As an homage to the legendary Ruf Fascinazion video from 1987, the R Turbo takes the stage and soars through most of the Nurburgring’s numerous corners completely sideways. They say 911s aren’t the best cars for going sideways in, but it seems Alois Ruf had other ideas when designing his R Turbo-variant of the 996 Carrera.
It’s a car that built on the basic strengths of the 911 Turbo, 996-gen. The four-wheel drive supercar was one of the first everyday weapons that could obliterate any backroad with little effort, but because of the change in demographic the cars were marketed to, some found them a little on the soft, anodyne side.
The Ruf version of the car is much more hard-edged, and it shows from the body control seen in its first corner here. Harder, and hydraulically-adjustable, RUF’s own suspension allows more more direct weight transfer and removes some of the coddling understeer the factory Porsche came with.
Where the 996 Turbo was able to keep anyone impressed was in the power department; with 420 horsepower and a 200+ mph top speed. Ruf responded accordingly, and through upgrades in the turbochargers, a sportier exhaust, a new intake tract, and revised engine management, offered three packages providing 520, 550, and 590 horsepower. In the case of the 590-horsepower version, the 3.6-liter engine is rebuilt with titanium conrods, converted camshafts, as well as a new heat exchanger – and the clutch is beefed up slightly. With a good launch, the car could hit 100 mph in 8 seconds and blitz to 60 in 3.7. Not bad for a car with an h-pattern gearbox.