Porsche Takes 911 to New Heights, Literally; Sets New World RecordDecember 18, 2023
When you hear “Porsche 911 sets new world record,” you’re probably thinking about some ultra-fast lap time or an exuberant number of dollars spent on a rare collector’s model. But how about the world record for the highest altitude driven?
That’s exactly what the renowned namesake just achieved. Specifically, racing driver Romain Dumas set the record at the peak of the west ridge of the Ojos del Salado volcano in Chile; and the 911, named “Edith,” was the carriage of choice, heavily modified in chassis and suspension and powered by a stock engine running on eFuels.
In fact, two different 911’s were taken on this excursion: Edith and Doris. Edith is said to be the lighter and more agile, based on the current 911 Carrera 4S. The 3.0-liter Boxer-6 was left untouched, sending all 443 horsepower down to the terrain through a seven-speed manual transmission. That power was generated through the burning of HIF eFuels created in Chile.
These renewable fuels are made by water and carbon dioxide using renewable energy. The CO2 captured for production is said to approximately match the CO2 emitted by the vehicles themselves, resulting in a near-carbon neutral footprint. These synthetic fuels are part of Porsche’s “double e-path” strategy, consisting of eFuels and E-Mobility. The first plant to produce these synthetic fuels, “Haru Oni” in Punta Arenas, Chile, started production in 2022.
Last year also saw Porsche’s previous climb on the highest volcano in the world, and the list of 911 modifications for their 2023 outing are rather familiar. Both cars were outfitted with portal axles to improve ground clearance, now up to 13.7 inches, and these axles also reduced gear ratios for more precise throttle inputs at low speeds– something you’ll definitely appreciate on rocky terrain. Below, Aramid underbody protection; and inside, carbon fiber seats with five-point harnesses. The lead car was also given a “steer by wire” system provided by Schaeffler Group, said to provide more precise steering and more detailed feedback.
Back in 2022, Dumas and the team reached just over 6,000 meters in their run. The previous record, set by a Mercedes-Benz Unimog, clawed up to 6,694 meters. This time, Porsche managed 6,734 meters– roughly 22,094 feet, thus setting the new world record. At those heights, the air is only about half as dense as it is at sea level, temperatures average about 20 degrees below freezing and snow mixes with volcanic ash for a unique terrain to conquer.
Is this going to spike sales for Porsche’s venerable sports car? Like we said last year, probably not. But also like last year, this is still very cool. And if you want to see our take on a 911 that’s off-road-ready straight from the factory, check out our First Drive of the 2023 911 Dakar. We had a chance to toss it around in the deserts of Morocco earlier this year and, while not quite the literally breath-taking experience Dumas must have had, it was still pretty rad.