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Thursday, February 9, 2023

New Porsche 911 ‘Safari’ spied wearing facelifted 992 body

Porsche is preparing an all-terrain ‘Safari’ version of the 911, and these spy shots give us our best look yet at the jacked-up, rally-inspired sports car as it undergoes development.

These images reveal that the new variant will be based on the facelifted 992-generation 911, which will see minor design tweaks over the outgoing model.

The raised ride height is immediately obvious, and 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 to accommodate chunkier tyres, while a neater front bumper has been fitted as part of the facelift.

The rear end is largely concealed by camouflage, but 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. The rear spoiler is new, too, which could be a Safari-specific item or part of the redesign.

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…

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