.5 cu in) twin-turbocharged flat-6|
|Wheelbase||2,273 mm (89.5 in)|
|Length||4,290 mm (169 in)|
|Width||1,775 mm (69.9 in)|
|Height||1,311 mm (51.6 in)|
|Curb weight||1,150 kilograms (2,535 lb)|
Introduced for the 1987 model year and based on the Porsche 911, the CTR featured an enlarged and highly tuned version of Porsche's 3.2 litre flat-six cylinder engine, lightened body panels, an integrated roll cage (adding chassis stiffness in addition to occupant safety), upgraded suspension and braking systems, a custom-designed transmission, and several unique trim pieces such as polyurethene bumpers, and the use of the side mounted oil filler (a Porsche feature for the 1972 MY only) necessitated by relocating the oil tank forward to clear the intercooler on that side.
Much attention was given to aerodynamic considerations, with the body being de-guttered/seam welded and the use of filler panels for the door pillars and 935-style mirrors. Prototype models had NACA-style intercooler intake ducts over the rear fenders (later dropped, as it was discovered that air was pulled out, rather than in, at speed due to a low-pressure area), while later models had additional slots in the rear bumper corners for the air to exit.
Ruf rated the car at 469 hp (476 PS; 350 kW). It is said that 469 horsepower was the lowest dynamometer reading of all the CTR engines tested while the average figure was closer to 500 hp or even higher. Ruf would later admit that ‘we use very big horses in Pfaffenhausen’.
Developing understated 469 hp (476 PS; 350 kW) and 408 lb⋅ft (553 N⋅m) of torque and weighing in at only 2,535 pounds (1,150 kg), the CTR provided stellar performance, with a 0–60 mph (0–97 km/h) time of 3.65 seconds and a top speed in excess of 210 mph (340 km/h). Although the Porsche 959 was faster to 60 miles per hour (97 km/h), the Yellowbird could outperform all competition when it came to top speed, topping out at 213 miles per hour (342 km/h), a top speed that made it the fastest production car in the world at the time of its release.
The car received its nickname, "Yellowbird", during testing by Road & Track magazine, whose staffers noted the contrast created by its yellow paintwork against the overcast skies on the day of their photo shoot.
The CTR (abbreviation of "Group C Turbo Ruf") was based on the 1987 911 Carrera 3.2 as opposed to the 930, Porsche's factory turbocharged version of the 911, a decision made because of the 3.2's slightly lower curb weight and drag coefficient. Factory body panels including the doors, hood and engine cover were replaced with aluminum pieces, helping to knock an additional 200 kg (441 lb) off the vehicle's factory curb weight. Shaved rain gutters to reduce drag, fiberglass front and rear bumpers and a pair of intake ducts on the rear flares to allow airflow to the intercoolers topped the list of body modifications. The rear arches were also increased in width very slightly to accommodate the larger speedline wheels.
In addition to the lighter panels, considerable modifications were made to the engine, including boring the cylinders out to 98 mm (3.86 in) to increase displacement from 3.2 to 3.4 litres, adding an uprated Bosch Motronic fuel injection system, and switching to the ignition setup originally designed for the Porsche 962 race car. A specifically designed turbo system featuring two large turbochargers and twin intercoolers topped the engine work, bringing total output to 469 hp @ 5950 rpm and 553 Nm of torque @ 5100 rpm. The sound from the blow-off valve was also curiously close to the chirp of a canary, helping the name "yellowbird" stick.
At the time, Porsche offered the 911 3.2 with a 5-speed manual transmission, but the 930 featured only a 4-speed transmission, chosen because it was the only unit manufactured by the company that could handle the turbocharged engine's high output. Not content with only four forward gears and unable to satisfactorily modify the 5-speed unit, Ruf chose to use a new five-speed transmission of their own design on the CTR, which also gave them full freedom to customize gear ratios. To ensure absolute control, an upgraded suspension system, 17 inch Ruf Speedline alloy wheels, 330 mm (13.0 in) diameter Brembo braking system, and Dunlop's Denloc system performance tires were used.
The company debuted the vehicle at the end of 1987 with pricing set at $223,000 per unit, although that number could vary depending on whether a given customer ordered their car directly from Ruf or brought in a unit purchased via dealer for conversion. Ruf made only 29 CTRs from chassis bought from Porsche; about 20-30 were built from customers' Carreras.
- Engine configuration Twin turbocharged SOHC 2 valves per cylinder Boxer 6 cylinders
- Bore X Stroke 98 mm × 74.4 mm (3.86 in × 2.93 in)
- Displacement 3,367 cc (205 cu in)
- Compression ratio 7.5:1
- Power: 469 bhp (350 kW; 476 PS) @ 5950 rpm
- torque: 553 N⋅m (408 lb⋅ft) @ 5100 rpm
- Redline: 6,800 rpm
- Curb weight: 1,150 kg (2,535 lb)
- Gearbox: 5-speed manual transmission (6-speed optional)
- Tyres: 215/45ZR-17 front, 255/40ZR-17 rear
- Layout: Rear engine/rear drive.
The CTR could generally outperform most other high performance cars of the time, including the Ferrari Testarossa and Lamborghini Countach. In addition, despite being slower than the Porsche 959 to 60 miles per hour, it could outperform the Porsche 959, Ferrari F40 and Lamborghini Diablo to 100 miles per hour and reach a considerably higher top speed.
Test results by Autocar:
- 0–30 mph (48 km/h): 1.69 s 
- 0–60 mph (97 km/h): 3.65 s 
- 0–100 mph (161 km/h): 6.71 s 
- 0–150 mph (241 km/h): 14.59 s 
- 0–200 mph (322 km/h): 35.57 s 
- Standing mile: 27.7 s @ 189.11 mph (304.34 km/h) 
- 0–100-0 mph: 11.85 s 
- 0–200-0 mph: 47.20 s 
Test results by other magazines:
- 0–100 km/h (62.1 mph): 4.1 s 
- 0–200 km/h (124.3 mph): 10.5 s 
- Standing 1/4 mile: 11.7 s @ 133.5 mph (215 km/h)
- 0–1,000 m: 20.9 s 
- Top speed: 213 mph (342 km/h) 
The Ruf CTR had its first appearance in April 1987 at the "World's Fastest Cars" contest of the American car magazine Road & Track where it was designated "The Fastest Production Car in the World". It did 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 4.0s, 0-100 mph (161 km/h) in 7.3s, 0-124.3 mph (200 km/h) in 10.5s, 1⁄4 mile (402m) in 11.7s reaching 133.5 miles per hour (215 km/h) and reached a top speed of 211 mph (340 km/h), beating the competition by 10 mph (16 km/h). Paul Frère shouted "This is faster than I've ever gone in my life!" during a ride.
In 1988 Auto, Motor und Sport organized a high speed test at Nardò Ring where the Ruf CTR was the fastest reaching 342 km/h (213 mph), surpassing a Porsche 959 s (339 km/h (211 mph)), two Ferrari F40 (321 km/h (199 mph) each) and a Mercedes AMG 6.0 32V (288 km/h (179 mph)). At one point it achieved an unofficial 215 mph (346 km/h).
In 1989 test driver Stefan Roser drove the CTR around the Nürburgring. The laps were captured on camera and released by Ruf in a video called "Faszination on the Nürburgring".
In 2004 an old Ruf CTR could keep up with new supercars at the Autocar 0-100-0 challenge and impressed the audience, so did another one - with more than 100,000 kilometers on its odometer - at the Road&Track standing mile contest 2005. Steve Millen after testing a CTR stated: "That thing's a blast. It accelerates hard. It's a real old-school car with a lot of torque and power. Just awesome. What a rush. It pulled the whole way through."
The Ruf CTR is a playable/drivable car in the video games "The Duel: Test Drive II", "Project Gotham Racing 3", "Project Gotham Racing 4", "Driver: San Francisco", "Forza Horizon", "Assetto Corsa", "Project CARS", and most of the "Gran Turismo" series games.
At the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, exactly 30 years after the original CTR was launched, Ruf presented a new model paying tribute to the original CTR. The new CTR utilises an in-house developed carbon fibre body bearing resemblance to a Porsche 964 along with an aluminium chassis resulting in a weight of 2,640 lb (1,197 kg). Interestingly, the car is not 911 based as the original CTR. The new CTR is powered by a 3.6-litre water cooled twin-turbocharged Flat-6 engine producing 700 hp (710 PS; 522 kW) and 880 N⋅m (649 lb⋅ft). The car is capable of accelerating from 0–60 mph (0–97 km/h) in 3.5 seconds and a top speed of 225 mph (362 km/h). The car also sports retro components based off the original CTR such as the 'whale tail' rear wing, five-spoke wheels, interior and the steering wheel. Only 30 examples of the 2017 CTR will be produced with each car costing €750,000.
- Sport Auto 7/1987 http://www.einszweidrei.de/ezdold/porsche/rufctryb1987-1.htm
- Total 911 issue 125 p.42-46 https://www.total911.com/ruf-ctr-the-fastest-car-of-1987
- Autocar Magazine, 27th April 2004 Issue
- Auto, Motor und Sport 25/1988
- "Technical Specifications". Retrieved July 4, 2018.
- Road & Track March 1991
- Road & Track July 1987. Excerpt: Egan, Peter (2016-05-29). "In 1987, The World's Fastest Cars Couldn't Catch A 211-mph Twin-Turbo Ruf". Road & Track. US. Retrieved 2016-08-26.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-12-12. Retrieved 2015-12-23.
- "De snelste:339 km/u!" by Paul Frère
- 911 & Porsche World, No. 32, March/April 1996
- Road & Track September 2005
- Tom McParland (7 March 2017). "RuF pays tribute to the original CTR by introducing a new model using the same name". jalopnik. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
- Ruf 911 CTR (Ruf Homepage) at the Wayback Machine (archived February 10, 2001)
- "RUF CTR Nürburgring Lap Video".
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