Yellowbird flies again
RUF reimagines its iconic 911 with 700bhp and carbonfibre chassis
Even today the performance is shocking, but back in 1987 it was genuinely otherworldly. At a top-speed shootout at the Ehra Lessien organised by Road & Track magazine, a small yellow Porsche 911 from a little-known tuner blitzed opposition including Porsche’s own 959, the Lamborghini Countach and Ferrari Testarossa, recording 213mph.
Now, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the original CTR Yellowbird – which went on to be immortalised casually drifting around the Nordschleife at unfeasibly high speeds by a man wearing white socks and loafers on a grainy VHS film called Faszination at the Nürburgring – RUF has brought it back to life.
But instead of the easy option – buying up a few old air-cooled 911s, a big vat of yellow paint, and making another batch of CTRs - RUF is doing a proper job. Because instead of using the stock 911’s steel chassis, RUF is creating its own carbonfibre monocoque from scratch.
The front and rear crash structures are fashioned from steel, as is the roll cage, but the body panels are all carbonfibre, too. And rather than the 911’s basic strut suspension, the new CTR uses doubles wishbones and inboard pushrods.
The first customer cars are due in 2018. We sorely wish we were on the waiting list...
Under the rear lid there’s a 3.6-litre twin-turbo flat six featuring dry-sump lubrication. It delivers 700bhp at 6750rpm, and 649lb ft right down at 2750rpm. Which is a significant upgrade on the original’s 469bhp and should make merging with traffic on the autobahn a painless exercise. Well painless, apart from for your neck muscles.
RUF says the CTR will get to 62mph in under 3.5sec, which is pretty impressive given it’s rear-wheel drive and has a six-speed manual gearbox. Keep the pedal pinned and you’ll get to 124mph in less than 9sec before topping out at 225mph. The 720S McLaren revealed to day, remember, runs out of puff at 212mph, a speed RUF also considered pretty fast…in 1987.
All we need now to top the day off is for Alois Ruf to announce a new widescreen version of Faszination featuring the CTR sliding around the ‘Ring in glorious 4K. Anyone got Stefan Roser’s number?
The first of the 30 planned production cars will leave RUF’s Pfaffenhausen shop in 2018. If you want one, though, you'll have to stump up a mighty €750,000 – plus taxes – and an extra €15k for a right-hand-drive version. So, about £800k landed and paid up, then...
Under that wing and deck lid lies a 700bhp flat-six engine.