Ruf’s 911 V8 Porsche apocalypse?

In the quaint village of Pfaffenhausen, located in Germany’s Algäu region, is a rather special supercar manufacturer - Ruf.

Essentially, you could make Ruf off as just another German aftermarket Porsche tuner – except that it isn't.

Ruf is a registered manufacturer in Germany, and although most of the company’s cars silhouette the Porsche product portfolio, there’s enough independent engineering going on to justify the 'independent manufacturer' billing.

Ruf bodykit and lashings of carbon-fibre trim 200kg off the stock 911 kerb weight. At the back, there's something very special...

If Porsche can't, we should

To prove its technical competence (and independence), Ruf showed up at this week’s Geneva auto show with a rather neat 911 based (we probably shouldn’t have said that) RGT-8.

If you’re a serious Ruf(fian) you’ll know the RGT moniker usually denotes something really special from the Pfaffenhausen concern.

Previous RGTs included an air-cooled 283kW 996 version, followed by a 327kW water-cooled 997 RGT. Plainly, these RGT Ruf 911s shift – quite a bit.

At Geneva this week the company’s unveiled its most credible independent engineering exercise yet – V8 power for the venerable Porsche 911.

Performance details still a secret. All we know is this: it should have an unbelievable acoustic signature with that flatcrank V8 spinning at 8 500r/min...

Mean green V8 machine

Finished in green (undoubtedly the vogue colour/theme of Geneva 2010) RGT-8 doesn’t look particularly special at first.

Sure, it sports hideously expensive Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tyres on 19-inch Ruf custom wheels, hiding carbon ceramic brakes. Inside there’s roll cage and very retro seat upholstery.

Move around the back, open up the RGT-8's rump, and every 911 fetishists worst nightmare comes to bear – eight-cylinders instead of six, and they’re not laying down flat either…

What Ruf has accomplished would appear to remarkable. It has self-funded and developed a 4.5l V8 (curiously similar in configuration to the first generation Cayenne V8...) and managed (we have no idea how) to squeeze it into the 911’s engine bay.

The Ruf engine sports a 180-degree flatcrank design, multipoint (instead of direct) fuel-injection, four-valve per cylinder valve-gear and dry-sump lubrication.

Amazingly, the 4.5l V8 from Ruf is some 36kg lighter than Porsche 3.8l flat-six it replaces…

In terms of output numbers the 4.5l naturally-aspirated V8 is astounding. Thanks to titanium conrods it spins all the way to 8 500r/min – generating 404kW. Peak rotational force is 500Nm, delivered at 5 400r/min.

Ruf says all the power goes to the rear wheels only via a six-speed manual transmission. Performance figures are being kept a secret - for now.

Production of the RGT-8 will commence next year and Ruf says the order book is growing steadily.

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