February 22, 2024

Brighton Journal

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The RUF Rt 12 Coupe is a wolf dressed as a very aggressive sheep

The RUF Rt 12 Coupe is a wolf dressed as a very aggressive sheep

People always say a Porsche 911 is the easy choice, that 911s are everywhere, and if you buy one, you're just another 911 guy. But I strongly believe that if you are no Porsche 911 guy, you haven't driven one yet.

The RUF RT12 is the extreme version of that.


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This 2007 RUF RT12 is currently for sale on Cars & Bids. Check it out and bid here.

The RT12 looks like a 911, and to some extent it is. (If you're not a Porsche 911 user yet and need a little guidance following all the numbers and names I'm about to throw at you, please check this out this And this.)

RUF first appeared in the RT12 at the beginning of the 997 generation of the Porsche 911, which arrived after the 996 and lasted from 2004 to 2011. Since new generations of sports cars usually start with basic versions and get more extreme as the years go by, there was no 997 engine 500 hp turbo in those early years. The RT12 offered a 997-style body with a 650-horsepower version of the 996 Turbo's engine, making it a semi-997 Turbo for those who didn't want to wait.

But it wasn't just an early 997 Turbo. RUF customizes and builds the cars, which means that key pieces of the RT12 – such as the body panels and transmission – are from RUF itself. The RT12 six-speed manual is commanding and automated, and its nose sinks deep into the ground. I first saw the RT12 in a showroom full of Porsches, and its front lip appeared lower than that of a nearby light blue 911 GT2 RS.

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The RT12 I drove costs about $300,000 new, and has the RUF six-speed manual, all-wheel drive, carbon-ceramic brakes, a hydraulic nose lift, and more. I've been told it exceeds the stated 650 horsepower, and I believe it.

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The showroom that sells it, HCC Specialty Cars, told me how bad it was before I drove it: the clutch is heavy, the car wants to be driven at high speeds instead of low, and it wants to be fed serious gas to go into first gear.

I found it friendlier than expected. It handled well at low speeds, and once I was in the car, it had that classic 911 feel: plenty of headroom, legroom, and body room, with the driving experience and sightlines focused on me, the driver. The car covered me so well that I actually forgot how low to the ground it was; It felt natural, and with sporadic uses of the nose lift function, there was never any scratching.

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The shifter is notched and screwed into each gear like a heavy but agreeable piece of machinery. the Thank, thank It was satisfying with every shift, and the car could roll back or roll forward at my command.

Turbocharged cars often have a noticeable thing called turbo lag, where after the car is pinned to the ground, it waits for the turbines to turn on before it gets that extra power. I've never understood complaints about turbo lag, and I especially don't understand it in this car – when the boost kicked in, the car lurched forward. It felt like we were going into space together.

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My only complaint about the RT12 is minor: nose lift automatically drops at 20 mph instead of a little higher, which means that when you're driving around the neighborhood, you often have to use the lift several times to get through elevation changes rather than keeping it up. But this is something you get used to over time. I got used to it after about 10 minutes.

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These days, RUF is among the likes of RWB and Singer Vehicle Design in the world of famous Porsche-adjacent companies. The company offers extreme customization, and one of its representatives, Mark Pfeiffer, told me that only about 60 cars in the RT12 lineup have been built. But the RUF wasn't always in Porsche's business.

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The company began as a service station in a rural German town called Pfaffenhausen in 1939, run by a man named Alois Ruff Sr. and his family. His granddaughter, Aloisa Ruff, recently told the company's story Motor direction.

Alois Ruf Sr. built a bus to transport Pfaffenhausen residents to major cities, and one day, a Porsche 356 drove by, she said. Alois Ruf Jr., Aloisa's father, was a young child at the time and was obsessed with car speed.

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Car 356 lost control and crashed, so Aloisa said her father and grandfather took the driver to the hospital. The driver was fine, and they offered to buy the wrecked car to repair it. He agreed, and that set Rove on the path to Porsche.

Naturally, the successor to the 356 was the 911.

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In 1977, RUF was modifying a 930-era turbo to provide more power, and in 1987, the company had a hit. It came with a car dubbed the “Yellowbird”, which was actually called the RUF CTR. The click-through rate showed up Road and Track MagazineThat year's high-speed shootout, which took place at Volkswagen's 15.5-mile German test track at Ehra-Lessien.

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The images from the test are rainy and gloomy, and feature famous supercars such as the Ferrari Testarossa and Lamborghini Countach. Among them, there is a small car that looks like a Porsche 911 and a rubber duck. That little duck reached speeds of 211 miles per hour, winning the magazine's “World's Fastest Car” contest and landing a cover story on it.

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The yellow bird had it RUF badge and RUF VIN number Because Germany adopted the company as a manufacturer, which meant that for a while it was the fastest production car in the world. After the car hit at a speed of 211 miles per hour, the Revolutionary United Front group said Road path: “We can make it go faster, but there's not much point in a car going down the road faster.”

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Pfeiffer told me that the goal of the RUF is to be “a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” and that is what it is. To everyone around me, I was driving a regular Porsche 911, not an RT12. But for those who knew, it was special.

The RT12 is a pricier supercar for when you don't want the attention and fatigue that comes with a pricier supercar – and sometimes, it's the perfect supercar to drive.

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This 2007 RUF RT12 is currently for sale on Cars & Bids. Check it out and bid here.