Meanwhile, back at the ranch…
As if to prove ‘Safari’ style 911s are all the rage, here’s RUF’s take on the all-terrain flat-six tearaway. We give you the RUF Rodeo. Just like the RUF CTR on which it’s based, the core of the Rodeo looks like a modernised and decluttered 964 to which some rugged off-road extras have been fitted.
But just like the CTR, it is in fact built on RUF’s own bespoke carbon-fibre chassis with a similarly composite body that just happens to look an awful lot like a 911. Originally intended to be unveiled at the recently cancelled Geneva motor show, the Rodeo is just a concept for now. It was designed by none other than Estonia Ruf, wife of company founder Alois Ruf.
Technical details of the Rodeo are somewhat limited given its concept status. But it runs the same 4.0-litre, 500hp atmospheric flat six as the CTR-related SCR, but could optionally also accommodate the turbocharged CTR engine. With either engine, you get an all-wheel drive transmission. In the concept, a centre console control marked ‘Vorne’ or ‘Forward’ indicates a switchable element to the all-wheel drive, allowing the driver to control how much torque goes to the front axle. The gearbox is a manual six-speed unit.
Less ambiguous features include the raised ride height with long-travel suspension, off-road Michelin tyres, a custom roof rack and a set of rally-style auxiliary driving lights. Oh, and a front bumper guard, underbody skid plates, mud flaps and some rather whimsical extras, notably rope wound around the aforementioned front guard and a shovel strapped to the engine cover.
According to Estonia, inspiration for the Rodeo came from five years living in Oklahoma, where Mr and Mrs Ruf met, and Kansas in the US, hence the ‘Rodeo’ moniker, plus a love of off-road cars. Inside, Estonia says the ‘Rodeo’ theme is reflected in saddle-style leather throughout with saddlebag side pockets on the doors and seat insert fabric patterns inspired by the work of Navajo Indians. “We had fun making this car. It’s supposed to put a smile on your face when you look at it,” she says.
RUF has also shown off the final production version of the SCR, again with RUF’s carbon-fibre chassis topped and tailed with lightweight steel front and rear subframes. For now, there’s no final word whether RUF intends to put the Rodeo into production or how much it might cost. If your pockets are deep enough, however, we suspect Alois and the gang would be more than happy to make the Rodeo real. Pricing of the SCR is said to be around the $800,000 mark, or about £635,000 in old money. So one thing is for sure. Those pockets would have to be awfully deep.
Ruf Rodeo. The caption writer will leave it there…