RUF SCR 2021 review | Autocar

RUF SCR 2021 review | Autocar

Anyone who has seen that photo of Alfa Romeo’s 164 Procar – the famous one in profile, front and rear bodywork removed – already understands this new Ruf. Only once the skin was detached from Alfa’s V10 silhouette racer of 1988 was it obvious that the thing had virtually nothing in common with the 164 family saloon, and it’s a similar story with the Ruf SCR.

Despite the aesthetic, it shares little with an old Porsche 911. How little? For one thing, it’s constructed, McLaren-style, around an 88kg composite tub of Ruf’s own making. For another, the suspension is by double wishbones with pushrod actuation. There has been only one official 911 with both those elements and that’s the 911 GT1 with which Porsche won at Le Mans in 1988.

The Ruf’s deceptively small and low-slung body, including its X-rated hips and dinky ducktail spoiler, is also full carbonfibre, which is something no Zuffenhausen 911 has ever had.

So while it looks like a 911, albeit one more imaginatively conceived than most cars in Ruf’s long back catalogue, the SCR is categorically no such thing. What it is instead is Alois Ruf Jr’s vision of what the ultimate rear-engined performance car might look like. Made in Pfaffenhausen, of course, and now on sale for £770,000.

This is an expensive car, but the depth of development engineering is quite something. Plus, with Singer’s 964-based creations routinely selling for seven figures, you could argue the SCR’s asking price simply reflects reality in this part of the market.

Much of the work has focused on the SCR’s crown jewel, and the 8700rpm flat six is where this car gets closest to true Porscheness. In its tail sits an engine whose block is cast in-house but is based on the 3.6-litre Mezger-designed unit from the 997 GT3. After trial and improvement,it was felt the best combination of firepower, character and cost-effectiveness was achieved with exactly four litres of swept volume. Go much beyond that and Ruf claims the engine would need monstrously aggressive camshafts and a race ECU to make the extra displacement count. All that would also add to the costs, never mind the implications for day-to-day usability.

Sitting atop the 4.0-litre block, the cylinder heads for this hugely oversquare engine are Ruf-specific, just like the titanium rods and forged pistons, although the crankshaft is the same racing crank found in the old 997 RSR. Altogether, the engine is good for 503bhp, which in 2022 doesn’t seem all that much (the BMW M3 Competition has just as much, for goodness sake), but two things need stressing. First, the SCR is naturally aspirated, and 503bhp is just about what anybody anywhere can today reliably claw from six horizontally opposed cylinders without resorting to forced induction (the SCR’s twin-turbo sister, the tribute-to-the-Yellowbird CTR Anniversary, makes 700bhp with relative ease). Second, even with fluids, the car weighs just 1250kg. On power-to-weight ratio, it therefore wipes the floor with not only the M3 Competition but also the most recent 911 GT3 RS.

Downstream of the engine, then, sits a six-speed manual gearbox, custom-built for Ruf by ZF. It feeds torque to a mechanical limited-slip differential and 305-section Goodyear Eagle F1 Supersport R rear tyres wrapped around centre-lock 19in wheels. The wheels are simple forged items, and unsprung mass is further reduced by carbon-ceramic brake discs.