New Porsche 911 ‘Safari’ spied testing at the Nurburgring
Facelifted 992 will be joined by a new off-road ‘Safari’ version of the Porsche 911
The Porsche 911 is one of the most loved sports cars in history, but the German firm is looking to take its icon and give it some off-road prowess with a new ‘Safari’ model.
We’ve seen the all-terrain ‘Safari’ 911 testing before but these spy shots give us our best look yet at the jacked-up, rally-inspired sports car as it undergoes development.
Based on the upcoming revised 992-generation of 911, the raised ride height is the most obvious change. This should allow the 911 Safari to tackle tricky terrain like few other sports cars. The wheel arches have been extended with black plastic body cladding, while a neater front bumper has been fitted as part of the facelift.
There’s room for chunky off-road tyres, but as it’s testing on the Nurburgring, Porsche has sensibly fitted some Pirelli P-Zero tyres. The new images also reveal Fuchs-style five-spoke wheels have been added, no doubt as a homage to its 1978 Porsche 911 SC ‘Safari’ rally car.
Given the rear end is still concealed by camouflage, we expect a revised lower bumper and more plastic body protection for the Safari. This development prototype appears to wear Porsche’s SportDesign rear bumper, with the number plate mounted higher up, although it remains to be seen whether this optional styling package will be offered with the facelift. There’s also a new rear spoiler, although it’s not a ducktail spoiler like the original Safari.
Elsewhere, there are no air ducts incorporated into the rear haunches, suggesting this test car could be based on either the two-wheel drive Carrera 2S or a four-wheel drive Carrera 4S powertrain. That would mean an output of either 380bhp or 444bhp. In order to maximise off-road capability, the four-wheel drive set-up of the 4S is the more likely option.
While we have no performance numbers, the standard Carrera 4S with Porsche’s eight-speed PDK dual-clutch gearbox sprints from 0-62mph in just 3.4 seconds when optioned with the Sport Chrono Pack - although we’d expect a slightly slower time for a 911 Safari, but not by much.
Given the positive response Porsche specialist Singer received when unveiling its ACS - a modern-day tribute to the 911 SC and 959 competitors Porsche entered into the Paris-Dakar Rally - a modernised Safari 911 could present an attractive business case for Porsche. The German brand has toyed with the idea of recreating its iconic 1978 Porsche 911 SC ‘Safari’ rally car before, with a 2012 concept based on the 991-generation of Porsche’s rear-engined sports car.
The 911 Safari is one of two all-terrain high-performance sports cars currently undergoing development - we recently spied the Lamborghini Huracan Sterrato, a raised V10-powered off-road special that will see off the Huracan’s final days.
Check out our full in-depth review of the current Porsche 911 here...