Ruf Automobile started life in 1939 in the small town of Pfaffenhausen in the heart of Bavaria, Germany. Soon, the family business started making a name for itself for building high-performance and beautiful cars, with high levels of craftsmanship. Today, the company has become synonymous with one car in particular, the Porsche 911. Alois Ruf Jr, son of the founder of Ruf and current chairman, tells us why he loves the 911 and why it has inspired his company to make some of the most iconic and powerful sportscars on the road.
What does Motul mean to you and your company?
Motul is like family. We're not dealing with a with an international multi-billion-dollar company. We are dealing with a company where communication goes very quickly when a special, individual request comes from our side. It's being answered within the shortest time, and it's being implemented. No matter what we are looking for. Because Motul is a niche company, it perfectly matches with Ruf, because we are also in a niche market. We are building an automobile for people that have a very, very high expectations. And I sometimes compare it a little bit to a mechanical Swiss watch. The match between Motul and Ruf is a perfect one.
Before every car leaves the factory, you drive it personally. What is it that defines a Ruf car technically?
Well, the most important thing is the simplest. It’s all about power to weight. Adding lightness is the best add on you can have, as Lotus chief Colin Chapman once beautifully said. I think that’s great. But even though Ruf are lightweight vehicles, they are still super high-performance cars that can compete against the biggest names out there. For these type of engines, proper lubrication is most important. We aren’t necessarily dealing with the highest oil temperatures, because we are using very good oil cooling systems.
Why is quality lubrication so important in high-performance engines, and what makes Motul lubricants stand out?
The lubrication film is always guaranteed with Motul oils. And Motul is building variations of lubricants for all types of engine. This is important because many of these cars are driven in good weather in the summer, so we don't need an oil that works at -30 degrees Celsius. Today, car manufacturers are obliged to make an oil that works at -30 degrees Celsius and +45 degrees Celsius. It’s a very wide range and you have to make compromises. Motul’s oil are less compromised because they are made specifically for the engine and the conditions we're using it in.
What added value does having a company like Motul onboard bring to Ruf?
Motul is a worldwide company, but it’s not corporate. We can speak to the owner, the engineers, the people from the distribution and sales. And you feel that you have a company where the competent people are in a small circle. They're all together, and you can talk to them and implement things very quickly.