Ruf turbocharged the 993 before Porsche got around to it – with eye-opening results
By Sam Sheehan / Wednesday, March 24, 2021 / Loading comments
It didn’t take long for Ruf to really turn up the wick on the Porsche 993. In fact, the Bavarian manufacturer added turbocharging to the model’s flat-six two years before the in-house Turbo arrived. Ruf’s air-cooled creation was christened the BTR2 in 1993, a nod to the BTR that came a decade before as the company’s first proper production car and the model that earned Ruf proper manufacturer status in Germany. The BTR2 was therefore both a celebration of the company’s history and also a demonstration of its latest tech. It did both jobs admirably.
It was appropriately rapid, with Ruf’s engineers ramping up the performance of the 3.6-litre motor with a turbo running 11.6 psi of boost, bespoke intercooler and modified camshafts, as well as a new exhaust system and Bosch ECU. Combined, the changes unlocked 420hp and 435lb ft of torque, mated to a Ruf-developed six-speed manual and a limited-slip differential. The tuner then added its 18-inch five-spoke rims, bolstered leather seats and its own ‘whale tail’, itself a nod to the spoiler of the Porsche 964 Turbo. It looked the part.
Naturally, the BTR2 could walk the walk as well, with a 0-62mph time of 4.1 seconds and a 191mph top speed. In 1993, that made it one of the fastest cars in the world (Ferrari’s 348 GTB was 1.5sec slower to 62 and 15mph short on top), let alone one of the quickest rear-drive ones. It was certainly a valuable card in the Top Trumps deck – and many reckoned the stats were underrated, too, which was fitting for a Porsche-based product. It only added to the allure of Ruf’s 1.3-tonne offering.
So strong was the BTR2, that its status was unharmed when Porsche released the 993 Turbo in 1995, despite the Stuttgart model receiving key advantages like an all-wheel drive chassis and twin sequential turbochargers. The in-house 993 Turbo was also based on the wide body 911, although in truth, Ruf never considered the wider rolling chassis to be advantageous, because of the added drag it created. Anyway, with its greater power output (only just topped by the subsequent 993 Turbo S) delivered exclusively to the rear wheels, the BTR2 was a decidedly different beast to operate. The reviews were overwhelmingly positive.
Still, very few were to experience one first hand. The internet would have us believe that between nine and 13 BTR2s were made from 1993 to 1998, depending on who you believe, although it is at least widely agreed that only three were made in right-hand drive. That makes today’s Spotted, a late 1998 build with a respectable 72k on the clock, exceptionally rare – something it does rather well to show off with its unique gold and silver finish. It’s possible that the colour scheme won’t be to everyone’s taste, but those wheels certainly emphasise the specialness of the model – something the £225k asking price makes clear. But don’t try telling us you're not tempted.
SPECIFICATION | RUF BTR2
Engine: 3,600cc, flat-six, turbocharged
Transmission: 6-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 420@5,000rpm
Torque (lb ft): 435@4,800rpm
First registered: 1998
Recorded mileage: 72,000
Price new: N/A
Price now: £224,995
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