Notable from the PH Not Geneva coverage for 2020 was anything from Ruf; typically, there's something especially drool-worthy and 911-shaped on its stand, though nothing materialised this year. Not even virtually. But here we are, better late than never, with Ruf's latest: the Rodeo.
If it looks familiar, that's because initial reports - we've not seen the official release yet - suggest this concept is derived from the SCR seen at Geneva a couple of years back. That car utilised a carbon monocoque for low weight - 1,325kg - and 4.0-litre flat-six for big power - 500hp at 8,270rpm - so it's as good a base as any for a special stage scamp. Rumours are that's it's supercharged, too, presumably to help lug around the spade and all spotlights.
Arguably of even greater interest is the four-wheel drive system that's fitted, because it's been a while since Ruf has incorporated that into one of its sports cars. Typically, it seems to add mad power only to rear-wheel drive cars. That said, with this car's raised ground clearance, the four driven wheels and Michelin off-road tyres, the Rodeo will likely be more than adept enough off the beaten track.
Additional tweaks that we know of thus far are cosmetic: see the two-tone paint, bonnet straps, bull bar (with elaborate tow rope), roof rack and interior in brown with more brown. The rodeo horse is unconfirmed as an optional extra.
Given what Ruf typically produces - very serious, very fast Porsche models - it's nice to see them take on something a little more fun in this Rodeo Concept. 'Concept' is key in that name, though, with no commitment yet to actually produce the Rodeo. But sillier concepts than this have made production, haven't they? And, crucially, there must have been concepts less intriguing that have been made as well, even if in small numbers.
Bear in mind that this year marks 50 years since Porsche and a 911 won the International Championship for Manufacturers, a precursor to the WRC, and it makes even more sense. This could well be Ruf's first Rodeo, but it sure as hell looks like being one hell of a ride. (Sorry, hard to resist.) Make it now, Ruf - we dare you.
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