Paying tribute to the iconic ‘Yellow Bird’.
Back in 1987, the RUF CTR ‘Yellow Bird’ set a crazy 213-mph top speed at Road & Track’s “World’s Fastest Car” competition with its 469-bhp twin-turbocharged engine. That feat cemented itself as a high-speed icon. At the 87th Geneva Motor Show, the German company is back with the RUF CTR, paying homage to the legendary ‘Yellow Bird’.
“The concept for the 2017 CTR is one that I have had in my head for a very long time,” said Alois Ruf, President and owner of RUF Automobile GmbH. “We have been waiting for the right point in our history to build our own car and the 30th anniversary of the CTR ‘Yellow Bird’ is that moment.”
Dressed in an eye-catching, vibrant yellow paint, the new RUF CTR pays homage to the original CTR ‘Yellow Bird’ with its design both inside and out. The construction of the exclusive super car also signifies a change for the German automaker. Instead of building the CTR on an unmarked Porsche chassis, the latest-generation model is built on its own bespoke rear-engined monocoque chassis – the first of its kind.
The new bespoke carbon fiber monocoque chassis allows the RUF CTR to visually mirror the design of the ‘Yellow Bird’ with its narrow body. Lightweight carbon fiber also makes up the smooth, aerodynamic body and the retro front and rear fascias. The same old-school look can be seen with the thin, square-shaped LED taillights, horizontal rear air outlets, and the fat “whale-tail” spoiler with integrated air intake.
The high-tech carbon fiber monocoque and most of the body is coupled with a lightweight integrated steel roll cage mated to the front and rear crash structures help achieve a low 2,640-lb. dry weight.
Powering the new RUF CTR isn’t a twin-turbocharged air-cooled flat-six like the unit found in the ‘Yellow Bird’, but a water-cooled, 3.6-liter, twin-turbocharged flat-six with dry sump lubrication. While that kills some of the “cool factor”, it provides a white-knuckled 710 bhp at 6,750 RPM and 649 lb-ft. of torque at a low 2,750 RPM. That results in a power-to-weight ratio of only 3.5 pounds per horsepower, helping to achieve a 0-62 MPH acceleration time less than 3.5 seconds. Reaching 125 mph takes less than 9.0 seconds while top speed is all the way back at an impressive 225 mph.
“We began development on the new CTR five years ago with the goal of creating a thrilling, analog driving experience that combines an amazing power-to-weight ratio, manual transmission and modern racing technology,” said Estonia Ruf.
Putting that power down to the rear wheels is a new six-speed manual gearbox and a limited-slip differential that will have enthusiasts overjoyed. A pushrod front and rear suspension with double-wishbone arms makes for a nimble drive. The RUF CTR also wears 19-inch center-locking alloy wheels with sticky 245/35 ZR19 and 305/30 ZR19 tires. These retro five-spoke wheels hide the six-piston front and four-piston rear, carbon ceramic brakes with 380 mm and 350 mm discs, respectively.
Inside, the RUF CTR has an old-school, minimalist design that focuses on driving. Alcantara, carbon fiber, and leather make up most of the cabin while aluminum foot pedals and a three-spoke steering wheel provide the driver with greater control. Analog green-typeface dial gauges are also used as opposed to the high-tech digital LCD screens on super cars today for a more direct feel.
The new RUF CTR will be limited to just 30 units, excluding the prototype unveiled at the Geneva International Motor Show. Production will begin in 2018 at the company’s Pfaffenhausen, Germany facility.
RUF CTR Specifications
Displacement: 3.6 liters
Number of Cylinders: Flat-six
Maximum Horsepower: 710 PS / 522 kW at 6,750 RPM
Maximum Torque: 649 lb-ft. / 880 Nm at 2,750 RPM
Type: Six-speed manual with limited-slip differential
Acceleration 0-62 mph: Less than 3.5 seconds
Acceleration 0-124 mph: Less than 9.0 seconds
Top Speed: 225 mph / 360 km/h
Power-to-Weight Ratio: 3.5 lbs./hp
Dry Weight: 2,640 lbs.
RUF CTR Gallery