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Porsche Sets The Record For Highest Altitude Driven By A Car In A Heavily Modified 911

Porsche has set the record for the highest altitude driven by a car. On December 2, 2023, a heavily modified 911 Carrera 4S completed its two-week climb to the west ridge of the Ojos del Slado, the world’s tallest volcano in Chile – reaching an altitude of 6741 metres or 22,093 feet above sea level. To achieve this record, Porsche chose two-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner and Pikes Peak Hillclimb record holder Romain Dumas as the driver of one of the two modified 911s, named ‘Doris’ and ‘Edith’.

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Both these 911 Carrera 4S’ were powered by the same motor but had a revised gear ratio for the challenge in hand

While both cars were based on the current ‘992’-generation Porsche 911 Carrera 4S, the car-maker claims ‘Edith’ – the record-setting car piloted by Dumas – was lighter and more agile than its sibling. While the car’s 3.0-litre flat-6 was completely stock, the 7-speed manual transmission was tweaked with lower gear ratios to enable precise, gentle throttle inputs at low speeds. Moreover, both these vehicles were running on synthetic fuel made by the Porsche-backed HIF company in Chile.

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Two-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner and Pikes Peak Hillclimb record holder Romain Dumas

To further aid the sports car in tackling the harsh terrain, it was fitted with ‘portal axles’ providing an additional 350 mm ground clearance. Another innovative piece of technology on the Porsche 911s was a steer-by-wire system, removing the physical connection between the steering wheel and the front wheels, and replacing it with electric components and motors which move the front wheels based on how the steering wheel is rotated.

The 911 Carrera 4S was heavily modified to withstand the harsh conditions of the challenge

In addition to that, the cars ran underbody armouring made out of Aramid fibre. Aramid is aromatic polyamide and used in things like firefighting gear and tactical body armor. Inside, the cars had carbon fibre seats, and some factory interior pieces were absent to keep the weight down. As a finishing touch, the bodywork was finished in two distinctive liveries – one featuring the same Porsche Motorsport colour scheme adorning the 963 LMDh racer and a second 911-themed livery designed by the styling team in Weissach.

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The previous record of 6694 metres was set in January 2020 by a pair of Mercedes-Benz Unimogs, which were being used as support vehicles on a different part of the same Chilean volcano.

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