Ruf Automobile, the German tuner famous for creating incredible Porsches like the CTR Yellowbird, is turning its attention to electric performance cars.
The company plans to unveil a high-performance electric sports car prototype later next month. It’s expected to be based on the Porsche 911’s bodyshell and will be a rival for the £90k Tesla Roadster.
Like the Tesla, Ruf’s electric 911 will be fitted with a lithium-ion battery pack that will offer a range of 150-180 miles from full charge.
That’s around 50 miles less than the Tesla can manage but - using a 200bhp electric motor that’s expected to develop around 500lb ft torque - the electric RUF should be quicker off the mark, and able to reach top speeds in excess of the Tesla’s 125mph.
Ruf currently specialises in upgrading and converting modern Porsches, but it also builds bespoke and heavily modified models like the CTR 3 (pictured) from the bare chassis up.
For now there are no pictures of the electric RUF and bosses at the German tuner insists that it will only be a prototype with no marketing strategy. So the company is well behind Tesla, which is bringing the Roadster to market worldwide and building a new US factory. But it remains an interesting change of direction for Ruf - a sure sign that big German tuning houses are looking beyond massive petrol-powered performance.
We don’t know how much the electric 911 might cost, or whether converting an existing 997 would be an option. But with the current price of Li-ion battery technology, it’s likely to be a very expensive process.