Porsches are usually seen on the smooth asphalt of the interstate or Autobahn, cruising quickly by. This particular Porsche, however, has a very different life. In preparation for the upcoming Dakar off-road race, this heavily modified 911 was sent to the Andes, to climb the Ojos del Salado volcano in Chile.
One of the harshest conditions on the planet, the car climbed to 19,708 feet, making this possibly the highest elevation a car has ever driven.
For reference, gas powered cars lose power when at high elevation, equivalent to 3-4 horsepower each 1,000 feet you climb. So this Porsche had to work harder at a reduced power to scale the craggy slopes of Ojos del Salado.
It’s clear this 911 Porsche is heavily modified, in part to handle the extreme elevation, and also the harsh off-road environment.
‘Inside, the car has a full roll cage and carbon-fiber race seats. The engine is stock, but the seven-speed manual transmission has been modified with lower-ratio gears for that sweet, sweet torque. That power reaches the ground through portal axles and chunky off-road tires, which bump the 911’s ground clearance to nearly 18 inches.
The underbody is protected with aramid armor (which you’re more likely to recognize by its trademark name, Kevlar) and the body was widened and cut for maximum clearance. It’s got a winch up front, locking front and rear differentials, and something Porsche calls a “Warp-Connector” ‘
An impressive feat from Porsche, whose team had to work as hard as the car did, to explore this high elevation terrain, which is higher than Mt. Everest Base Camp.