Unfortunately for us, it’s just one of Porsche’s many unreleased concept cars.
Porsche’s Safari cars were featured in treacherous rally events throughout the 20th century, and although the brand has retracted from the off-road motorsporting scene since then, enthusiasts still hark back to the good ol’ days of Porsche 911s wheeling around in the dust.
A few weeks ago, a raised 992 platform ‘Safari-spec’ 911 awed spy phototographers as it made the rounds near the famed Nürburgring circuit in Germany. an amass of topics were thrown around, from rumours of it being ‘simply a raised 911’ to ‘a 911 gaining Cayenne off-road technology’. Little to the knowledge of fans however, Porsche had already answered rumours eight years earlier without letting anyone know.
This is the 2012 911 Vision Safari, a fully drivable prototype built on the 991 chassis and a tribute to the 1978 911 SC Safari, clashing modern technology with true-to-historic styling. Like the original rally car, the Vision Safari was designed and built with raised suspension, reinforced wheel housings, larger bumpers, flared fender arches, and a chassis reinforced with a roll cage.
We believe that there is hardly any other car brand that can combine sports car and off-road characteristics as credibly as Porsche.Michael Mauer – Chief Designer
The prototype had been fully converted to endurance competition racing, with details like race seats fitted with head-rest fans to cool the driver’s helmet.
Never catching the press, the build was kept under wraps by Porsche merely as a forgotten concept car – but it did at least manage to see the light of day during development.
It never hit the deserts of Dakar, but did undergo thorough testing around Porsche’s Weissach test facility, being thrashed on gravel tracks used to test the Cayenne SUV and Macan crossover.
Chief designer Michael Mauer was in the passenger seat of the prototype when it was taken out for its inaugural drive, and vividly remembers the car drifting around the course.
“I have rarly had so much fun before. We have no doubt that this prototype is extremely fun to drive,” he said.
We also have no doubts – this car would have been pretty damn amazing if it ever were released.