RUF Automobile, the German garage that specializes in bespoke sports cars, has released a new concept car that blends inspiration from Western cowboy culture, as well as from the posh car community of Beverly Hills, California. The RUF Rodeo Concept bases its looks on a Porsche 911 and has been outfitted in rally gear for off-road adventuring.
The RUF Rodeo Concept might have the appearance of a Porsche rally car, but underneath, the build is more complicated than that. At the core of the vehicle is the same carbon fiber monocoque chassis that was used in RUF's previously released CTR Anniversary and SCR, so it's not really a Porsche. With RUF's bespoke setup, this car can accommodate either a naturally aspirated or turbocharged flat-six engine. No performance details were mentioned beyond that.
The name Rodeo is a double entendre that evokes two completely different worlds. Rodeo, as in row-day-oh, and rodeo, as in row-dee-oh. “The concept for the Rodeo was inspired by our friends and customers, like the founder of the Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance Bruce Meyer, Phillip Sarofim (who supposedly has ties to Texas), and Ralph Lauren," RUF Marketing Director Estonia Ruf said. "The love for sporty cars and to the culture of the Wild West was to be reflected in the Rodeo, something which is also for me personally a memory of my time in Oklahoma.”
To prepare the Rodeo for off-roading, RUF first lifted the vehicle and altered the suspension to have longer travel. It also added a four-wheel-drive system and chunkier all-terrain tires. A two-tone color scheme gives the appearance of body cladding, and a brush guard protects the car's nose from debris. Four off-road lights litter the scooped hood, a roof rack adds more cargo capacity, and a read-deck-mounted shovel is available when the car gets stuck. Saddle leather is also found on the exterior in the form of body straps, light covers, and travel luggage.
Inside, the rancher lifestyle is clear. Nearly every surface, including the seats, door panels, dashboard, and steering wheel, is covered in the same leather as what's used outside. The seats are also jazzed up with with "Navajo-inspired fabrics reminiscent of the Cowboys and Indians roaming the American southwest." What's not leather is either carbon fiber or other premium-touch materials such as the metal for the volume knob.
Tying the whole package together is the fact that Alois Ruf Jr. and Estonia Ruf first met in Oklahoma City. Estonia introduced Alois to country culture, and thus, Estonia was the lead ideator for the Rodeo. The pair publicly unveiled the car online in the video below.
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The RUF Rodeo Concept was conceived, designed, engineered, and built for one reason alone – we thought it would be fun! The car is the first ever off-road car with a carbon fibre monocoque making it light and sporty, but also ready to tackle any road. Inspired by our friends and RUF owners Bruce Meyer, Phillip Sarofim and Ralph Lauren.
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