Right now, over 700bhp isn’t all that shocking an output for a supercar. If anything, it’s starting to become the norm. McLaren breached that barrier ages ago with the 720S, soon followed by the similarly powerful F8 Tributo from Ferrari, alongside which we’ll soon have the 819bhp 296 GTB.
The car seen on this page produces not far off the power figure of the 720S, but the difference is, it came out in 2009. Please give a warm welcome to the Ruf) Rt12 S, which made conventional supercars of the time look like damp squibs.
The starting point for this car was the Rt12, which in turn was based on a 997-generation 911. It was Ruf’s first 997-based car, but the legendary Porsche tuner decided to power it with the M96 flat-six from the 996. By the time Ruf was done with it, the engine displaced 3.8-litres and wore a couple of turbochargers.
The output? 641bhp, which was fed to either all wheels or just the rears (depending on the customer’s preference) via a manual gearbox and a mechanical limited-slip differential. Also on the menu were various new body parts (some made from carbon fibre), fully adjustable suspension and vast brakes.
When the S came along, buyers of the original could go to Ruf and have their standard Rt12 upgraded to match the new spec. That’s what the original owner of this 2006 example did, coming away with updated aero, carbon ceramic brakes and a further enlivened flat-six developing nearly 700bhp.
It was first registered and delivered in Miami, Florida in early 2007, specced with a roll cage, a longer sixth gear and sports seats clad in gorgeous cocoa brown leather. Just before that, CT sister title evo magazine drove it on the Nurburgring for a feature involving the famed Ruf CTR Yellowbird.
It was sent back to Ruf in July 2009 with 11,500 miles on the clock, spending the best part of two years with the company as it received the S stuff and switched its original silver exterior finish for matte black. After getting it back, the first keeper quickly racked up a further 10,000 before selling the car to Lamborghini Palm Beach.
It’d remain there until late 2015, when it was bought by entrepreneur and Cannonballer Ed Bolian. Huber Motor Cars in Virginia took the keys in 2018, sending the car to a Ruf specialist in Carrollton, Texas for a $32,000 overhaul. This included an engine rebuild, a new clutch and rebuilt brake calipers.
Now suitably freshened up and ready to scare its next owner silly, the Rt12 S is up for auction via RM Sotheby’s at the company’s Amelia Island sale on 5 March. The estimate is $300,000 - $400,000 USD, or £220,000 - £295,000.