Ruf Rt-35 Roadster

First drive of the Ruf anniversary drop top

September 11, 2014
Ruf Rt-35 Roadster 1
Ruf Rt-35 Roadster 2
Ruf Rt-35 Roadster 3
Ruf Rt-35 Roadster 4
Ruf Rt-35 Roadster 5
Ruf Rt-35 Roadster 6
Ruf Rt-35 Roadster 7

It’s hard to believe that 37 years have gone by since Alois Ruf’s first tuned 3.3-liter 911 Turbo left his workshop. In retrospect, that car was a preview of many great supercars to come.

Two years ago, I drove that original NATO Green Ruf Turbo just after it had been fully restored. I also got behind the wheel of the sleek Ruf Rt-35 coupe, which had made its debut at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show in celebration of Ruf’s 35th anniversary.

Today, I am again behind the wheel of a Ruf Rt-35, but this time it’s the new Rt-35 Roadster. Although it is motivated by a turbocharged flat six, it’s actually based on the 991 Carrera cabriolet.

On Boost
Compared to Ruf’s usual supercar engines, the Rt-35 Roadster’s flat six is in a relatively mild state of tune. A pair of less restrictive air filters were added to improve intake flow. At the other end of the engine, the exhaust system was modified to produce less backpressure. The twin VTG turbochargers were also tuned to move air at a higher rate.

To make the most of the intake, exhaust and turbo mods, the ECU was remapped to raise the boost pressure to 1.3 bar (18.9 psi). The resulting output is 630 hp at 6,500 rpm and 609 lb-ft of torque from 3,000 to 3,500 rpm. This is an increase of 70 hp and 93 lb-ft of torque over the factory 991 Turbo S engine’s 560 hp and 516 lb-ft.

The superb PDK transmission works its usual magic here, and goes through its seven close ratios with both lightning-quick speed and silky-smooth finesse. Ruf also offers a six-speed manual transmission and rear wheel drive with its Turbo models—both of which are no longer offered by from the Porsche factory on its new Turbo coupes or cabriolets.

Also from Issue 223

  • 1,000 Miles in a 991 Turbo S
  • A Brief Golden Age: The 917
  • Market Update: 1974-89 911
  • Street Fighter 904
  • Profile: Klaus Bischof
  • Four-Cam Speedster
  • A flamethrowing 993 GT2-bodied 930 racer
  • Coming Home: Le Mans
  • Explained: Direct Fuel Injection
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