Singer beautifies the mud with air-cooled Porsche 911 rally car
Known for giving classic Porsche cars second lives as modern-day beauties, LA-based Singer Vehicle Design is sharpening its competitive edge. It has teamed up with some of the masterminds behind Porsche's most successful rally cars in building up a modern 911 off-roader fit to compete in the likes of Dakar and the Baja 1000. And boy will this carbon-bodied 911 look good doing it.
The idea for what Singer calls the All-Terrain Competition Study (ACS) came from a client who inquired about the possibility of transforming his air-cooled 964-gen Porsche 911 into an off-roader built to race and explore. The request diverged quite dramatically from what Singer was used to discussing with clients, so the company reached for some reinforcements by way of rally Porsche expert Richard Tuthill of Oxfordshire, UK-based Tuthill Porsche, teaming up on a car inspired by Dakar-winning Rothmans 911 SC/RS and 959 rally cars of the mid-80s.
Tuthill's experience with competitive all-terrain Porsches spans generations. Richard is the son of Francis Tuthill, the rally driver who had a hand in preparing (and repairing) the Rothmans 911 SC/RS rally cars. That experience grew into a company, and the apple landed quite close to the tree. Richard and crew specialize in preparing race-ready Porsche cars for both off-road and race track, and their cars have taken home recent victories in events like the East African Safari Classic and FIA WRC R-GT championship.
Singer and Tuthill started their transatlantic efforts with the client's 1990 air-cooled 911, adding in an FIA-spec roll cage and further fortifying the monocoque to hold up to off-road use and abuse. The carbon fiber-paneled body gets lifted high above the ground via a long-travel suspension with twin five-way adjustable dampers at each wheel.
The 911 ATC's twin-turbo 3.6-L air-cooled flat-six registers in at 450 hp and 420 lb-ft (569 Nm) but can be tuned around the demands of the racing event. It routes power to all four wheels through a sequential five-speed sequential transmission and front, center and rear mechanical limited-slip differentials. Monobloc disc brakes slow the BFGoodrich all-terrain tire-wrapped alloy wheels to stop.
Other competition-ready updates include FIA-certified bespoke competition seats, a dual spare-wheel carrying system in the front trunk and rear storage area, a GPS race navigation system, and a rehydration system for driver and navigator.
"We feel confident this machine can appeal to off-roading enthusiasm of all kinds, whether it be in the pursuit of professional competition at the highest level or adventure and exploration," says Rob Dickinson, Singer founder and executive chairman.
Singer's initial client commission includes two ACS examples, a high-speed desert-optimized car with a white, red and blue livery inspired by Porsche rally cars of the past and a bright-red version optimized for speed and grip on the tarmac. The parties have agreed that the off-road package will be available to other buyers looking to add all-terrain capability to their own 964 911s. Each car will be restored and built to the customer's individual specification and priced accordingly.
Source: Singer Vehicle Design