As the Dakar Rally gets underway with a new classics entry for the first time, Porsche specialist Singer has revealed its reimagined WRC inspired 911 that could be used on such an event.
At the request of a long-term client, Singer has looked to a golden era of Porsche rallying in the 1980s, and to automotive heroes including the 911 SC/RS and 959, to reimagine his air-cooled 911s as World Rally Championship-inspired, all-terrain competition machines.
Singer’s latest services will enable their clients to go off-road racing, with a Porsche 911 modified by Singer for all-terrain use with off-road competition capability, conceived with events such as the Baja 1000 and Dakar Rally in mind, but suitable for a range of surfaces.
The All-terrain Competition Study or ACS for short has been undertaken by Singer, in partnership with renowned 911 rally specialist Richard Tuthill, in response to the request from their client for modifications to his air-cooled Porsche 911 that would enable the car to compete in off-road racing and to demonstrate extensive all-terrain exploration capabilities. To highlight the broad repertoire of the ACS, the client has commissioned two machines, one – in Singer’s iconic Parallax White – focused on high-speed desert rallying and a second – in Corsica Red – configured for high-speed, high-grip tarmac events and disciplines.
Porsche 911s prepared by UK-based off-road competition specialist Richard Tuthill have dominated rally events for decades, with recent victory in the 2019 East African Safari Classic marking a remarkable 4th win in the grueling 5000km event across Kenya and Tanzania. These successes sit alongside deep expertise from the world of WRC competition and events such as the Paris-Dakar.
Rob Dickinson, Founder and Executive Chairman, Singer Group Inc. said: “So much of what we’ve done for the last decade has been inspired by Porsche’s competition success and the All-terrain Competition Study provides us the opportunity to showcase that idea literally and vividly.
“We at Singer are motorsport nerds in our hearts and demonstrating our understanding of the discipline required our off-road vision to display deeply legitimate competition credentials from the structural engineering, to the bodywork ethos, to the mechanical package.
“We’ve taken particular inspiration from the iconic Rothmans-sponsored 911 SC/RSs and 959s that conquered events like the Qatar International Rally and Paris-Dakar in the mid-‘80s and, at the request of our client, have reimagined these all-terrain 911’s in their honour while utilising fresh perspectives and state of the art know-how.”
The ACS restoration has been undertaken as a collaboration between the two companies. Singer’s Design Office in California has led a joint engineering team with assembly undertaken in the UK at the Tuthill facility in Oxfordshire. Future cars will all be modified at Tuthill’s facilities. Support packages for racing and maintenance will be available.
Richard Tuthill added: “This collaboration brings together the best of innovation, cutting-edge technology and decades of real rallying experience into one, amazingly capable, all-terrain off-road racing vehicle. In the 1980s we partnered with Prodrive to prepare bodyshells for the Rothmans 911 SC/RS that was part of the inspiration for ACS. I am delighted to have now partnered with Rob and the team at Singer to bring this incredible machine to life and look forward to working with them in the future. I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved.”
The commissioning owner has agreed that the results of the Singer All-terrain Competition Study will be available to others who wish to equip their cars with this off-road capability, while the price for the restoration services will be dependent on the specification required.
As with all Singer’s restoration services for owners of the Porsche 911, the car takes the Type 964 generation of air-cooled cars as its starting point. At the heart of the machine is an evolution of the “Mezger” air-cooled flat-six, here in 3.6L form, with twin symmetrical turbochargers and fly-by-wire individual throttle bodies. The performance characteristics of the engine can be tuned depending on the demands of competition and the owner.
A bespoke carbon fiber body is optimised to allow easy access to mechanical components at service stops and to enable effective breathing and cooling for the powertrain. The use of carbon fiber allows Singer to reduce overall mass and, for this car, to offset the extra weight of the roll-cage.
The All-terrain Competition Study draws on Richard Tuthill’s extensive knowledge of the demands of both on and off-road racing. The bespoke suspension and damping, together with AWD configuration is designed to enable effective deployment of the car’s power off-road. The strength designed into the car’s structure and components is a response to the forces encountered during high-speed, off-road endurance events and pathfinding.
Inside, the ACS reflects the demands of off-road racing. FIA specification seats and harnesses sit within a full roll cage. The car is equipped with a race GPS navigation system while both driver and navigator have access to in-seat rehydration systems.
Founded in California in 2009, Singer has become globally known and respected for its celebration of the Porsche 911. The company undertakes bespoke restorations for owners of the air-cooled cars.
Find more info:
Singer Vehicle Design