It’s interesting to see how far the game has progressed in the last decade. Back in 2008, the small batch of Ruf CTR3s was regarded as having one of the wildest makeups in the world of supercars. Shoehorn a custom flat-six engine in the back of a hybrid chassis utilizing 997 Turbo and 987 Cayman bits, stick in a sequential gearbox for good measure, and crank up the boost pressure to the point that most would be terrified of getting anywhere near the throttle pedal. It was a recipe for success, and at the very least, the wild imagination of Alois Ruf shown through with this singular creation which wowed many. Like many Rufs, however, it shied away from major tests and we only knew so much of this mid-engined marvel.
Putting it against a modern GT2 RS in picturesque surroundings might be the best way to showcase the real performance of this elusive supercar. Both make 700 horsepower, though the CTR3 has an additional 103 lb-ft of torque, although that figure is reached 2,000 rpm later in the CTR3’s powerband. Additionally, the 3,086-pounds CTR3 is a good 150 pounds lighter than the GT2 RS. So how does the modern car streak ahead down this runway?
Despite the CTR3 using a sequential gearbox, it’s the PDK in the 991 GT2 RS which shifts far faster. Though selecting a gear in the CTR3 only requires a pull of the gear lever, the owner still depresses the clutch and thus extends the shift time. Manually launching the car takes more guesswork, too; the GT2 RS leaves the line without any fiddling of the clutch or wheelspin.
Additionally, the GT2 RS has its motor sitting over the driven wheels, while the CTR3‘s spaceframe sets its 3.8-liter motor in the middle of the car. While this spaceframe, made from billet aluminum and called “The Birdcage,” is stiff and directs the power to the pavement with minimal fuss, it still cannot turn the power into propulsion as efficiently.
Combine those qualities with the near-electric torque of the GT2 RS, and it’s easy to understand why the modern car is so much quicker in a straight line. There’s a driver variable at play which accounts for some of the disparity in straightline speed, but even with a professional drag racer at the wheel of the CTR3, it’s likely the GT2 RS would still be the first at the horizon.