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Singer Reimagines the Porsche 911 Safari Rally Racer and It's Just About Perfect

Slather me in gravy, you big, dirty, rally-modified all-wheel-drive 911.

No longer content with just honing 964-series Porsche 911s into works of art, it seems Singer wants to build cars that are both exquisitely crafted ... and can shred on gravel sideways at triple-digit speeds. Drawing on Porsche's especially legendary rally machines, such as the 911 SC/RS, 953, and 959, but no clone, the Singer All-terrain Competition Study (ACS) forges its own path through ... well, whatever lies in front of it, from the looks of it.

The claimed capabilities are formidable, but the look is unexpectedly futuristic and a serious departure from the last fascinating Singer collaboration (the Dynamics and Lightweighting Study, a stunning 2.7 RS-inspired 964 built with input from F1 titan Williams). The crisp red accents and futuristic, asymmetrical decals are out of NASA's future rather than Stuttgart's past. The off-road sports car's crisp white body over duller, darker lower bits is a masterclass in contrast, both literal and thematic. The renders of the red car show less contrast and more focus. Both work, for different reasons and in different ways.

We're sure it's inadvertent, but the strangest parallel here isn't between this 911 and its rally-bred predecessors; it's is the taillights and the panel that spans between them, which have a serious Nissan Z Proto vibe. Parallel evolution rather than sincerest flattery, surely. The lights have a superb glow under a black mesh-like pattern, elegant yet purposeful. The same goes for details like the rear bumper, which features a prominent tow point prominently mounted between twin exhaust outlets that look like anti-aircraft cannon muzzles.

Singer worked with Richard Tuthill—a man to whom "Porsche rally specialist" doesn't quite do justice—to build the ACS on a client request. Tuthill has been preparing Porsches for race duty for decades, at times in partnership with Prodrive and for Porsche itself. The goal wasn't just to build a vehicle with rally raid capabilities; the intent was to produce a vehicle that could conceivably compete in real rallies. That means a mere "Safari" look wouldn't cut it—Singer's ACS would need to have pace, reliability, and ruggedness necessary to carry it over the line. That's no small order, but with Tuthill in its corner, don't count this rear-engined off-roader out.

Obviously, the body's been radically reconsidered and heavily reinforced, with carbon fiber bodywork built for quick repairs and easy access on the rally stage. A permanent all-wheel-drive system is fitted. Power from the car's twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter flat-six is channeled through a five-speed sequential race transmission and three differentials before finding its way to the ACS's wheels, all four of which are wrapped in all-terrain tires. Two spares are on board, in case bad luck strikes twice between stops.

Singer pegs the engine's output at 450 hp and 420 ft-lb of torque. Depending on the nature of the event it's competing in, the ACS's engine can be tuned to produce different outputs. The suspension is predictably intricate: a total of eight dampers, each five-way adjustable, allow for extremely long suspension travel and afford the ACS a tall ride height at rest. Competition-spec seats are paired with a full roll cage, as are the expected navigation and comfort equipment.

And that's just the white car. The red car is a variant intended for tarmac rallies. It also was commissioned by the original client. The fundamental idea is the same, but the necessary equipment has been altered and specified for road rallies.

Want an ACS of your own? Singer and the client who initially commissioned the ACS will allow others to build additional iterations of the model. What these cars will cost is a function of how ambitious each client is; however, the ACS look and functionality won't be exclusive to these two initial cars. And since this is Singer, there are no half-measures, each car will be subjected to an individualized restoration before the ACS work is undertaken. Let's put this plainly: the budget-minded need not apply. "Regular" Singer restorations start at well into the six-figure range, so the ACS will likely be even dearer.

Worth it? From the looks of it, we think so. If Singer wants to throw us the keys, we'll happily validate our gut impression.