Ruf’s new Yel­low­bird, Porsche’s new 992, engine up­grades from Hartech, just to skim the sur­face of this is­sue


The world that is Porsche is as wide as it is long, you’ve only got to look at the front cover of this is­sue to see that. Ruf’s car­bon tubbed, car­bon bod­ied Yel­low­bird CTR-4 stretches the def­i­ni­tion of Porsche to its very lim­its. Is it a Porsche at all? Well, given that Ruf is clas­si­fied as a man­u­fac­turer in its own right in Ger­many, it per­haps doesn’t re­ally mat­ter, but I would de­scribe it as a Porsche in shape and me­chan­i­cal lay­out only, so rad­i­cal is it un­der the skin, de­spite its retro looks.

The Porsche 992 model 911 is the real fac­tory deal. We’ve got the Porsche ap­proved and sanc­tioned ‘ride’ story in this is­sue. It’s cer­tainly rather more than a 991 up­date, but we’ll re­serve full judge­ment un­til we get be­hind the wheel very soon. One thing, though: it’s bloomin’ huge!

Much more my cup of tea and wor­thy of a cov­er­line are the new big ca­pac­ity en­gines from Hartech. Hartech re­build 150 M96/M97, flat-six, wa­ter-cooled en­gines a year and fig­ure that, as well as get­ting a fresh engine, own­ers might well like some­thing big­ger and more pow­er­ful, too, for not a lot ex­tra in terms of cost. En­ter, then, Hartech’s 3.7-litre and 3.9-litre en­gines and Barry Hart’s the­ory of power from torque, rather than the usual ob­ses­sion with power from revs. And good­ness, do they work. My own 996 would cer­tainly ben­e­fit, al­though I’m not wish­ing an engine re­build on it any time soon. How­ever, driv­ing Hartech’s mod­ded 996s (and Cay­man) did in­spire me to at least get the bat­tery charger on it, and book it in for ex­ten­sive/ex­pen­sive body­work repairs. So thanks for that, I think.

I would say it’s a Porsche in shape and me­chan­i­cal lay­out only

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