911 Safari Tease: Porsche climbs the highest volcano in the world
Porsche took two specially modified 911s to Chile. One even drove 20,000 feet up the side of a volcano.
Porsche subjected the 911 to an almost unimaginable new test. The sports car team traveled to Chile to climb the side of the world’s tallest volcano.
This PR stunt shows just how tough the modern 992 generation of the Porsche 911 can be with the right modifications, and it also raises the level of excitement for the soon-to-be-unveiled 2023 Safari 911, although Porsche hasn’t not officially announced this production model. Again.
The last in the long history of 911 off-roaders
The Porsche 911 began its off-road racing career in 1971. Porsche entered five cars in the 4,000-mile East African Safari Rally that year, and only one of the five managed to finish.
The off-road 911 really took off when Porsche built the 953, which was a heavily modified 4×4 version of the 911. This car entered and won the 1984 Paris-Dakar Rally and served as the basis for the legendary 959.
When the 959 followed that 953 race car, the road-going Porsche AWD was born. The 911 got its first AWD system in 1988, badged Carrera 4, and since then the all-wheel-drive option has been a key part of the 911’s performance.
Preparation for the ascent of the volcano Porsche 911
For this Chilean challenge, Porsche started with two copies of its 911 Carrera 4S. They deliver 443 horsepower from their standard turbocharged flat-six engines and are equipped with the available seven-speed transmission. manual transmission.
Porsche’s R&D team in Weissach then worked with Romain Dumas Motorsport to create these volcano-climbing beasts. First, the cars were fitted with roll bars, carbon seats and full harnesses. Safety was paramount, going to extremes in the remote area.
Then Porsche installed a massively raised suspension and portal axles. Portal axles add a gearbox to each corner and lower the wheel centers relative to the axle centers. The effect is more ground clearance, and these Volcano 911s now have 13.7 inches. It’s half an inch longer than a Ford Raptor Retrieve.
New gear ratios were chosen to allow smoother throttle inputs at lower speeds. The new gears also work well to help turn big tires. Porsche didn’t say size, but we can see Cooper Discoverer STT Pro and BFG All terrain tires in the pictures.
The extremely modified body does its best to cover all the tires. The bumpers have been cut to allow them to clear the terrain, and massive air intakes where the rear side glass used to live help the engine breathe at such great heights. An aramid fiber underbody lets the 911 glide over rocks when things get a little too hairy.
The last big change is a bit of a mystery. Porsche calls the device the “Warp-Connecter” and says it’s a mechanical link that makes wheel loads constant as the suspension flexes. It looks like a center differential lock accompanied by manual lockers in the front and rear axles.
20,000 feet car and driver challenges
The trek was a far cry from your ordinary testing session. Porsche took the cars to 19,708 feet above sea level. At this height, the team had to bring own accommodation. They also had to deal with half the oxygen you would find near the ocean.
Endurance racer Romain Dumas drove one of the two 911s and was the team leader. He drove his rally-ready 911 up the side of the volcano. Cars were stopped not for lack of air, but when they hit walls of ice and snow, they could not pass.
“It was a truly memorable and special moment in a place that was both beautiful and brutal,” he said. “I guess the only machines in the world taller than us today were airplanes!”
Porsche says the goal was to show what the 911 was capable of. We know the real reason for this impressive PR stunt is to tease and excite people about the upcoming 2023 911 Safari, Porsche’s first Safari-style sports car available to the general public.
Although they haven’t officially announced such a production model, they’ve teased it for a long time. And we have it from good source that it will be revealed in 2022 LA Auto Show End of november.