German auto manufacturing and traditional Americana may seem like an unlikely marriage, but the bespoke car specialists at RUF are here to prove that opposites attract. RUF, the famed Porsche tuner, which has officially been recognized as a manufacturer in its own right since since 1981, unleashed the new Rodeo Concept this week, a 911-based off-roader with country-western aesthetics. Yee-haw!
Speaking of cowboys, the Rodeo’s got horses in the back – 500, to be exact – thanks to flat-six engine (a 700-horsepower twin-turbo unit fits, too). RUF also altered the suspension to accommodate longer travel, and added a four-wheel-drive system and all-terrain tires for off-roading. The interior nods to ranch life, with nearly every surface upholstered in chapped leather you’d find on the saddle and Navajo-inspired fabrics line the seatbacks.
The name itself has a double meaning: the car is a nod to Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills and, of course, the competitive cowboy’s sport. The Rodeo was also inspired by two unlikely sources: Ralph Lauren and Beverly Hills. Lauren, who knows a thing or two about cars and designs an equestrian-inspired sub-brand, is a friend of RUF, as is Bruce Meyer, the founder of Annual Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance in Beverly Hills, an annual free, public auto show exhibiting luxury cars. Sadly, the car is just a prototype and may never make it to production. But we’re already big fans of cowboy style, so if it ever does get built, we’re ready to saddle up and and give the Rodeo a spin. Giddy up!