Porsche's New 911 Safari Hits The Nurburgring

Spy Shots / Comments

It's riding higher than ever.

We've known Porsche has been hard at work on a reborn 911 Safari off-roader for several months now, but today our spy photographers have caught a prototype testing again at the Nurburgring. Why would Porsche take this adventure-bound new 911 variant to the Green Hell? Because the twisty and challenging track is another ideal testing ground for essentials like handling and speed in general.

But there's one notable difference we can see with this latest prototype compared to the one we saw last January at the same place: increased ride height. This latest prototype has beefed-up wheel arches at both the front and rear fenders and the suspension is higher than before.

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The section just below the front bumper also looks slightly different. If we had to make a guess, then we'd say the differences here are because the Safari model will have adjustable ride heights. Test drivers are now experimenting with a higher setting, but we still don't know the maximum total ground clearance.

Raising the suspension and adding Styrofoam to the wheel arches clearly make a difference to the 911's overall look and presence. It won't be to everyone's liking but there'll be nothing like it on the market (from an OEM) whenever it arrives. Sources tell us the Safari is based on the Porsche 911 4S, which makes sense because of the all-wheel drive system.

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It'll also have unique tires capable of handling tough road conditions. Power will come from the excellent 3.0-liter twin-turbo flat-six rated at 443 horsepower. A debut date and the number of planned examples still remain a mystery, but we don't think it'll be a concept only, as was the case with the previous generation 911 Safari concept.

In all likelihood, Porsche built the concept to better gauge whether there's a market for something as unique as this and ran out of time to launch one before the 991 was replaced. In any case, 99- generation 911 Safari development continues and we hope more concrete details will arrive soon.

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