I first drove the Ruf CTR3 prototype in October 2008, and since then Ruf has sold more than 20 of those hand-built, mid-engined supercars. It’s also continued to develop it for more power, better handling and simplicity.
From the beginning, the CTR3 had a six-speed sequential transmission commissioned from Hör Technologie. While it permit you to grab each of the six forward ratios via a race-style lever, you still needed the clutch pedal with each shift.
For the 2014 model year, prospective CTR3 owners now have the choice of a seven-speed PDK dual-clutch gearbox instead, after requests for faster and smoother shifting from customers.
Another upgrade that came through the requests from keener drivers was a more hardcore CTR3 Club Sport version, which made its debut with the Geneva Auto Show earlier this year.
The two vanilla CTR3 and hot chilli Club Sport reap the benefits of a 10% bump in output to 777hp at 723 and 7100rpm lb-ft at 4000rpm. The PDK adds another $51000 on top of the $700,000 Ruf asks for youran extensive, hard winter in Europe and even now, at the end of June, the weather was unstable when we visited Ruf Automobile in Pfaffenhausen, Gemany. Rain is the last thing you require with 777hp going through the rear wheels. Yet predictably, because i was all set to depart on my Club Sport test drive, a downfall kept us inside the garage longer. Thankfully, the sun returned, and very soon dried the tarmac.
Ruf cars are consistently usable on an each day basis. So while the low roof and Group C-style windows on the CTR3 mean poor visibility and require constant vigilance in traffic, the mighty engine was as docile like a pussycat.
Despite its humungous output, the twin-turbo flat-six rivals a standard Porsche Turbo for tractability. We drove through several villages at 30mph or less in third gear at around 1200rpm, and any ask for acceleration was met having a willing response. And while some purists might prefer to row their own gears, there’s no arguing using the seamless change of ratios the PDK delivers. However, the Ruf paddle shifters were surprisingly short and stiff, requiring more force than any production car.
However, shifts were lightning fast, so when braking right into a bend, a combination of the Group C front windshield, hugely powerful brakes and the snappy PDK gearbox inspired Le Mans fantasies. That might be further enhanced on a racetrack, which is a big part of the CTR3 Club Sport’s overall driving experience.
2013 ruf CTR3 club sport flat six biturbo engine 05
2013 ruf CTR3 club sport porsche PDK paddle shifter 07
2013 ruf CTR3 club sport group c 08
Back in the early ’90s, I drove several Porsche 962LM Group C cars in 650hp qualifying trim. At 1800 lb, they were significantly lighter compared to the 3131 lb CTR3 Club Sport. But the 2.6-litre race motor in the 962C is substantially outgunned with regards to torque through the 3.8-liter Ruf motor.
With modern aerodynamics, the Club Sport also slips through the air more easily compared to the 962C, reaching 236mph with all the tallest final drive offered. That’s a good deal faster than the factory Le Mans racer, which topped out at 217mph.
From the box, the Club Sport will blast to 62mph in 3.2sec, and double that in 9.2sec, while returning the average fuel consumption ofOn target, the 962C would corner better than the CTR3 because of its suspension and ground effects. But road-legal 962 variants produced by some aftermarket companies were raised to conform to the regulations and would probably be no better than the Ruf, with its state-of-the-art race-derived suspension that makes full use of the vastly superior modern rubber.
The CTR3 Club Sport came to be out of our usual policy of continuous development, explained Alois Ruf. A few of our CTR3 customers asked for this kind of car, and it was a logical thing to do since the basic car had so much race-derived technology in it.
We’ve slowly ramped up engine output since we launched the car in 2008, he continued. We started with 700hp at 7000rpm and 656 lb-ft at 4000rpm, with the extra output making a discernable difference to the acceleration. There’s no additional lag when you go into the throttle, but the power delivery has become more aggressive, particularly during the last 2000rpm.
We started the PDK project in October 2012 and finished it in June, Alois recalled. I’m not going to say it was easy, but the biggest challenge as always was the electronics, so that we ended up with a whole new ECU.Because the engine and gearbox are the other way around than in the 911, we had to make new transmission casing and mounts, Alois explained, When it comes to hardware.
Both the PDK trans and the sequential gearbox weigh around 240 lb, so there’s no change to the balance of the car.
The visual changes to the Club Sport are the new front section with a splitter, more pronounced flares that add 15mm each side, along with the larger, fixed carbon-fiber rear wing.
The track is wider as a result of different wheel offsets, as the wheel and tire sizes are unchanged at 19×8.5 and 20×12.5, with 265/30 and 345/30 Michelin tires, respectively.
The damper and spring rates had been increased, and so i noticed a firmer ride but it’s fully adjustable, so you have the option of so that it is suppler to thetogether with the car in a short time.
Long, open curves with good visibility enabled one to explore the performance from the car within reason. Its stability gave you great confidence in fast sweepers, where you can feel the new splitter and rear wing pressing the CTR3 into the tarmac.
The CTR3 Club Sport is actually a testament to Ruf’s ability to design and build a vehicle that mixes the best Porsche components together with the company’s own parts, thereby producing a unique vehicle that provides the performance enthusiast an additional option for track days or sheer fun on the open road.