• This Ruf 911 CTR "Yellowbird" On the Nurburgring is Pure Gold

Watch the incredible Ruf 911 Yellowbird lap the Nurburgring in 1987

LISTEN 02:53

If you’re a Porsche 911 fan, you’re definitely familiar with Ruf Automobile, modified 911s and the iconic CTR Yellowbird. If you haven’t heard about Ruf and the Yellowbird, it’s time to grab a seat and check this out, because you need watch and hear one of the greatest 911s built outside Porsche’s factory.

This Ruf 911 CTR "Yellowbird" On the Nurburgring is Pure Gold
- image 949270

Ruf has been around since the late 1930s and it started modifying Porsche 911s in the 1970s. The German shop tuned every generation of the 911 built until now ad even messed around with the Boxster and Cayenne, but the Yellowbird remains its most iconic creation.

Introduced in 1987 as the CTR, the Yellowbird was based on the Carrera 3.2 version of the original 911. Despite Porsche having already rolled out the 911 Turbo (930), Ruf chose to create its own turbo model by using the Carrera 3.2 as a base, because it was lighter and had a better drag coefficient.

This Ruf 911 CTR "Yellowbird" On the Nurburgring is Pure Gold
- image 949271
Fitted with even lighter, aluminum body panels and with an aero-enhanced body kit, the Yellowbird had its naturally aspirated 3.2-liter flat-six swapped out for Ruf's own take on the engine.

The German company increased displacement to 3.4 liters, added a fuel injection system designed for the Porsche 962 race car and designed a new twin-turbo system. The upgrade increased output to 463 horsepower and 408 pound-feet of torque, 181 horses more than Porsche’s very own 930 Turbo model from the era. A revised suspension and high-performance Brembo braking system rounded off the Yellowbird.

Capable of hitting 60 mph in just 3.65 seconds, the Ruf CTR Yellowbird outperformed supercars like the Ferrari Testarossa and Lamborghini Countach. It wasn’t quite as quick as the Porsche 959 and Ferrari F40 to 60 mph, but it was quicker to 100 mph and achieved a higher top speed at 213 mph.

This Ruf 911 CTR "Yellowbird" On the Nurburgring is Pure Gold
- image 949272
Ruf build around 60 Yellowbirds from 1987 to 1996. While 29 were manufactured from chassis bought from Porsche, the remaining cars were built from customer 911 Carrera models.

Not just a powerhouse, the Ruf CTR was also a potent track machine.For many years, it held the unofficial lap record at the Nurburgring Nordschleife with a 8:05-minute benchmark. That might not seem like much now, but it was a big deal back in the 1980s and early 1990 and outgunned many production sports cars of the era. Speaking of which, I’m actually here to drop a fascinating video of the Yellowbird lapping the Green Hell at full throttle.

Ruf 911 CTR "Yellowbird" specifications
Engine 3.4-liter flat-6
Horsepower 463 HP
Torque 408 LB-FT
0 to 60 mph 3.65 seconds
Top Speed 213 mph
Ciprian Florea
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read full bio
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