Two Porsche 911 sports cars climbed the slopes of worlds largest volcano, the Ojos del Salado in Chile.
Porsche tested the renowned 911 sports car prototypes in one of the most difficult conditions possible, which included no roads, low oxygen levels, and subzero temperatures.
The team, lead by endurance racer and explorer Romain Dumas, has chosen one of the most difficult locations on earth to start their quest to test the 911’s capabilities: the sheer slopes of Chile’s Ojos del Salado volcano, the highest volcano in the world.
The prototype 911s traveled up to 19,700 feet above sea level to test their mechanical prowess in subfreezing conditions while traversing ice-covered mountains. “This was a truly memorable and special moment in a place that’s both beautiful and brutal at the same time – I guess the only machines anywhere in the world higher than us today were aircraft! For the team and the car it was about learning – and right out of the box, the car was tough and nimble. We were hard on ourselves and really put it in the deep end for its first test, yet it felt at home,” said Romain Dumas, driver of the 911 and leader of the team.
Each prototype 911 is fitted with a standard flat-six turbocharged engine that produces 443 horsepower and is mated to a seven-speed manual transmission. To meet the safety criteria, both cars were fitted with roll cages, carbon fiber seats, and safety harnesses. In order to boost ground clearance, portal axles were fitted (now 350 mm). New, lower gear ratios are better suited for large, recently installed off-road tires and allow for accurate, soft throttle inputs at low speeds. In order to allow sliding over rocks, the prototypes are equipped with a particular lightweight but incredibly durable underbody protection made of Aramid fiber.
The traction is enhanced by the Porsche Warp-Connecter, which links all four wheels to distribute an equal load. A sophisticated steer-by-wire technology was employed in conjunction with manual, switchable differential locks.
Both vehicles were dressed in two separate liveries: one with the same Porsche Motorsport color scheme as the 963 LMDh racer, and the other with a 911-themed livery created by the Weissach style team.