Pfaffenhausen, Germany - We love the 991 Targa, since well, Porsche has finally brought back the distinctive brushed finish T-bar that we feel is so integral to the concept of ‘Targa’.
(Click HERE to read our first drive of the Porsche type 991 911 Targa 4)
At the moment, Porsche offers the Targa in 4WD wide-body guise to the tune of the ‘base’ 4, 4S and most recently, GTS, which we have to qualify is a real blast to drive.
(Click HERE to read our first drive of the Porsche type 991.2 Targa 4 GTS)
To some people though, that’s still not enough, because the whole point is to have the ‘go’ as well as the ‘show’. To this end, RUF has created its version of a Turbo Targa, which it has dubbed ‘Turbo Florio’.
The brand is commonly misconceived as being a ‘tuner’ but the reality is RUF is now recognised by the German authorities as a legitimate manufacturer – its very own creation is the CTR3 that you will see in one of the subsequent pages.
Although come to think of it, through subtle body-work and huge engine/powertrain tuning, every RUF model is pretty much one of the brand’s own. We had the chance to pop into the brand’s HQ in Pfaffenhausen where we enjoyed a quick degustation menu that started with the venerable RCT through to the CTR3 super-sportscar.
Keen-eyed anoraks would have picked out the little differences from the normal 911 Targa by now: front bumper with carbonfibre lip, ducktail rear lip, 20-inch RUF rims and ‘Turbo Florio’ badges are the most obvious, but wait, what are those two gaping intakes in the rear haunches for?
Well, if you’ve taken a look at the specs, you’ll know that these aren’t lightweight baby turbos. The inlets force-feed much-needed cool air into the two intercoolers for the twin VTG turbochargers and have been so perfectly integrated into the body that you’ll need to know they’re there before you spot them.
Although our ‘demo’ is all-wheel driven, RUF tells us a rear-driven variant is available (and a manual as well, if you like!) but as we’re blasting through the countryside, the all-wheel drive transmission is working hard and we can’t imagine the focus that must accompany driving the rear-drive model… in the wet!
Some purists like to think in terms of manual-only, some modern sportscars have progressed to such a level that the human hand is no longer capable of shifting at a fast enough pace to keep up with the engine’s blistering performance.
It’s not just about quick=fun, but about maximising your powerplant’s potential, and with 835Nm and 645bhp, that’s a gobstopping tonne of potential to cope with. In this case, we rely on the speed of the RDK dual-clutch transmission, which is specified according to RUF’s settings.
From standstill, 100km/h comes up in 3.1secs, or from one hastily gulped breath to the next. With the horizon and its onslaught of corners shooting towards you so rapidly, the last thing you want to do is to blink! The carbon-ceramic brakes really haul the car down from speed with eye-watering pace, but they can be perfectly modulated so there’s no fear of unsettling the car as you rein it in to tackle the corners.
There’s a barely perceptible wriggle as you gently apply the power towards the exit in the eye of this storm and then the raging hurricane is on the move again. It’s never uncomfortable either, since there’s more to sporty handling than making everything rock-hard. At low speeds, the ride is civilised yet during enthusiastic driving, the body-control is sublime and there’s plenty of confidence to drive the car hard.
The best thing about all RUFs is they look nondescript, since it’s more about the understated elegance that initiates will appreciate. The amount of engineering work that has gone into each model is staggering, and the only way you can truly appreciate the full fury of any RUF is to drive it.
PHOTOS RUF / David Khoo
RUF 911 Turbo Florio
Engine: 3800cc, flat6, twin-turbo, 4WD
Transmission: 7spd RDK dual-clutch
Top speed: 338km/h
Fuel consumption: 11.2l/100km