The Rapid Urban Flexible project started by the Danish engineer Palle R Jensen throughout the 1990'ies. The whole point about this system of transportation is to solve the constantly rising traffic problems of all metropoles in the world. The approach taken is to have a standardized vehicle that can act as a car or a trainwagon. This combines flexibility with speed.
    Facts about the system as it is intended to look like
  • The system is a dual-mode one where the vehicles are small electric cars (RUFs) or larger Automatic People Mover units (MAXI-RUFs).
  • The vehicles can go directly from road to a triangular monorail at 30 km/h.
  • The RUF is "riding" on top of the triangular monorail. The RUF has an A-shaped slot along the underside of the vehicle. It is equipped with both normal road wheels and special simple rail wheels.
  • The RUFs can be closely coupled on the monorail.
  • The RUFs take current from the rail or from small batteries when it is driving by itself on the roads.
  • The batteries can be charged during rail driving.
  • The range on normal roads is more than 50 km.
  • The speed on normal roads is up to 80 km/h.
  • The speed on the rail can reach 200 km/h (typically 100 km/h).
  • Rail switching takes places without moving rail. The dual-mode principle is used for automatic guidance of a RUF from one rail - via road - to another rail or to the ordinary road network.
  • Normal braking on the rail is regenerative (motor=generator).
  • Emergency braking is very effective using a special direct rail brake.
  • The dual-mode RUF has room for 2-4 passengers.
  • The MAXI-RUF has room for 10 passengers.
  • The RUFs can be privately owned or public.
  • A personal smart card is used for fare collection.
  • The name RUF originates from a Danish expression where "get along in a RUF" means "go fast".
So far, small test rails exist a couple of places in Denmark, but due to lack of funds they're only about 30 ms each.
Los Angeles have considered multiple times to invest in the RUF, but so far they haven't dared. However, a report has been made about this Los Angeles scenario. The most important conclusions of this were:
  • No congestion
  • Contribution to an improvement of the air quality
  • Relaxed rail travel
  • Door-to-door transportation
  • A public transport system with 3 seconds between arrivals of MAXI-RUFs
  • Non-stop between major stations during rush hour
  • Possibility of own seating arrangement
  • Easy ascending/descending
  • "Dial-a-RUF" facility
  • Waiting time at street level approx. 1 minute
  • 24-hour service on the rail system
  • Construction of a RUF-system will cost approx. $9.55 billion.
  • Maintenance of rail network and stations = $0.5 billion/year
  • Renewal of rail network and stations = $0.5 billion/year
  • Operating profit will be $2.23 billion/year. To this should be added savings for L.A. in the magnitude of $2.9 billion/year.
A company started and owned by German Alois Ruf (pronounced "roof"), RUF sell modified versions of Porsche vehicles. With a slogan of "The Perfection Of Driving Pleasure", RUF have been responsible for many popular modified Porsches including the 1987 911 CTR "Yellow Bird", the 1996 911 CTR 2 and the 1998 996 Turbo R.

Formed in 1939 by Alois Ruf Sr, RUF started out as a general service garage. In 1949 a gas station was added to the list and, six years later, coachbuilding passenger tourist buses which led to the establishment of a seperate bus company in 1955. RUF also developed a version of the infamous Volkswagen Beetle with a lower displacement and power, but better fuel economy. It was a success due to the high taxes and gas conservation of the time. In 1958 a Fiat dealership was added so that Germans could order a Fiat and have it serviced by Ruf.

After his death in 1974, Ruf's son, Ruf Jnr, took over the company. Soon after, Ruf Jnr recognised the strengths of the 911's design and so the car became the platform and backbone of the RUF company. The first RUF-modified Porsche debuted in 1977, featuring a turbocharged engine enlarged to 3.2L using larger pistons. In 1978, RUF released a modified 911 with a 217bhp 3.2L version of the six-cylinder naturally-aspirated 3L engine. In 1981 after recognising that the weakest point of the Porsche was its four-speed transmission, RUF developed its own five-speed transmission. In 1983, RUF released the BTR in narrow and turbo body configurations with a 3.4L 374bhp engine and five-speed transmission.

In 1987, RUF released one of its most famous models, the CTR "Yellow Bird". A 469bhp twin-turbo coupe, the "Yellow Bird" reached a top speed on the Nardo race track of 342km/h - a record speed for a production car at the time. RUF also became an approved manufacturer with the US authorities for safety and emissions. In Autumn 1996, RUF released the CTR 2, a sports car in the tradition of the "Yellow Bird". Incorporating state-of-the-art technology inside its 3.6L 520bhp twin-turbo flat-six engine, the CTR 2 could reach 340km/h while still being able to meet US EPA low emissions requirements. It was followed in 1997 by the CTR 2 Sport, a lightweight version. 1998 saw the release of the 993 Turbo R, with a 490bhp twin-turbo engine.

The year 2000 was no disappointment for RUF fans with the release of the RGT and the 3400 S. The 2000 RUF RGT employed enhanced GT3 technology in its 3.6L 385bhp powerplant. The 2000 Boxster S-based 3400 S utilised the 3.4L 310bhp of the Carrera along with weight reduction for additional power. In 2001, the R Turbo was released. Based on the 911 Turbo, the R Turbo uses a 3.4L 310bhp engine.

Fact: RUF Automobile GmbH is recognised by the German government as a manufacturer, so its cars carry their own serial numbers and model designations. So for American customers, RUF vehicles cannot be registered with the DMV as Porsche vehicles. RUF can also modify an existing Porsche at request (for instance, a Porsche Boxster S can be modified to 3400S-spec for US$63,000).

The list of past and present RUF vehicles is as follows, in chronological order:

  • 1977 Porsche 911 - featured a turbocharged engine enlarged to 3.3L using larger pistons
  • 1978 Porsche 911 - 3.2L 217bhp version of the naturally-aspirated 3.0L engine
  • 1983 RUF BTR - based on the 911, the BTR uses a 3.4L 374bhp engine and five-speed transmission and is available in narrow or turbo body configurations
  • 1987 RUF CTR "Yellow Bird" - based on the 911, the CTR uses a 469bhp twin-turbo coupe
  • 1996 RUF 993 CTR 2 - based on the 993, the CTR 2 uses a 3.6L 520bhp twin-turbo flat-six
  • 1997 RUF 993 CTR 2 Sport - lightweight version of 1996 CTR 2
  • 1998 RUF 993 Turbo R - based on the 993 Turbo, the Turbo R uses a 490bhp twin-turbo engine
  • 2000 RUF 3400 S - based on the Boxster S (or Boxster at additional cost), the 3400 S uses the 3.4L 310bhp engine of the Carrera along with weight reduction for additional power
  • 2000 RUF RGT - based on the 911 Carrera 2, the RGT uses the 3.6L engine from the 911 GT3
  • 2001 RUF R Turbo - based on the 2001 911 Turbo, the R Turbo uses a 3.4L 310bhp mid-mounted horizontally opposed engine

Links:
RUF Website - http://www.ruf-automobile.de
Supercars.net - http://www.supercars.net

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