Ruf Automobile GmbH is known for building some of the fastest Porsche-based cars ever created, such as the Rt 12 with which we hit 217.1 mph on the Autobahn one dark evening in Germany in 2005. But in a nod to alternative propulsion methods, this small company situated in the Bavarian town of Pfaffenhausen has lately strayed from 700-bhp twin-turbo gasoline-powered flat-6 engines to battery-powered electric motors: To wit, the new Ruf Stormster.
Based on Porscheâ€™s Cayenne SUV, the Stormster, says Ruf, is the very first electrically-powered Cayenne. A Siemens electric motor provides the Stormsterâ€™s propulsion, putting out 270 kW, or the equivalent of 367 hp. This is the same motor that powers Rufâ€™s Greenster 911-based electric sports car, itself an evolution of the eRuf concept that we test-drove in the December 2008 issue of R&T. The lithium-ion batteries in the Ruf Stormster come from Li-Tec Battery of Germany.
Ruf says the Stormster, with a total vehicle weight of 5886 lb. (which is a little over 1000 lb. heavier than the Cayenne V-6), hits 100 km/h (62 mph) in 10 seconds, and can continue on to a not-exactly-hair-raising top speed of 93 mph. But possibly the most important performance figure for the Ruf Stormster is its claimed range of 124 miles between charges. The all-wheel-drive Ruf Stormster rides on specially developed Hankook winter tires (size 295/30R-22) fitted to Rufâ€™s classically understated lightweight 5-spoke wheels.
The Ruf Stormster is currently on display in Copenhagen, Denmark, at the United Nations Climate Change Conference. Certainly a fitting launching ground.