Porsche takes its latest generation to the world tallest volcano using a decades-old recipe.

Porsche is leaving the tarmac with its 911 and entering new terrain. A prototype development, two Porsche 911s have tackled the task of climbing the world’s highest volcano.

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It is also a celebration of the Dakar 959 which travelled across Africa three decades ago. This time, it is the 992 Carrera 4S which has had the Safari treatment. And this could be a hint to what the rumoured upcoming 911 Safari will bring.
At the wheel was Le Mans winner Romain Dumas who reached an impressive peak altitude of 19,708ft (6007m). At such altitude there’s a 50 per cent reduction in oxygen posing challenges for both car and driver.
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‘No one has seen so much ice and snow up towards the top of the volcano, but despite this we went over 6000 metres up, to the point where the walls of ice and snow meant we could go no further. We’re really proud of what the car and the team are capable of first time out,’ said Dumas.
To put them to the test, Porsche took the pair of prototypes to Ojos del Salado in Chile, the world’s highest volcano with a peak altitude of 22,614ft (6892m).
Though based on the ordinary road-going 992 Carrera 4S, the pumped-up 4×4 style portal axles, large off-road tyres, differential locks and Aramid fibre underbody protection all contribute to an improvement in off-road performance. A roll-cage, carbonfibre seats and harnesses are also included for safety, with the cooling system shifted upwards to reduce the risk of damage.
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Thanks to the portal axles and revised bodywork, each prototype now has ground clearance of 350mm, with a winch and steer-by-wire system also new. Gear ratios have been lowered to allow for better low-speed precision, with the ‘Porsche Warp-Connecter’ mechanically linking all four wheels for constant wheel load, offering maximum traction even under extreme conditions.
These models won’t make it to production, but time will tell if they’re a sign of things to come with a Porsche 911 Safari model.

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Alex Rae

Alex Rae brings almost two decades’ experience, previously working at publications including Wheels, WhichCar, Drive/Fairfax, Carsales.com.au, AMC, Just Cars, and more.

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