Porsche has modified a 911 Carrera 4S to tackle a climb up the world’s highest volcano – Ojos del Salado in Chile.
For at least the last decade, there have been rumours that Porsche plans to build an off-road 911 – however incongruous that may seem – dubbed the 911 Safari.
Those rumours have intensified again recently, and although there’s no official word from Porsche perhaps there’s more than a hint in Porsche’s latest extreme adventure – taking a 911 up Ojos del Salado in Chile, the world’s highest volcano.
Not naturally the ablest off-road car, Porsche had to modify the 911 extensively, although despite the thin air at height the Carrera 4S didn’t need any additional tweaking to perform, and retained its seven-speed manual ‘box too, albeit driving lower gear ratios.
The tweaks needed to make the 911 ready included roll cage, carbon fibre seats and harnesses, portal axles for 350mm ground clearance, off-road tyres and Aramid underbody protection for sliding over rocks.
Porsche also fitted a ‘Porsche Warp Connector’, a device used in Motorsport which creates a mechanical link between all four wheels to allow constant load even when the chassis is experiencing extreme articulation, as well as diff locks, steer-by-wire, front winch, modified cooling system and revised bodywork to accommodate.
The result was a 911 – driven by Romain Dumas, who broke the Goodwood FoS Hillcimb record in the electric VW R – making it to 19,708 feet up Ojos del Salado, not quite to the summit but as far up as any wheeled vehicle has ever gone, with further progress impossible thanks to impassable walls of snow and ice.
Michael Rösler, 911 Chief Engineer, said:
It’s been magical to build a 911 like the world has never seen before – made possible by a small team of engineering enthusiasts. The 911 has already been proven on the track and, of course, on the road. With this project, we‘re shifting the focus to where there are no roads.
Testing our theories means finding the harshest possible environments to see if they work – and on the highest volcano in the world, we succeeded.
After this outing, a 911 Safari looks more than likely.