Porsche Reportedly Preparing 911 Safari Off-Road Study for Beijing Auto Show

Back in the days when Porsche didn’t have the Cayenne in its lineup, the brand’s off-road ambitions had to be satisfied with modified 911 models featuring raised ground clearance and all-wheel drive.

While these models were only intended for off-road racing and didn’t make it to production, they later served Porsche well when the Cayenne was touted as their successor.

The first 911 to get the off-road treatment was the 911 SC Safari, which competed in the 1978 East African Safari Rally with 250hp from a 3.0-liter flat-six engine. In 1983, Porsche entered the Paris-Dakar Rally with three 911 Carrera 4×4 coupes with 225 horsepower and in 1986 it finally managed to win the event with the 911-based Porsche 959 Paris Dakar.

We’ve only told you all this because, according to Car&Driver, Porsche is reportedly preparing a 911 “crossover” concept for the Beijing Auto Show in April. Said to be called the 911 Safari, the study will be based on the all-wheel-drive Carrera 4 and feature larger tires, higher ground clearance, skid plates and a suspension tuned for off-road driving.

If everything goes well, the study could spawn a production model by mid-2016, about the same time when the 991-series is scheduled to get its first facelift. Porsche is also scheduled to introduce a new generation of downsized and turbocharged boxer engines at that time.

A production 911 Safari would be aimed at markets like China, Russia, Middle East and South America, where road surfaces are not as smooth as in Europe.

By Dan Mihalascu

PHOTO GALLERY

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