What. On. Earth. Is. That.
Something quite wonderful. An early Christmas present, you might say. It is a 964-generation Porsche 911, converted by Russell Built Fabrication to perform herculean feats of off-roadery.
The company says it is “the most capable, versatile, dual sport air-cooled 911 on the planet”.
So it’s an off-road 964?
If you want it to be thus, then it shall be thus. However, RBF will also build you something that looks like this that you can use as a frickin’ daily driver, or indeed a class-legal race car, or indeed “anything in between”. You simply turn up, open your wallet and speak your hearts deepest desires.
What have they done to it?
The most obvious thing you’ll notice apart from its overall magnificence is that it is very, very wide. RBF extend the track by a whopping 14in, and stretch out the wheelbase by 3in, allowing for – says RBF – “a more balanced centre of gravity and increased stability”.
Some custom-built structural ‘towers’ are introduced at the front of the car, made from expensive-sounding materials along with custom spindles and upper and lower arms.
To this, a set of 2.5in three-way adjustable coilover shocks allow for 12in of suspension travel. Forget your lowriders, folks, you need one of these.
At the back?
There’s a “buggy-style” chromoly box plate and a tube trailing arm using the original factory “pick-up points”. This is so the “handling characteristics Porsche 911 engineers intended” remain… only here it gets 13.5in of suspension travel via 3in, three-way adjustable shocks.
There’s also a NASCAR rear anti-roll bar.
The body is... different also.
Good spot. Yes, it is indeed different. RBF’s goal – a little like Redux did with the E30 M3 – was to imagine something that “might have come out of the Porsche race factory had they continued their efforts in off-road racing into the 1990s with the 964”.
So, there are widebody arches, a rally-style bonnet, lightweight doors and a lightweight roof.
Is it lightweight?
Yep. Every panel has been custom built from composite materials, and RBF has sliced over 180kg from the original 964’s weight, bringing it down to 1,270kg.
That’s not a lot to shift.
And it has a nice haymaker of an engine to help shift it along. The factory 3.6-litre has been enlarged to 3.8-litres, and features custom internals, new throttle bodies and a new intake manifold. Motec handles the ECU, and it pumps out 365bhp and 420Nm of torque.
Elsewhere it’s a standard Carrera C4 drivetrain, and you can choose between 2WD or 4WD.
Is the interior spartan?
Only if you want it to be. Obviously with this kind of customisation you can pretty much have whatever your bank balance allows, but each one gets a roll cage, door bars and welded, sealed and sound-deadened inner sheet metal. There’s a Motec digital display, a locking storage box in the rear, and Sparco carbon seats.
No price has been announced, but expect it to be “much”. In lieu of that, here’s another picture.