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 |  Mar 04 2009, 10:48 AM

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RUF is arguably the best-known tuner of Porsches and is even listed as a vehicle manufacturer in Germany. And yet the company has steered clear of the high-volume Cayenne SUV. Until now.

Perhaps its the downturn in the economy that has RUF looking for new ways to solidify its bottom line, because it’s not like they have come up with anything particularly new here.

OK, we’ll admit that the redesigned front end, made to look like a 911, is a new idea and RUF pulled it off excellently. The Dakara is also a wide body with flared fenders and other aerodynamic enhancements, like side skirts, a new rear bumper and a spoiler.

Other than that, the Dakara is just more of what we have already seen from TechArt, Rinspeed, Speedart, etc.

The twin-turbo V8 engine has been massaged to create 600hp at 6000 rpm and 656 ft-lbs of torque at 3000 rpm. RUF says this is enough for the big SUV to hustle to 62 mph in 4.8 seconds.

Other highlights include an upgraded suspension, a big set of RUF’s signature style wheels, a more powerful braking system (with ceramic brakes optional) and a high-end multimedia system, complete with a TV receiver, internet access and a CD/DVD player.

It may not be terribly new, but RUF is a company that is more about quality than about being the first to market.

GALLERY: RUF Dakara

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