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by Brett Davis

Ruf has unveiled the new Ruf RT12 R at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show in Europe. The car is based on the Porsche 997 911 and features more power, more grip and aerodynamic revisions over the standard Ruf RT12.

This is easily my personal favourite of the 2011 show. Ruf vehicles have always been understated; the company just keeps to itself yet it produces some of the best performance cars on the market. Not just tuned cars, but environmentally-friendly concepts for the future (such as the eRuf Greenster) and production cars that come with full warranties. Some enthusiasts may not know the company very well but Ruf has actually been an independent manufacturer since 1939.

Ruf started out as a small, petrol station-based workshop in Pfaffenhausen, Germany. These days, the main headquarters still resides on the same corner block next to the petrol station in Pfaffenhausen.

Although Ruf vehicles are based on Porsche models, the relationship between Porsche and Ruf isn’t a bitter one. Porsche not only knows of Ruf’s existence and what the company does, but Porsche also takes technological inspiration from the humble specialist. Porsche has since opened up a development facility across the road to keep the communication flowing.

Back to the awesome new Ruf RT12 R though. Reminiscent of the old Ruf CTR Yellowbird from the early Ninties, this model features bright yellow paintwork and custom intercooler air intakes sculpted into the rear haunches. However, that’s where the similarities end as the RT12 R features a lot more technology and a truckload more power than the parent car.

Let’s just get our head around some of specifications, remembering this is a brand-new production car that comes with warranty and so on, not simply a tuned special. Under the rear hatch lies a 3.8-litre twin-turbo flat-six engine producing 537kW of power at 7000rpm, and 940Nm of torque peaking at just 3400rpm.

Power is transferred through a proper six-speed manual transmission and into an all-wheel drive system – Ruf also provides a rear-wheel drive set-up as an option. Acceleration times are yet to be announced, but in all-wheel drive form reports predict 0-100km/h times of around 3.0 seconds.

It’s not just about outright power though. It’s a Ruf, which means every aspect of the car is subjected to thorough revision to ensure a perfect balance. Every detail on the car is made as light as possible: the front panels, including the guards and bonnet are made from carbon fibre; the rear wing is also made from carbon; the doors and chassis remain aluminium; the rear windows and rear side windows are made from synthetic material, all contributing to the car’s lightness. With the help of lightweight, forged aluminium wheels with centre-locking spindles, the Ruf RT12 R weighs just 1495kg.

Speed is then controlled through the use of a heavily uprated braking package consisting of 380mm ceramic discs on the front and 350mm ceramics on the rear. The Ruf RT12 R is also fitted with Ruf’s patented Integrated Rollcage System (IRC) which is built into the chassis and pillars. Along with the help of a fully-adjustable suspension system, the car is not only very safe but also very rigid to ensure consistent handling characteristics.

Even after all the features the car is still almost 200kg lighter than a standard Porsche 911 Turbo – it’s no wonder the Ruf RT12 R is capable of reaching a top speed of more than 370km/h (almost Veyron territory).

The Ruf RT12 R is now on the market with prices starting at 279,000 euro (around AU$384,462 at the current exhange rate), excluding taxes.

Geneva Motor Show image source: Autoblog