Porsche has modded two 911s and sent them up the world’s highest volcano

By topgear, 07 November 2022

Porsche has modded two 911s and sent them up the world’s highest volcano

Not content with its place as the go-to performance car of the road and racing circuit world, Porsche has decided - for reasons that aren’t entirely clear - that the 911 also needs to master off-roading as well.

Cue this. Or rather, these: what Porsche has dubbed an ‘experimental’ pair of 911s, created by a dedicated team in Weissach working alongside Romain Dumas Motorsport. And no, they're not likely to find their way into a showroom any time soon.

Starting out with a 992-generation Carrera 4S, engineers kept the standard flat-six engine and its 450hp, although the original 7spd gearbox now has much lower ratios for gentle application of the throttle while teetering over boulders.

A rollcage has been fitted (for obvious reasons), as well as carbonfibre seats, harnesses, a lightweight Aramid fibre underbody for added protection, plus portal axles that boost ground clearance to 350mm. In a 911!

Large off-road tyres are a given of course, as are the manual, switchable diff locks and the huge 310mm-wide off-road tyres. The cooling system was also moved out of harm’s way, and Porsche’s Warp-Connector - usually used in motorsport - was fitted to allow a mechanical link between all four wheels for the best possible traction.

With all that done, the team then headed for the slopes of Ojos del Salado in Chile, which happens to be the tallest volcano in the world. Yikes.

With temperatures dropping as low as -30 Celsius the 911s reached an altitude of just over 6,000m before calling it quits, less than 900m below the summit. Still, that’s a pretty good effort considering the credentials of the vehicle, and that there’s only half as much oxygen up there as there is at sea level.

“This was a truly memorable and special moment in a place that’s both beautiful and brutal at the same time – I guess the only machines anywhere in the world higher than us today were aircraft!” exclaimed Romain Dumas, who was behind the wheel for the attempt.

“For the team and the car it was about learning – and right out of the box, the car was tough and nimble. We were hard on ourselves and really put it in the deep end for its first test, yet it felt at home.

“We have enormous respect for those who have gone higher. No one has seen so much ice and snow up towards the top of the volcano, but despite this we went over 6,000 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 – hopefully we can count on many more adventures in the future.”

What’s next, a Dakar Rally bid?

STORY Joe Holding

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