RUF RT12 beats them all!
"I want a car that will be famous” the owner is claimed to have made his wish. Seeing how it will be the cover of several car magazine’s front pages I’m sure his wish will be fulfilled. Red and wild it finally sits in front of us: the RUF RT12.
RUF RT12 is RUF’s version of the latest Porsche 991, the 997. But instead of a naturally aspirated engine they’ve used the old turbo-engine from the 996 and to put some icing on the cake, they’ve tuned it to a minimum of 650 bhp. Best of all: this privately owned monster is at our disposal for two days.
The road test begins with me in the passengerseat and the man who’s responsible for the RT12:s behind the wheel. It doesn’t take long before we’ve reached staggering speeds on the small rural roads.
I sit perfectly in the bucket seats. They are upholstered with a chequered fabric that works well with the carbonfibre interior.
When the engine is warmed up and I’ve experienced the car’s abilities it is my turn to be the pilot. It’s always a nerv-racking experience driving a super-car with a person in the passenger seat, however the RT12 is surprisingly easy to drive, I try to avoid embarrasing stalls.
Away we go, and I’m the most interested in feeling the acceleration. My spontanious recation is fear. I’m scared, but I definetely don’t want to get out! This car is really scarily quick in a wonderful way! The car just keeps on accelerating and as long as I’m keeping the pedal to the metal, there’s no end to it.
This is without a doubt the fastest car I’ve ever driven. RUF is selling an experience on four wheels, both wonderful to lay your eyes upon and wonderfully mad to be at WOT in.
Without flinching you’ve easily reached 200 km/h on the speedometer, but you keep on braking to revive the acceleration. To give the engine a match I try both 5th and 6th gear from low speeds and punch it. To my surprise the car builds up speed without protesting, and at quite a rate.
Compred to the RUF:s R Turbo (550 and 590 bhp) I had expected a fair amount of turbolag, but the power delivery in this 650 hp version bears the characteristics of naturally aspirated engine, it’s linear.
The only spontanious complaint I can think of is that the car would have been a smoother ride with the Öhlins-dampers as opposed to the Bilstein that are installed. Mainly, it’s the rebound that is more comfortable with Öhlins, but now we’re talking minor details. Öhlins also offer a mode where the car is raised so that speed bumps will no longer be a problem.
A stripped audio-experience
The sound that’s burbling out of the four 80 mm tips is a pure ephony. I’m happy that RUF has let some of the road- and engine-noises make it into the cabine. Comfort in all honour, but it gives a raceish feel when your ears fantasize about being a completely stripped out body.
As darkness sets we’re heading closer towards the acceleration tests. We mount a GPS-antenna on the roof and the rest of the equipment in the cabine and head off to a closed road. The topspeed is around 360 km/h, however Alois recons that we won’t be able to reach speeds higher than 350 km/h.
We do 5-6 launches before we feel ready to tackle the vmax test. The section of Autobahn that is close by is not straight enough for speeds in excess of 350 km/h. Even the straightest of roads can become curvy at high speeds.
A RUF R Turbo (based on the 996 Turbo) with the same 650 bhp engine reached a GPS-indicated 362 km/h the previous month on a more suitable stretch of highway.
The numbers 0-96 km/h: 3.15 sec
0 - 160 km/h: 6.62 sec.
0 - 200 km/h: 9.7 sec.
Quartermile: 11.0 @ 216 km/h.
Highest GPS-indicated speed: 350 km/h.
The car was fitted with Pirelli P Zero Rosso tires.
(Measured with GPS 100 Hz. One person in the car, half tank.)
When the numbers came out of our machine it became clear that Alois Ruf was very pleased with the night. To my surprise RUF never measured the performance as precisely as we did. Alois claims that the feeling of speed is in your butt, and he knew that this was one quick car. It’s late at night but we set out for basecamp and celebrate the unbelievable night with champagne.
Since RUF builds the car from an empty body tub it’s possible to configure the car in almost any way the customer desires it. Inside the factory stands another four RT12:s in different stages, and even if they may look the same, they are all unique, except for the deep red/orange paintwork they all share. Some chose rear-wheel drive, some prefer all-wheel drive. Some have Öhlins-dampers, some Bilstein. Some have carbonfibre rotors, others conventional steel rotors. RUF has even manufactured a car with RT12-look but with a supercharger on the original engine.
Whips the worst
The following days I go through the numbers for the acceleration test, analyzing the performance and thinking back on the test drive, realizing that history is being written – just as when the Yellowbird was launched. The competition has stiffened through the years, but the RT12 whips supercars like the Ferrari Enzo, Pagani Zonda S, Mercedes SLR McLaren and Porsches own Carrera GT to a fraction of the cost. RUFs’ latest creation has everything it takes to become the best.