2022 Porsche 911 Safari is in a class of its own

With hardcore models like the 718 Cayman GT4 RS, which is also swansong for the naturally aspirated engines of the soon-to-electric 718 range, or the downright mental 911 GT3 RS (992), Porsche is definitely at the top of the game. ICE, sort of talk.

The automaker is now expanding the 911 lineup with a model that has been foreshadowed and expected for around half a century – a full-bodied, rally-inspired version of the Nuenelfer.

Porsche actively raced and won rallies using the 911 since the 1960s, with cars like the Porsche 911 SC demolishing their rivals in the 5,000 (3,100 mile) Hell East African Safari Rally, or the fantastic 953 Monsters and 959 from Group B winning the illustrious Paris Dakar Rally in 1984 and 1986.

Generations and generations of 911 aficionados have expected Porsche to develop a production version of its anti-dune buggies into the later generations of the air-cooling era, but the German automaker stubbornly has says no every time.

The only full-bodied Safari-style versions of the 911 that have been around so far have been the work of fans and aftermarket specialists, although Porsche almost fulfilled that legacy on the 997 generation but pulled out at the last minute.

A few years ago, there was even a secret concept car called the 911 Safari, and its existence only surfaced publicly in 2020.

Coincidentally, that same year that mysterious 911 (992) prototypes on stilts began to circle public roads and even the Nürburgring.

We can confirm that Porsche is indeed launching a production 911 Safari, and that it could be one of the coolest 911 versions of all time when it goes on sale in early 2022.

As you can see from the latest spy photos, the prototypes are virtually devoid of any camouflage and appear to sport all of the production elements expected on the finalized car.

By far the biggest difference to any other 911 is the raised ground clearance, which appears to be almost as high as that of a Macan, completely transforming the position of the rear-engined sports car.

That said, take a close look and you may spot other differences as well, such as the wider track and additional fairing on the more flamboyant wheel arches.

The main mystery revolves around the type of suspension chosen by Porsche engineers, as simply using longer springs and the same geometry will not be enough.

To put it in layman’s terms, the normal Porsche 911 (992) has a coil-sprung suspension system that can only offer ride height adjustments on the front axle, and that’s thanks to a hitch lift system. optional nose.

With this in mind, it is not possible to use this solution to increase the ground clearance on both axles as the system offers no rebound and, in the standard 911, can only be used at low speeds for this very reason.

Porsche has a habit of surprising everyone with its engineering prowess, with the double wishbone front suspension of the latest 911 GT3, the first of its kind and derived directly from the 911 RSR, being a good example.

At least when it comes to track driving, the 2022 Porsche 911 Safari prototypes don’t seem to lose handling points despite their ground clearance. .

As expected, the car will be strictly all-wheel drive, but don’t go looking for differential locks or some of the off-road gadgets found on the mighty Cayenne, as the 911 Safari will have a lot more tarmac. user-friendly configuration than any Porsche SUV.

All of the rock exploration capabilities would be made useless by the wrong attack and departure angles anyway, but you can be sure the Safari will be the most usable 911 version on poorer roads, and possibly even be a few occasional dunes if the correct tires are fitted.

As for the powertrain, it is expected that the model will be equipped with the same twin-turbo 3.0-liter flat-six found on the rest of the “normal” range, its output being identical to that. de la Carrera. S and 4S or the Carrera GTS, which is more likely.

That means we’re looking at either 450 horsepower and 530 Nm (391 lb-ft) of torque, or 480 horsepower and 570 Nm (420 lb-ft) of torque, which would allow the crossover sports car to go from zero to 100. km / h (62 mph) in less than four seconds.

Strangely enough, if the 911 Safari is classified as a crossover / SUV, it might even dethrone another Porsche on the Nurburgring’s fast lap times list for SUVs, the mighty Cayenne Coupé Turbo GT.

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