Yeehaw !!! The Rodeo is here! No, it´s not a Dakar-Ralley Porsche, it´s an offroad RUF concept. And “Rodeo“ seems a strange enough name for a Bavarian manufacturer´s 911-clone-offroader that may make you wonder what the connection to America´s wild west is that this concept car radiates not only by its name. The answer is that Alois (a most Bavarian first name) and his wife Estonia, who has contributed much to the Rodeo´s design, first met in Oklahoma City. Clad in Ralph Lauren´s 2011 Western Collection, which further inspired the car´s design, she joins her husband in presenting the Rodeo (plus the SCR and CTR) in a 2020 video clip. And it´s not called “Rodeo“ because its 710 horses may throw you into the ditch, but because of Alois ´ friendship with Bruce Meyer, initiator of the Rodeo Drive Concours d´Elegance, and Texan RUF-collector Phillip Sarofim who wanted a show-car. That it definitely is, a looker, standing out with its odd mix of a Teutonic carbon 911 body, wild west design cues, offroad stance and tyres, even though few will want to put its offroad capabilities to the test or utilize it on a ranch. So how are Almost Real, who have not just made yet another offroader here, but are occupying an uncontested niche, filling the openable RUF gap?
Alois first introduces the RUF … err … roof rack as a feature. Almost Real has not only replicated the wood so credible that it is indistinguishable from real wood but also provides customized luggage. Nice touch! The CTR body is painted in matt gold (sand colour) and NATO green (to commemorate a former RUF test mule) and Almost Real has done a really nice job here, especially with the red pinstripe separating the two main colours. Added Ralley-lights and the brown bull-bar with a real rope wrapped around it on Almost Real´s model add to the basic utilitarian cowboy design more than a winch would. The shovel mounted on the back looks a lot more realistic than most shovels I have seen on other off-road models. Most notably the detailed straps that are seemingly securing the front and rear hoods and attaching accessories are contributing to the Almost Real quality. Similarly, the delicate red recovery loops front and rear and the electric power-cut-off lever front of the windshield add to the realism (but are the most likely parts to break off). The brown mud flaps are less likely to break but add to the offroad feel.
Ride height is aptly increased and as a first on an Almost Real, the wheels have tyre branding. Detail on the rims wheel nuts, brake discs and calipers are great, but there are no valves. The tyre tread may seem not off-roady rough enough but is replicating the original´s spot on. Suspension-wise, contrary to what you may expect from an off-road-going vehicle, the wheels are un-sprung.
There is not much going on under the hoods front and rear. Up front, the carbon pattern is moulded into what´s under the hood and mine has someone´s gluey fingerprint. The aft engine cover has perforated mesh that allows glances into the bay, where engine detail is decent, near Norev´s better efforts, but nowhere near what other Almost Real had to offer. The RUF script embossed into the exhaust tips is some nice attention to detail.
The interior is dominated by brown meant to mimic the extensively used saddle leather. However, it lacks the unevenly coloured leather effect and, although all the knobs are buttons are there, the gear lever looks unduly undetailed because of this. The Indian pattern rug-like inlays on seats and door trim on the other hand credibly look like fabric and I had to touch them to convince myself they are not. The seatbelts are fabric with photo-etched buckles as a matter of course. The floor deserves special attention, from the carbon on the door sills and the pattern in the footwell of the monocoque tub (and on the back of the seats) to the floor mats. In the open driver´s door frame, there is an OEM sticker or VIN plate.
All in all, if you have a soft spot for show-car concepts bordering on the odd (some comment on our announcement of it called it “simply ugly”), a RUF/Porsche theme or offroad-focus in your collection, this is a must-have. American Diorama Western Style figures complement it well. Enjoy the pictures, which are not (all) mine. So please keep in mind that my words are based on my #718, not DiecastSociety’s model as per provided photos… before complaining about me having missed QC issues evident from the photographs.