The Volkswagen Group might not have a reputable off-roader in its vast portfolio – well, maybe the Amarok – but it sure knows how to do rugged derivatives of its regular models. From Skoda’s Scout and VW’s Alltrack to Audi’s Allroad and Porsche’s upcoming Cross Turismo, VAG offers plenty of models for those who are not fond of SUVs but want some of their added versatility.
Another newcomer from Stuttgart that fits that bill is the 911 Safari (name not confirmed). Unlike the jacked-up 911 one-off creation kept secret for many years, this prototype is widely expected to morph into a production car. Whether it will be a regular trim level or a limited-run special edition remains to be seen, but deep-pocketed people looking for a more adventurous version of the iconic sports car should be able to get one.
Gallery: Porsche 911 Safari winter testing spy photos
The test vehicle was spotted testing in a winter wonderland somewhere in northern Europe while looking a lot like a standard 911. However, there are some discreet changes worth pointing out. The increased ride height is one of them, while the wheel arch extensions are also noticeable. In addition, Porsche tweaked the bumpers to improve the approach and departure angles.
You can easily observe the front bumper has been shaved off a bit while the rear license plate has been positioned higher to redesign the bumper and make it ready for some mild off-roading adventures. We’re expecting the production version to get some chunky tires and a bespoke alloy wheel design, along with some other subtle changes to separate the “Safari” from the more performance-oriented 911s.
Considering Porsche has been testing jacked-up 911 prototypes since at least October 2020 when our spies caught one on camera, the official debut could take place later this year. It would make sense to offer the “Safari” with standard all-wheel drive, so perhaps the donor car will be the 4S model. Expect to pay a significant premium over the $122,400 standard 4S due to the extra off-road goodies. Power could stay the same at 443 hp from a twin-turbo 3.0-liter flat-six engine producing 390 pound-feet (530 Newton-meters) of torque.
Beyond the Safari, spy shots have shown there are other 911s in the pipeline to follow the recently launched GT3. The GTS is one of them, along with a GT3 Touring, a GT3 RS, and eventually, a new GT2 RS. Porsche has also announced a hybrid will arrive sooner or later, and who knows what the boys and girls from Zuffenhausen are also planning further down the line.