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Ruf builds off-road air-cooled 911 lookalike, gives it a rope, a shovel, lots of leather

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Article by Damon Lowney
Photos courtesy Ruf

As Ruf Automobile, GmbH announces the first production model of its new carbon fiber-bodied SCR — a bespoke design that looks like an air-cooled 911 — in the same press release the automaker also shared the delightful Rodeo concept, another looks-like-an-air-cooled-911, only this one is meant to drive off-road.

It's not April 1, so we’ll assume Ruf actually built a full-size concept, though some of the photos make it look like a scale model. Wearing rustic-looking beige and green paint and lots of leather, Ruf Marketing Director Estonia Ruf says, “The Rodeo Concept combines that passion for cars with the love of western culture – an appreciation I found while studying in Oklahoma, USA. This car is inspired by some of our favorite people and our love for the countryside.” According to the press release, the car was “inspired by the Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance and its founder – and friend of RUF – Bruce Meyer, as well as by Ralph Lauren and his 2011 Western Collection and RUF enthusiast and collector Phillip Sarofim who has roots in Texas.”

The carbon-fiber chassis is taken straight from the SCR, and the automaker says that it can be equipped with the SCR’s Ruf-designed 510-horsepower water-cooled 4.0-liter flat six, or a turbochaged unit, likely from the recently revived CTR, which also has a carbon-fiber chassis. The CTR, however, makes a prodigious 700 horsepower. The Rodeo has one-upped its rear-wheel-drive counterparts with a four-wheel-drive system.

Four rally lights adorn the hood and front fenders, the backs of which are covered in leather, while four more smaller lights are attached to the roof via a roof rack. We’re not sure if the leather luggage on the rack also comes with the car. The front of the Rodeo gets a large metal-tube bumper that’s also covered in leather and wrapped with a line of rope — just in case a friend needs some help to get unstuck. We’re betting that’s what the shovel attached to the rear decklid is for as well.

This writer’s opinion of the Rodeo is that it’s got its heart in the right place, but it looks a little rough around the edges in photos, such as the leather cutouts for the center console switches, or the hood-to-fender gaps, likely caused by having leather straps holding the hood down. Of course, it’s a concept, so if it ever makes production we’d guess it would be much more refined.

In other news, that first SCR looks brilliant in deep green, like a true production car. It weighs 2,756 pounds and features a six-speed manual transmission and can reach 199 miles per hour. We’ll take that one, please.

Anyway, please forgive us for sharing not one, but two, things that are not technically Porsches, but we thought they were too cool to ignore. And Ruf, after all, still restores and works on Porsches as well as building its own cars.


Full Ruf Press Release

RUF AUTOMOBILE UNVEILS NEW OFF-ROAD CONCEPT CAR AND FIRST PRODUCTION RUF SCR

The RUF Rodeo Concept, the first off-road car built utilizing a carbon fibre monocoque chassis, was unveiled alongside the first production example of the normally aspirated RUF SCR.

PFAFFENHAUSEN, GERMANY (March 9, 2020) – RUF Automobile GmbH, manufacturer and creator of bespoke sports cars that combine performance and suitability for everyday use, unveiled the RUF Rodeo Concept and the first production RUF SCR at its headquarters in Pfaffenhausen, Germany.

The Rodeo Concept was inspired by the Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance and its founder – and friend of RUF – Bruce Meyer, as well as by Ralph Lauren and his 2011 Western Collection and RUF enthusiast and collector Phillip Sarofim who has roots in Texas. The car features the same carbon fibre monocoque chassis as the CTR Anniversary and the SCR, but with a four-wheel drive system to tackle off-road use, larger all-terrain tires, longer-travel suspension and more. The Rodeo Concept can accommodate either a normally aspirated or turbo-charged RUF flat-six engine.

“When we began building our own automobiles it was all for the thrill of the drive,” said Estonia Ruf, marketing director of RUF Automobile GmbH. “The Rodeo Concept combines that passion for cars with the love of western culture – an appreciation I found while studying in Oklahoma, USA. This car is inspired by some of our favorite people and our love for the countryside.”

Shown alongside the Rodeo Concept was the first production RUF SCR. The SCR features a 4.0L normally aspirated flat-six engine producing 510 HP, 470 Nm of torque and weighs in at 1,250 kg. The engine is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox which gives the car the optimal mechanical feel. The car’s spoiler generates high downforce and keeps the RUF SCR stable at its top speed of 320kmh (199 mph).

For more information on RUF automobiles, visit the RUF website at ruf-automobile.de/en/

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