Ruf celebrates the 30th anniversary of one of its most iconic cars with a heavy-duty remake

Feast your eyes on the 2017 Ruf CTR. The new prototype from Germany’s Ruf Automobile GmbH pays tribute to the 30th anniversary of its eponymous 1987 version – a vehicle famously referred to as, Yellow Bird. But more than a mere homage, the contemporary coupe adds innovation – it’s the first road car to feature a carbon-fibre monocoque chassis with a rear-wheel-drive and rear-engine configuration.


With the latest CTR, the marque has managed to exceed the expectations of those who remember the earlier model’s remarkable track record. The original car was a highly modified Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 that featured numerous custom-engineered RUF components. Back in the late 1980s, the Yellow Bird ruffled a few feathers after it flew past entries from Ferrari, and Lamborghini and Porsche during track tests.


Building on the original CTR’s reputation as a light and fast tour-de-force, the limited-edition speedster sports a carbon-fibre body and boasts a 700hp, 3.6-litre flat-six. The twin-turbo engine (with 649 ft lbs of torque) has its horses tamed by Ruf’s own 6-speed manual transmission. The potent pairing allows the 2,640-pound car (with a weight-to-power ratio of 3.5 pounds per hp) to jet from zero to 62mph in less than 3.5 seconds while on its way to a jaw-dropping top speed of 223mph. The driving experience is enhanced by a double-wishbone pushrod suspension and safety measures for the pilot and passenger that include steel crash structures in the front and rear, a built-in roll cage (also made of steel), and carbon-ceramic brakes.


The interior is defined by a style that is stripped down yet striking and includes analog gauges for the dash and Alcantara upholstery for the two carbon-fibre seats. The result is an overall aesthetic that is both race-ready and refined. Production of only 30 examples is planned to start next year.

 Viju Mathew