Beneath The Skin Of The New RUF Yellow Bird

There were a lot of things I was expecting to see on that day in December just gone, but this wasn’t one of them.

With the news of RUF having unveiled their latest car, the SCR, based upon their new carbon fibre monocoque, it immediately brought me back to a position I somehow found myself in at the end of last year.

About an hour from Stuttgart airport, is the small German town of Fichtenberg. It isn’t a town name that you should be familiar with. A population of less than 3,000 people call Fichtenberg home, with just small local businesses dotted around the narrow streets beside the main road that passes by it. There’s not even a petrol station, you would have to travel to the next town over for that luxury. Fichtenberg is, however, home to something that you should be familiar with; KW Suspensions.

It was the week before Christmas, and I was visiting our friends at KW in order to capture assets for upcoming technical features. It was cold, it was wet and it was pretty much exactly how you would imagine how Germany looks in the middle of winter. On my journey around the factory with KW’s Christian Schmidt, we took a quick visit into KW’s famous seven post driving dynamics test rig. Access into this building is often strict, as both race teams and manufacturers will use the facility to test and develop their latest cars.

This, was one of those days.

While you – might – be aware of KW, I’m pretty certain that you will absolutely be aware of another German company that goes by the name of RUF. Since the early 1980s, RUF have been building some of the wildest Porsche-based creations known to man. Amongst them, the 1987 RUF CTR, better known as the Yellow Bird.  With 470hp, the CTR set a then production car world record of 342km/h (212mph) at the Nardo Ring, while Stefan Rozer set one of the most iconic laps of the Nürburgring Nordschleife ever caught on film.

Needless to say, the Yellow Bird left an impression on an entire generation of automotive enthusiasts. Regardless if you consider yourself a Porsche person or not, you have to respect the Yellow Bird. It’s the type of car that transcends the in-community bickering and pedantry.

2018 RUF Yellowbird KW Suspensions Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-14

In 2017, 30 years after the original CTR made its appearance, RUF announced its spiritual successor at the Geneva International Motor Show. While it looked similar to its 1987 counterpart, the new CTR is very much a car built for the modern era. It was also a new beginning for RUF.

Where previously, RUF based their models on existing Porsche models, the new CTR is their first car from the ground up. While it might be unmistakably 911 in its form, what lies beneath is unlike anything even Porsche have done, in that it features the first ever rear-engined carbon fibre monocoque chassis.

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The suspension part of the equation is dealt with by means of a double wishbone pushrod setup, both front and rear. The configuration was engineered by RUF themselves, while KW assisted with their own product and expertise to achieve maximum performance. A custom 3-way adjustable KW Clubsport kit was deployed, with a Hydraulic Lift System on the front axle. Together with KW’s engineers, RUF carried out a frequency analysis of the chassis and whole suspension system on the seven post rig. I asked KW if they could elaborate further and this is what they had to say:

“The rig simulates driving along a road surface by transferring forces through the tyre contact patch. These intricate vibrations and bumps are produced by a series of computer-controlled hydraulic rams and act directly on the tyre via the platforms that the car sits on. This allows engineers to analyse the effect of suspension changes like spring rate alteration or damping force adjustment directly on the chassis and tyres.”

“Real life data is collected and fed into the control system. This allows repeatable tests to be performed and true objective analysis to be carried out, something that is traditionally very difficult to achieve at the circuit. This type of testing allows for rapid and very accurate development of optimal settings depending on circuit type or weather condition; especially important when you consider the risk of real world wet weather testing at the limit with rather expensive road and race cars.”

While this test car was practically naked, I do hope that the final product allows a detailed look at the rear suspension setup and that it’s not hidden from view.

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Of course, a flat-six is deployed at the rear. The 3.6-litre motor is paired with two turbochargers, with the new CTR making peak figures of 710hp, but with a staggering 649ft/lbs at just 2,750rpm. Their target top speed is 360km/h (225mph), all of which will be achieved with rear wheel drive, a limited slip differential and a manual six-speed with three pedals.

To walk around a car like this, especially in this state, is one of those surreal moments that seem to happen again and again during our hunt for speed. With unpainted panels and missing trim, I was expecting to be ejected from the room at any time. Instead, RUF’s Car Assembly Manager, Hans Kerler, was happy to show me around the car and allow me to see even more things that I felt at the time I probably shouldn’t have.

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2018 RUF Yellowbird KW Suspensions Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-8
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It feels particularly relevant to re-visit these photos today, just as RUF have revealed the SCR, based on the same carbon monocoque. Instead of turbochargers, the SCR is equipped with a naturally aspirated 4.0-litre making 510hp at 8,250rpm. Numbers, which on screen are almost impossible to properly appreciate, especially in today’s mega-horsepower world. They’re still fast numbers, however.

The fact that RUF were so comfortable with letting this bumbling idiot pour over their car only goes to show not only the confidence that they have in the car, but also the fact that nobody else offers anything even close to what the new CTR is.

Which I suppose means that they’ve nothing to fear, for now.

Paddy McGrath
Instagram: pmcgphotos
Twitter: pmcgphotos
paddy@speedhunters.com

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44 comments

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1

Now this is speedhunting.

2

Paddy,

Do you know if this is signal yellow? It looks a little too yellow to be signal which seems to have a tad more orange. I would love to know the actual color on this if it isn't signal.

Thanks,
Brandon

3
Paddy (imposter)

Its unicorn piss yellow. (Paint to sample)

5

From my searches, it seems that the color is most likely Bluten Gelb 139. But some also say it's speed yellow.

6

Thanks for the prompt reply and good to know. I need to find out what color yellow bird is. I am building a project car (not a P car) and am 90% sure I am painting it Nissan safari gold 920 but I feel it needs a tad more yellow. I like this color a lot because it doesn't appear to be overly "yellow" like canary etc. I prefer an off the shelf color rather than trying to tweak/tint the safari gold.

Here is Nissan 920 "safari gold"

https://www.google.ie/search?rlz=1C5CHFA_enIE517IE517&biw=1403&bih=704&tbm=isch&sa=1&ei=HzagWpjZCqG5ggfWtongDA&q=Nissan+safari+gold+920&oq=Nissan+safari+gold+920&gs_l=psy-ab.3...15228.20065.0.20498.22.16.0.6.6.0.97.1075.16.16.0....0...1c.1.64.psy-ab..0.15.866...0j0i67k1j0i24k1.0.qAl-Em-NKJA

7

The yellow on an Evo IX, if you can get the code, is a great shade of yellow on a car.

8

I looked at the EVO color but also seems to be a bit too yellow.

I am now looking at Nissan Safari Gold 920, Porsche Speed Yellow, Porsche Bluten Gelb 139 (Blossom yellow?) or even Lotus Saffron Yellow. So many to choose from but want my car to have a slightly darker yellow more akin to mustard color.

Thanks for your replies!

9
ThosePeskySkids

Whether or not this is the same, the paint for the original CTR which you seem to have found out, was Por139 blütengelb, which yes is blossom yellow.
I’m not sure, but the designation on this as RUF139, may indicate that RUF have Porsche’s permission to appropriate the former as their own signature colour.
Agree with Paddy on the Evo yellow though. It might well be a lot more accessible I.e. cheaper too?

10

On the picture of the RUF identification plate it says what color code it has.
Farbcode is color code in german :)

11

Good eye. I missed that but then again, I don't read German so I wouldn't have known that was "color". You can just make out the 139 right after so that's good to know. Having my painter do a sprayout to see how it compares to Nissan 920. Thanks, everyone!

12

How about Ford's tangerine scream colour?

13

I want mustard yellow. That color is orange. But it is very cool!

14

i love how every bit of modern technology is hidden from sight, everything on display could have came straight from 1987 minus the LED tail light and the projector headlights..kinda surprised they went with the full widebody look, as their most (in)famous car is a narrow body, be it slightly widened...still a badass car

15

just epic. as amazing as a singer is this with the carbon chassis makes them look like posers. I imagine the price is eye watering.

16

Oh god, this is absolute perfection... stance, colour, styling, power, EVERYTHING....

17

Pikachu use Thunder!!! ⚡ ⚡ ⚡ ⚡ ⚡ ⚡ ⚡

18

call this 911 Lieut Surge.

19
Steffen Hansen

Fuck... Me... That is up there with the original Yellowbird on the Mommy-please-can-I-have-a-puppy-o'meter...

20

I want those brakes!

21

brakes are from a company call surface transforms, i am the design engineer along with a friend of mine who is also a design engineer at the company who designed the brakes for this car.

22

i should be more clear we are both design engineers at the company surface transforms, we also do the brakes for singer cars as well :) amongst many other cars

23

I'd like to say that I don't regard HP numbers highly because I live out most of my car enthusiast life (if not all) through the internet. With that said, 700+ sounds like a whole lot of horsepower! Optimized for a Porsche 911.. yeah it sounds good to me! I like articles like this because nobody else is showing me the guts with pictures like these. Please keep it coming. I'd be blind otherwise!

24

1987–1996 - Ruf CTR (Group C, Turbo Ruf), aka CTR Yellowbird
1995–1997 - Ruf CTR2 (Group C, Turbo Ruf, 2nd generation)
2007–2012 - Ruf CTR3 (2012+ are CTR3 Clubsport according to Wiki)
2017-20?? - Ruf CTR 2017

25
Chris Kreschollek

I always loved Ruf wheels.

26
Dino Dalle Carbonare

The suspension layout couldn't be sexier

27
Christian Schmidt

A shame not every car got a pushrod suspension ;-)

28

I see the widow maker title is back.
The fact that it's shown with a 4.0 NA and a twin-turbo 3.6 opens a lot of options/questions. Is it a better solution or different options? (affecting handling, engine response, heat problems, targeting a specific class,....)

29

OMG, this just made my day! what an amazing automobile, and seeing the Ruf shop in that video is amazing!

30

In love... tks Speedhunters!!

31

Paddy,

if you live in Ireland, why do you fly so far away to bring us some hot stories ? I mean Greatturbobritain ? Or the crazy Baguette guys in France or the passionate little Italiens. Please dont get me wrong, it´s only hard to understand ?

32

I've no idea what you're asking? Germany isn't really that far away for me and I was there anyways for a separate reason.

33

Yes and right this is perfect XD ! It would be nice if you could do more of those "it's not far away and I was anyways there for a reason" trips. If you're still in Germany, please make a pitstop to JP Performance.
JP is the Godfather of the german car culture^^ look at this https://youtu.be/J7VLnh83ysM

And this Skyline has over 800 HP and it's also the cover car of NFS Payback

https://youtu.be/8HGhZ10H-Ww

34
Christian Schmidt

Seriously?

35

First of all sorry for our last discussion now I noticed that you will know it better than me. But why did you say seriously ? I mean he have over 30ty tuning cars only for his community and now he and his friends started their own race team

36

JP is not the godfather of German car culture. was laberst du da? are you serious? do you not realize how big German car Culture is?and how far it goes back? I could write a book on it and not even scratch the surface and you want to say JP is the godfather of it? porsche, Gemballa, RUF, Techart, Manthey Racing, Kremer935, BMW,Hamann Alpina, AC Schnitzer, team Schirmer Mercedes AMG, Brombacher. JP is a nice guy and has a fun tv program but in the grand scheme of things, I'm sorry he's insignificant.

37
Christian Schmidt

150 % true.

38

Yes I'm more than serious. I've never say that JP Performance is the best company or anything like that. He as a person push the hole car culture in many Country's already. That's why I'm saying that JP is the Godfather of the German Carculture. And besides that tell me one famous name of those companies you've told me ;-)

39

Fuck that aluminium welding is horrible. What a shame

40

Great article - thank you!

I just happened to take a photo of the cars carbon monocoque today at the Geneva Auto Show;-)

decom_8dec95ab7893fea9e9e72b55e729ee6f_5aa327eca1e49.jpegdecom_8dec95ab7893fea9e9e72b55e729ee6f_5aa327eca1e49.jpeg
41

At least the RUF Yellowbird keeps all 3 pedals..

42

WOW.....The Ultimate 911.....RUF does it again....can't wait for the Ring........hope they give it to Walter to play with.......or Tiff maybe..... see if the old guard make the new bird fly !

43
Angry Hobo Leprechaun

The entire production run has prob been purchased and spoken for. No sweat off RUF's balls in showing an incompleted version. Let us, the viewer, benefit. Thanks robber barons! Thanks oil shieks!

44
Joe Sanguinetti

Paddy, did they take you underneath to the bottom of the rig? Theres only a handful in the world and i was lucky enough to have a tour of one and its absolutely mind blowing underneath the plates where the cars sit. Its massive and its even crazier how fast those rams move being as big as they are. Its definitely a feat of engineering.

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