Will Porsche design a new 911 Safari rally car?

The unique Safari Rally Porsche 911s of the late 1970s are motorsport icons, but could the German marque be planning a new off-road sports car based on the new 992 model?

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The Porsche 911 story is one that is full of twists and turns as the sports car evolved into the highly accomplished machine that it is today. However, one of the most intriguing chapters in this Porsche’s story is the time it went rallying in the 1970s. According to Autocar India, the recently revealed 992 911 might return to its off-roading heritage.

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‘The 911 is the centre point for all design at Porsche and you will see its influence in other vehicles. But taking the 911 and making an SUV out of it? Taking it higher? That could be a good idea, and of course it won't be a model range but it will be a limited, a very niche product.’ Detlev von Platen, a member of the executive board for sales and marketing at Porsche, told Autocar India.

While this is more of a musing than concrete evidence that Porsche will produce a high-riding 911 that’s capable of venturing off the beaten track, it is plausible. Of late the German marque has produced a series of limited-run specials including the GT2 RS Clubsport and a reborn 935 ‘Moby Dick’. It wouldn’t be a stretch to imagine a $500,000 limited run of such a car – say about 100 examples. We’d love to see that!

So what would it take for the 992 911 to tackle the Safari Rally? Well, obviously some taller and more compliant suspension is a must, but then you also need to think about shielding for the engine. Hardy running gear, bullbar, snorkel, stripped-out interior, ducktail spoiler, and a retro livery should see it right.

Porsche took its 911 SC to the East African Safari Rally in 1978 and was the only team to get both of its cars to the finish. Later it took on the punishing Paris Dakar event with highly modified Porsche 959s.

While Porsche clearly has a history of rallying 911s, and a new car would be a great way to celebrate an up and coming anniversary, it’s little more than conjecture at this point. We’ll let you know if we hear anything more.

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