Crazy specially-prepared Porsche 911 breaks driving altitude world record

05th December 2023
Ethan Jupp

In the year that we're celebrating 60 years of the Porsche 911, we’ve really been reminded of the versatility of the world’s most iconic sportscar. With launches ranging from the DRS-equipped track weapon GT3 RS, to the all-terrain tyre-shod rally-ready 911 Dakar, we’ve really been left to wonder if there’s anything the 911 can’t do. Well, Porsche’s only gone and pushed the limit even further as a final flourish for 2023. A 911 is now the highest-driving car in the world.


Driving one of two specially-prepared 992 Carrera 4Ss, Romain Dumas ascended Ojos del Salado, a volcano in Chile. Reaching the west ridge of the volcano at 6,734 metres, this 911 Carrera 4S is now the new altitude record-holder, surpasses the previous record set in 2020 which was a 6,694-metre ascent in 2020. Conditions were of course fairly horrific. How does minus 20 degrees with air half as dense as at sea level sound? Bloody awful.

“I’ll never forget this experience. It was an extraordinary feeling to drive where no car has gone before,” said Romain Dumas shortly after his descent from the volcano.

“The 911 managed to go higher than any other earthbound vehicle in history. We reached a point where we were met by the true summit of the west ridge – we could go no higher. So this really was the maximum altitude that can be achieved. A proud moment for the whole team – and we’re grateful for the support and belief of all of our partners, each of whom made this possible.”


Of course, the cars themselves are not quite the Carrera 4S you can pop down to your local Porsche centre and pick up for yourself. Doris and Edith, as they were christened, feature portal axles for 13.7 inches of ground clearance. They also featured aramid fibre underbody protection and ran on HIF eFuels. Porsche is famously heavily invested in the development and production sustainable fuels.

The craziest change, though? Romain’s car featured steer-by-wire technology, meaning no rack, no track rods, no physical connection between steering wheel and steering wheels. Instead, like in the new Tesla Cybertruck, a force feedback motor connected to the steering wheel, with inputs relayed seamlessly and digitally to motors that pivot the front wheels.

As we can see the special 911s obviously have their own bespoke bodywork, intakes in the rear windows, massive wheels and tyres and roof rails. Basically, it’s like a 911 Dakar RSR and we’re all the way here for it. What a thing and what an achievement.

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