Porsche 911 Safari mule spied – latest sighting reveals new rear wing
Tall ride height and wheelarch extensions suggest a surprise 911 derivative is in the pipeline, and we've spotted it testing
It's been over a year since we first spotted Porsche's unusual 911 prototype testing on the Nürburgring and we're still yet to see anything official. With new components and reduced disguise though, the latest round of spy photographs suggest that a reveal might not be too far away.
Building upon what looks to be a standard 992-generation bodyshell, prototypes had featured a set of rudimentary extended wheelarches up until this point. These arches, rather than having a true technical purpose, were instead fitted to hide the extra space within the wheelarch, making it look relatively unchanged from the standard model at first glance.
The most recent prototypes, however, have swapped these temporary additions for production-ready components, including fitted arch extensions, a GT3-esque bonnet vent, modified front and rear bumpers (albeit disguised) and a new rear wing. The latter takes clear inspiration from the kind found on the original 911 Safari, differing in design to the current extended rear wing available through Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur.
This extra ride height is a substantial change, as the 911’s coilover suspension design doesn’t facilitate adjustable ride heights aside from the hydraulic nose-lift, which is speed limited as it essentially removes all rebound from the damper’s vertical movement.
Other than the unfamiliar ride height, prototypes look fairly standard, wearing slightly smaller wheels than most, wrapped in tyres with a taller sidewall than you’ll find on the current 911 Carrera. There’s also a small winged outcrop at the top of the rear screen that looks to have a small camera mounted within, perhaps signalling a future use of a virtual rear-view mirror, like the one already found in some Jaguars and Land Rovers.
While we have no official steer from Porsche as to the purpose of the prototypes, the notion of a toughened-up Safari derivative is not without historical precedent: international rallying played a big part in the 911’s early motorsport heritage, the model tackling rally raids and safari rallies since the 1970s.
It’s no secret that evo is sceptical about most crossovers, but a factory-developed 911 Safari is something – you won’t be surprised to hear – we could well get behind. While there is a chance these prototypes could in fact be testing internal components not relative to an off-roader version at all, Porsche was very clear about the expected expansion of derivative and specialised models with the 992, so it could well be something more.