What is it?
This is the RUF Concept Model A.
RUF is a small producer of remanufactured Porsches and, not entirely coincidentally, an owner of a large hydro-electric power station. It made this first prototype largely because it felt like it but it is now planning to recruit sufficient staff to make 30-odd electric cars a year.
This prototype lacks some finesse, but it is a prototype, after all. In place of the engine is a compact, 201bhp electric motor that generates 479lb ft of torque from a standstill.
RUF left the regular transmission in place. Having melted some clutches and realising the car will still hit 62mph in 7sec in sixth gear, it now leaves it in sixth and will remove the gearbox from future versions.
Weight reduction might also lead RUF to take out some of the lithium iron phosphate batteries. At the moment they weigh 500kg and occupy the rear-seat space, the boot and some of the engine bay.
They take 10 hours to charge and give a range of up to 200 miles at an average of 50mph. Up the speed and you’ll get more like 100 miles. As usual with electric cars, you can do only what batteries allow. These are as good as it gets, but they’re expensive.
What’s it like?
In feel, the RUF Concept Model A is like a 911 filled with cement. The fine steering remains intact, but the suspension settings are far from production ready: it’s just stiff, without any finesse.
The power comes in cleanly, quietly and relatively strongly, though we weren’t able to drive it quickly.
Should I buy one?
It’s no driver’s car yet, but it has potential. Besides, RUF is realistic. It knows buyers will be minted and have conventionally powered cars too. They’ll commute in the electric 911 and have regular transport to fall back on. The RUF Concept Model A won’t change the world, but it’s not insignificant. And one of its merits is that it’ll save a few people from feeling obliged to drive an electric Smart or a G-Wiz.