When you realize the Walther P22 in your hand is no match for your opponent’s Colt Python .357 Magnum… that's a bad thing. By the same token, one look at the sick power of a force-fed AMG cruise missile or a glance at the latest big-cube ‘Vette can ruin the fashion-conscious Porschephile’s entire day– no matter what they say about pedigree, finesse and handling. Yes, today's horsepower wars hit zer dicht to Zuffenhausen's 300-ish horsepower heartland. Luckily, Porsche lovers have a secret weapon: the RUF Auto Centre.
The internationally-known Porsche tuning-haus offers an extensive selection of 911 eye candy. Case in point: our tester’s front and rear valances. The RUF-exclusive bodywork is deeper and more forward thinking than stock, giving the 911 an altogether keener stance– and virtually guaranteeing some expensive scuff repair. RUF’s five-spokes are mercifully, purposefully flat and, mission critically, a half inch wider at both ends. Back in bling world, the RUF appearance package adds a bi-plane spoiler sporting both painted and exposed carbon-fiber wings. Like, awesome.
RUF’s retina-scorching red runner may attract more attention than a stock Carrera, or Adriana Lima, but metrosexual Teutonic purists rejoice: our tester’s interior upgrades were limited to a new RUF-embossed airbag cover and heat-soak friendly aluminum shift knob. Of course, the RUF's meat and potatoes lie under that spoiler. It’s all about the Bauhaus blower: die Kompressor uber alles.
American consumers buy into the experience via RUF’s modish Dallas digs. There, in search of Biblical power, donor engines are rent asunder; RUF moves the legendary flat-six’s compression ratio into boost-country via thicker head gaskets. Unlike other tuners, RUF developed their Kompressor package from scratch, carefully mating Porsche’s Germanic precision to the raw grunt of a boost-fed American dragster. While only a fully trained and licensed 911 mechanic understands the mechanical purity of RUF’s engineering, there’s not a driver alive who won’t appreciate the 100 extra ponies crammed under the RUF.
One of the first and most amazing things you notice about RUF's mechanical conversion is the complete lack of supercharger whine. At full chat, the RUF-tuned exhaust transforms the stocker’s John Phillip Souza cadence into a Battle of the Bands throw-down. And yet, aside from an occasional "whoosh,” you’d never know a bolt-on supercharger lurks atop the legendary boxer flat six. That is, until the clutch introduces the Kompressor to Mother Earth.One of the real joys of RUF's conversion– or any properly installed supercharger– is the way the pressurized pleasure works in perfect harmony with the vehicle's existing torque curve and gear ratios. A stock 911 is plenty quick. A 911 with a RUF Kompressor is plenty quick times two. Once the RUF car's engine enters Variocamland, available thrust errs on the towering side of immense– to the point where it’s a straight fight between firing synapses and forward momentum. This bad boy keeps all but the turbo twelve-pot AMG drivers out of sight, out of mind.
Pavement snuffling spoiler aside, OEM is the name of the game around town. The 911's famous light effort clutch, accurate shifter and precise steering mean the RUF is still the gold standard in street legal sports cars. The 19" RUF-specific hoops and lowered suspension (invisible unless a stock 911 is available for comparison) offers more grip and less body roll with an insignificant increase in impact harshness. That's all good, ‘cause the RUF Kompressor was born to hustle the chicanes.
The RUF Kompressor takes the 911's game to the next level. Whereas a stock two-wheel drive 911 requires a practiced hand to prevent nose bobbling from becoming speed-scrubbing understeer, the RUF-mobile feels a lot more Cayman-esque: balanced, planted and willing to pivot on its axis. And that means you can approach corners faster, stay on the power longer and hit the go-go juice sooner. No question: this is the Porker to take (and win) at a Porsche club-sponsored driving event.
On the street, the RUF 911 Kompressor cuts corners like a bad builder. The modified Carrera handled everything I dished out with ease– regardless of pavement quality, speed or turn radius– its stellar torque curve constantly taunting me to get on it and get on with it. Mid-corner launches with a Kompressor underfoot transform a quick exit into a joy ride on a catapult, without even tickling the PSM.
RUF’s Kompressor package adds more wholesome 911-goodness to a standard Carrera: speed, more speed and, um, a bit more speed. At the same time, the install doesn’t snag the everyday supercar’s cape, leaving all but a fraction of its legendary loping abilities. In fact, the Kompressor gives naturally-aspirated Porsche patrons a reason to sing “stand by your Carrera” instead of the obligatory nutting-up for a 911 Turbo. Factor the flawless installation, punchy powerband, unique style and a two-year warranty, and the only thing left to ponder is why Porsche doesn’t build ‘em like RUF.