Boom time for bespoke Porsche 911s
Several Porsche specialists have revealed bespoke 911s over recentweeks, suggesting an increased appetite for unusual creations…
The reimagined 911 is certainly nothing new – and yet the Porsche world never fails to impress with fresh ways to reinvent the cars we know and love. One of the longest-serving creators of bespoke 911s isn’t so much a Porsche specialist as a manufacturer in its own right. RUF shot to fame in the 1980s when its first CTR – the Yellowbird – became one of the world’s fastest production cars. The family-owned Bavarian powerhouse has long since been a benchmark for 911 engineering excellence – and its latest offerings, revealed at The Quail during August’s Monterey Car Week, are no exception.
Described as a celebration of 60 years of the Porsche 911, the RUF Tribute is based on the modular platform that has already given us the CTR Anniversary and the SCR in recent times. It features a carbon-fibre monocoque, an integrated roll cage and double-wishbone suspension. The Tribute is powered by an all-new, air-cooled engine designed by Alois Ruf himself: the 3.6-litre twin-turbo unit produces 550bhp at 6,750rpm and 750Nm of torque at 4,500rpm. Delivering what RUF describes as “a new air-cooled soul and charm”, the engine’s impressive specification includes billet aluminium cylinder heads. Its four-cam, three-valve technology is cutting-edge – a first in an air-cooled car, with variable valve timing and lift. It also runs a dry sump, just like the original 911. Partnered by twin intercoolers, dual catalytic converters and a fly-by-wire throttle, it sounds like a technological tour de force. There’s no word on pricing or production numbers yet.
Alongside the Tribute, RUF also revealed two further 911-style models at Monterey Car Week. The CTR3 Evo is intended for the track: it runs a steel chassis with integrated roll cage, draped in a Kevlar-composite body shell and powered by a water-cooled 3.8-litre flat-six motor producing 800bhp and 990Nm of torque – that makes it the most powerful Pfaffenhausen creation yet. Meanwhile, the R Spyder is a Speedster-style two-seater, powered by a 515bhp (475Nm of torque) naturally-aspirated 4.0-litre flat-six engine. With a no-roof design, a carbon-fibre rear clamshell and an integrated helmet compartment, it is equally attention-grabbing.
Another bespoke Porsche-based creation to emerge from Monterey Car Week was from Connecticut-based Sacrilege Motors. Appearing on the Concept Lawn at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance was its Porsche 911 restored and converted to electric power – nicknamed Blackbird.
Beginning life as one of just 250 964 America Roadsters, the US-market version of the Carrera 2 Cabriolet Turbo-Look, the limited-edition 911 has seen its original drivetrain replaced with an all-electric setup from a Tesla Model S. Power is now the equivalent of 500bhp, the 200-mile range provided by a 62kWh battery pack.
Finally, Oxfordshire-based Theon Design is one of several further specialists to reveal bespoke 911s recently. Theon’s first commission from a UK customer is based on a 911 Porsche 911 964 Carrera 4: GBR001 has undergone a full bare-metal restoration and enhancement process, featuring a lightweight carbon body. Its 3.8-litre, air-cooled flat-six engine produces 390bhp; it is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. TracTive suspension and a Wavetrac limited-slip diff aim to transform driving dynamics.