Performance Bargain? Alex Sharp thinks so.
In many 911 enthusiasts' minds the pinnacle of normally aspirated air-cooled Porsche development is the 993RS. It is lighter, more powerful and more sport orientated than the softer and more cosseting Carrera models.
The downside of potential RS ownership is that you need deep pockets to buy a decent and unabused example. So if your budget can't stretch to an RS and the standard 993s are a bit soft for you, this RUF modified left hand drive 1994 Carrera 2 could fit the bill perfectly.
Benefiting from a 'minor engine upgrade' by RUF in 1999, the car is better off to the tune of 20bhp. The upgrade involved no internal engine modifications, but consisted of a modified throttle body, re-mapped ECU and sports air filter & exhausts. This is a popular tuning package with Porsche go-faster modifiers and the rolling road figures from RUF show 290bhp, 20bhp up on the standard non-varioram engine and only 10bhp down on the larger 3.8 RS engine.
Addicted to bass
The most noticeable effect of these modifications is the lovely deep bass note of the 3.6 litre engine resonating through the sports exhausts. The sound rises from a deep rumble at idle to a terrific roar as it bounces off the rev limiter. Apologies to the non-PHer residents of several small Suffolk villages - my right foot is probably responsible for the ringing noise in their ears. It was however, all in the name of good reporting - the 79,000 mile engine certainly felt fit and healthy!
This car also boasts modified suspension which makes a significant improvement. The RUF kit consists of uprated springs and dampers coupled with 18 inch Turbo sourced wheels. Cornering is a delight and the whole package results in a car that feels very well planted on the road. Although the ride was firmer than standard, it was also suprisingly supple.
The brakes are also 993 Turbo sourced (the famous big red calipers package) and provide offer stopping power that is well in the modern sub supercar league. Certainly the driver trading up from say an '80s 911 will not quite believe the stopping power available and will probably give themselves a nose bleed the first time they brake heavily!
The black paintwork of this car was in very good condition, the only marks being a small scuff on the rear bumper plus a slight dent on the off side rear wheel arch. However both these blemishes will be remedied before the car is sold. Impressive as the bodywork is, it is the lowered stance of the car and its 18inch Turbo wheels with the clearly visible large red brake calipers that really grab your attention.
The black leather interior was in very good condition, with all the standard Carrera 2 gadgets and gizmos such as the sunroof and air conditioning seeming in fine order.
The Turbo R illusion
Gripping the airbag equipped leather steering wheel - emblazoned with the RUF logo - you can console your self that while you may not be driving an RS, at least this car shares the same steering wheel as the far more elusive and pricey 500bhp beast, that is the RUF Turbo R.
On the road the car is not quite as quick or agile as a 993RS (remember the RS is 100kg lighter) however compared to a standard Carerra 2 it is noticeably quicker and better handling. If you really wanted to approach RS performance it would be relatively simple to strip out the interior to lose weight. As it is however it offers near RS performance but with all the Carrera comforts. Given that the track day addicts and fans of really raw 911s (with this sort of budget) will be looking at 964RS's anyway surely this car will appeal to a huge audience.
This car really is a bit of a bargain at £22,950 as not only will you struggle to find a standard Carrera 2 for this figure, but this car has over £6k of modifications, not to mention FSH and only two previous owners.
Pros - The price is a flippin' bargain, it looks great, has a good history and much improved performance & ride. A big plus point is the modifications were not done by a bloke in a shed, but by possibly the most famous & respected Porsche tuners in the business.
Cons - Some people don't like LHD cars. Other than that I can't see how you can go wrong?
This car was offered for sale by Joff Ward of Finlay Gorham at www.finlaygorham.com