Some of the best Porsches of all time have been stripped down speed machines built explicitly for the purpose of going up a hill as quickly as possible. Ruf took inspiration from the Bergmeister cars Porsche built in the 1950s and 60s, namely the RS 60 Spyder, various iterations of 906, and the zero-compromise 909 Bergspyder, to build this new one-off special based on a 993 chassis. This is as stripped back and minimalist as Porsches can really get, and I am 100% here for it. With 450 turbocharged horsepower on tap from a 3.6-liter flat six hung out the back, and weighing in at just 2425 pounds, this car is a certified screamer from the get go.
Speaking of the engine, it’s based largely on Ruf’s work with the also-993-based CTR 2 back in the 1990s. That car and this one feature better engine management, probably even better these days, as well as upgraded internals—like titanium connecting rods—and way more boost to crank up the horses. The Bergmeister features a modern 6-speed manual transmission, fitted with a limited slip differential, natch. The car features carbon brakes to keep rotating and unsprung mass to a minimum while improving braking response. Those brakes are hiding behind bespoke 19-inch diameter center-lock wheels and sticky tires.
“When we began building our own automobiles in 1974, it was all for the thrill of the drive,” said owner Alois Ruf. “We are honored to be featured at The Quail and to celebrate the passion for driving with our friends. Bergmeister embodies the most elemental driving experience, while the SCR highlights the latest technology offerings from our team in Pfaffenhausen.”
The permanently open top 993 with a chopped windshield and stripped back interior is festooned with custom carbon fiber bodywork to help keep the weight down. All of this custom bodywork, from the giant brake ducts to the lack of rear bumper cover were the visual decree of none other than the guy who originally penned the 993, Tony Hatter. This all seems purely appropriate if you’re going to try to re-design an icon of an era with a nod to modern performance. This isn’t the 993 Tony wishes he’d drawn, but it’s the 993 he’d draw today, which makes it an extra step of interesting. Inside you won’t find much design, as it has all been stripped to a minimum and trimmed in black alcantara and a smidge of iconic Porsche Pepita cloth. The dashboard is equipped with just three switches; one for fog lights, one for fan speed, and one to cut out the battery.
Ruf says the car will be headed to production, as about 15 potential customers have been identified. The coming customer version will be based on Ruf’s own carbon monocoque which underpins the CTR Anniversary and the SCR, so the Bergspyder will likely shed a few more pounds still from this stamped steel 993-chassis machine shown here. Can they get it under 2,000 pounds? Boy, that would be a riot, wouldn’t it?