Singer Vehicle Design
If you know Porsches, the odds are good, you know Singer Vehicle Design. The California-based customizer has reimagined classic Porsche 911s for more than a decade, transforming 964-generation cars into modern artwork that combines vintage style and modern materials into cheerful packages designed precisely to meet owners’ wishes.
But while they have modified many 911s for exceptional rides throughout the year, all of these cars have generally shared something in common: they are designed to be driven on the sidewalk.
Well duh, you might be thinking that’s where the Porsche 911s are assumed to live! Well, not necessarily. 911 (and associated 959) have also played rally car from time to time; as a result, a car subculture has grown up around them. Among those leading the trend: Richard Tuthill, whose UK store specializes in rally-specific 911s and other off-road Porsche-based pursuits.
Now Tuthill has teamed up with Singer to create the latter called the All Terrain Terrain Competition Study: a custom 911 that combines the former’s off-road sensitivity with the latter’s impeccable attention to detail. As you might imagine, it’s freaking amazing.
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The All-Terrain Competition Study, or ACS, was whipped up at the request of one of Singer Vehicle Design’s loyal returning customers, designed around the task of creating a vintage 911 that can both compete in cross-country races such as the Baja 1000 and Dakar Rally and, you know, only to have an explosion in the dirt.
Like all Singer’s custom-made buildings, the ACS is based on a Porsche 964 chassis – in this case one from the 1990 model year. Other than the skeleton, however, there is not much stock left.
The most noticeable change, of course, is the ride height: the ACS stands much higher than a stock 911, thanks to a long-travel suspension with double five-way adjustable dampers for each wheel. BFGoodrich off-road tires wrap around 16-inch wheels that are ready for the throbbing pain of off-road driving.
Power, of course, comes from a boxer-six. In this case, it is a turbocharged 3.6-liter unit, which provides 450 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque in basic form, but can be amplified if necessary for competition.
All that power flows through a five-speed sequential gearbox to all four wheels, with front, center and rear limiting differentials helping you get the most out of engine performance. Four-piston monoblock steel brakes brake things, while a hydraulic handbrake is also there for lurid dirt.
Inside, residents are protected by an FIA-specific roller cage and held in place by FIA-certified racing seats. There is a racing-ready navigation system, as well as a “rehydration” setup for both passengers, because holding a water bottle is too sucky.
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As a tradition for singers, the body is carbon fiber. Not only does this reduce weight, it also makes it easier to replace body panels that are damaged during off-road driving or to access the car’s abdomen to make quick repairs – something you may want when you are 50 miles anywhere in Baja California with a damaged car.
In what can only be described as hell, the loyal Singer enthusiast who ordered ACS actually ordered two versions: a painted Parallax White (a signature Singer shade) made more for off-road driving, and another painted Corsica Red that is tailored for fast driving on sidewalks.
If you like what you see here, well, good news: the person who ordered the ACS has never so generously agreed to make the design available to others who are interested in asking Singer to customize a 911 in a similar way.
Of course, do not expect it to be cheap. “The price of the restoration services based on the results of the terrain competition study will depend on the specification chosen by the owner,” says Singer’s press release – but given that Singer’s regular buildings tend to cost about half a million dollars, do not expect it will be something close to affordable.
Then again … if you have the money, can you imagine a cooler terrain toy?
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