The factory 997 GT3’s Porsche Active Suspension Management system as interpreted by the engineers at Weissach is quite different from the one created for the “mainstream” 997s. Even so, opinions on PASM and GT3s remain diverse here at Excellence. Everyone agrees that the 997 GT3 rides well enough to be considered as a daily driver, but not everyone is convinced that PASM improves the driving experience. As for Alois Ruf? He took the decision to avoid PASM and started from scratch with conventional dampers.
To this end, he recruited longtime supplier Bilstein to develop gas-filled dampers that would deliver a good secondary ride and iron-fisted control at high speed. They are based on the well-known Bilstein PSS-9 system, with its nine-position adjustable dampers that allow for fine-tuning of compression and rebound. Ruf’s calibrations deliver a wider range of adjustment at the lower end. The dampers are matched to Eibach springs and the final setup is five millimeters lower in ride height than a GT3. Incidentally, Alois mentioned that Bilstein will soon launch a PSS-10 suspension kit, and that a Ruf version of this will be available soon after. In addition, Bilstein is also working on special dampers that will interface with the PASM system.
The result is remarkable compliance in the low-speed secondary ride, even with the 20-inch wheels and tires fitted to this RGT. I was most impressed by the way the RGT largely ignored most of the low-speed bumps on roads where I’ve tested dozens of factory Porsche and Ruf cars. Customers have the choice of 19- or 20-inch wheels. The 19×8.5- and 19×12.5-inch alloys wear 235/35ZR19 and 325/30ZR19 rubber while the 20s use 235/35/ZR20 and 325/25ZR20 Pirelli PZero tires. We didn’t sample the 19s, but mechanical grip with either combination just has to be immense — since they’re the same wheel/tire combinations that handle the near 700-bhp output of the mighty Rt12. Thus, they have no problem dispensing the “mere” 445 bhp of a normally-aspirated RGT.
While Porsche will offer you either a GT3 or GT3 RS for hardcore or very hardcore applications, the RGT can be set up for street driving and occasional track use with GT3-style suspension arms or, for serious track work, RS-style split lower arms for more extreme negative camber angles and slicks. Adjustable GT3 or RS anti-roll bars are available and installed according to the customer’s wishes.
Ruf can further tailor the character of the RGT to the customer’s proposed use. For customers who live in countries with low speed limits, Ruf offers a shorter final drive for better acceleration. The RGT we drove had the short-ratio setup, while all RGTs get a factory GT3 limited-slip differential providing 40 percent lockup under acceleration and 60 percent on the over-run. Or perhaps you want a narrow-body, all-wheel-drive GT3 — with back seats? The RGT makes it a possibility…