After gaining TuV type approval from the German government to sell its cars under the RUF name, the small Pfaffenhausen concern soon released their first model – the 1983 BTR.
In 1977, Porsche had unveiled the 930, which had taken the performance car world by storm with its awesome forced-induction powerplant. RUF chose the 930 as inspiration, and took the turbocharged 3.3 litre flat-six and bored it out to 3.4 litres. With the harnessing of larger pistons and bigger turbochargers, power was ramped up to 375 BHP. The power output was known to fluctuate to conform to individual customers’ specification. The RUF touch spread to the brakes, which were increased in size, the suspension, which was stiffened and lowered (but this again depended upon customer specification) and the exhaust system.
The upgrades utilised lighter, stronger, and in some cases, much more expensive materials than the standard 930.
Many RUF BTRs were given the RUF treatment to the outside – which was a bodykit which had been in development over RUF’s previous Porsche models, along with the appearance of the famous, single-piece forged alloy wheels. The bodywork involved deeper bumpers front and rear, and thicker-set side skirts. The car was available in either ‘Turbo Body’ – with the flared wheel arches of the 930 – or ‘Narrow Body’, with the standard 911 wings. The Narrow Body specification was preferred by RUF, due to the aerodynamic benefits – the coefficient of drag was appreciably lower than the Turbo Body. The bodywork was finished in any colour specified by the customer, and topped off by the obligatory Tea-Tray spoiler.
The modifications were not limited to the exterior, though. Internally, RUF placed a smattering of branded items, and could change the trimmings to order.
The number of BTRs produced by RUF is unknown, due to loss of factory records, but the estimate places the number at close to 100 (both RUF VIN and Porsche VIN) over the 10-year lifespan of the model.