Porsche 911 climbs the world's highest volcano

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The Porsche 911 safari trend is beyond mainstream at this point. We know the automaker has its own factory off-roader in the works, and there are seemingly endless numbers of incredibly well-done custom builds. Though spy shots frequently capture cars running on pavement, Porsche tests its cars in extreme conditions, and its most recent runs took place on the world’s highest volcano.

Porsche sent two heavily modified 992 911 Carrera 4S cars to Ojos del Salado in Chile, the highest volcano in the world. Led by endurance racer Romain Dumas, the team reached elevations of almost 20,000 feet and took the cars through temperatures as cold as -22 degrees Fahrenheit. Seasonal conditions with snow and ice prevented further climbs, but Porsche says the team is satisfied with the tests it completed.

The 911 Carrera 4S powertrain was left in place, which includes a turbocharged flat-six with 443 horsepower and a seven-speed manual transmission. Porsche says it chose the car for its ability to cope with high altitudes and says that it made numerous modifications to prep the 911 for life on a volcano.

Porsche’s Warp-Connecter system is on board, which creates “a mechanical link between all four wheels to allow constant wheel load even when the chassis is enduring extreme articulation.” The car has manual, switchable differential locks and steer-by-wire. Improved cooling and a winch round out the 911’s extensive off-road equipment.

The team fitted roll cages, carbon fiber seats, and race harnesses. Ground clearance got a boost with portal axles, which raises the axle location to near the top of the wheels. Lower gear ratios improve responsiveness at low speeds and help the car cope with beefy off-road tires, and Porsche installed a lightweight Aramid underbody protection plate for rock sliding.

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