The 911 has been so painstakingly improved by Porsche over the years that “tuning” it seems almost sacrilegious. But German company RUF goes well beyond that to turn out ridiculously fast modified versions of the iconic brand. Now, they have done something even more extraordinary and made a plug-in electric version that sets the bar pretty high for all other electrics.
By far the biggest producer of tuned-up Porsches, RUF Automobile takes unmarked Porsche bodies and chassis, injects even more power and performance into them, and sells these supercars as their own brand. Their newest creation is the 2010 eRUF Model A, a Porsche 911 that uses a UQM Technologies propulsion system and lithium-ion batteries provided by Calmotors to be Germany’s first fully electric sportscar.
To partially calm the nerves of those who worry that RUF has diluted their performance credentials by reaching out to the environmental masses, the eRUF Model A delivers decent numbers by any standard. According to reports, the motor produces around 204 horsepower and goes from 0 to 60 mph in less than seven seconds with an impressive top speed of 160 mph. However, the area electric motors really excel is torque. The eRUF is capable of the equivalent of 479 ft/lbs of torque that begins IMMEDIATELY at zero RPM and continues all the way up to 5,000 RPM.
Although it is strikingly Porsche on the outside, because of the absence of the traditional powerplant, dash and token back seats, much of the bodywork including both bumpers and rear deck are made from new aerodynamically-enhanced pieces of fiberglass. Since there is no need for much power plant cooling, the front bumper, rear bumper and the rear deck are all new aerodynamic fiberglass pieces all rolling on 19-inch Ruf wheels.
Like all electrics and hybrids, the batteries regenerate by both plugging in at night or through friction created with engine deceleration and braking. A plugged-in recharge to a 10 hours and gives the eRUF a projected of 200 miles. To date, three paying customers have already committed to purchasing the new vehicle at a price said to approach $250,000.