Reimagining the Porsche 911
Los Angeles-based Singer Vehicle Design established a niche in the Porsche realm by restoring older 911s — reimagining, retooling and transforming the classic sports cars into machines that eclipse the original models. Recently a customer commissioned Singer to re-create a classic Porsche 911 rally car with the ability to compete — and survive — some of the toughest off-road events in the world. The result is Singer’s All-terrain Competition Study.
Inspired by Porsche Racing
“So much of what we’ve done for the last decade has been inspired by Porsche’s competition success and the All-terrain Competition Study provides us the opportunity to showcase that idea literally and vividly,” said Singer Group Founder and Executive Chairman Rob Dickinson. “We’ve taken particular inspiration from the iconic Rothmans-sponsored 911 SC/RSs and 959s that conquered events like the Qatar International Rally and Paris-Dakar in the mid-‘80s and, at the request of our client, have reimagined these all-terrain 911’s in their honor while utilizing fresh perspectives and state of the art know-how,” Dickinson observed.
Singer Collaborator Richard Tuthill
After the client contacted Singer to modify an air-cooled Porsche 911 so it could compete in off-road racing events, Singer joined forces with 911 rally specialist Richard Tuthill. Tuthill-prepared Porsches have experienced success in rally events around the world, including earning a 4th place finish in the grueling 2019 East African Safari Classic — a 5000-kilometer event across Kenya and Tanzania. “This collaboration brings together the best of innovation, cutting-edge technology and decades of real rallying experience into one, amazingly capable, all-terrain off-road racing vehicle,” said Tuthill.
Singer’s client actually commissioned two vehicles of similar capability. As these photos confirm, the Parallax White car excels in high-speed desert running, while the 911 painted in Corsica Red confronts the harsh demands of more tarmac-based rally experiences.
Each ACS started life as a roadgoing 1990 Porsche 911 (964 chassis), so considerable modifications were required to create vehicles capable of racing in a brutal off-road and rally environments. Engineers increased the ride height dramatically and also upgraded the lower componentry to permanent AWD with front, center and rear mechanical limited-slip differentials.
Even though a standard Porsche 911 features a stiff chassis, the brutal terrain that the ACS must endure requires a monocoque strengthened for heavy-duty off-road conditions. Body panels for the ACS are constructed of carbon fiber. Both lightweight and strong, the replaceable panels provide easy access to the vehicle’s underbody.
Tires and Brakes
The Singer ACS rides on 16-inch forged aluminum wheels fitted with BF Goodrich All-Terrain tires. Tremendous stopping power comes courtesy of 4-piston monobloc steel disc brakes. The ACS gets fitted with a custom long-travel suspension system including dual 5-way adjustable dampers at each wheel.
Power for the Singer ACS emanates from a 3.6-liter twin-turbo air-cooled Porsche flat-six engine. Output can be adjusted depending on event — it starts at 450 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque and rises from there. The flat six is teamed with a 5-speed sequential gearbox; however, the car can be fitted with a manual gearbox or paddle shifters.
Singer ACS Interior
This special Porsche’s cabin gets encased in an FIA-spec full roll cage protecting occupants sitting on bespoke FIA-certified competition seats with 5-point harnesses. The ACS also has a GPS race navigation system as well as in-seat hydration systems for both the driver and passenger / navigator.
The customer who commissioned the All-terrain Competition Study agreed to allow Singer Vehicle Design to reproduce these modifications for other customers who might want this type of bespoke Porsche 911 restoration. The pricing for this work will vary and be dependent on specific customer requirements.
More to Come
“We feel confident this machine can appeal to off-roading enthusiasm of all kinds, whether it be in the pursuit of professional competition at the highest level or adventure and exploration,” noted Dickinson. “ACS advances Singer’s capabilities in forced-induction, all-wheel drive, off-road ability and dynamic response — all of which will support our ongoing mission. This pursuit of focused competition studies is something you will see more of from us in the future,” Dickinson enthused.
Singer does not build nor sell automobiles, and the company has no association with German automaker Porsche AG. Founded by ex-Catherine Wheel singer / songwriter Rob Dickinson, Singer Vehicle Design restores and reimagines 1989–1994 Porsche 911s (964 chassis) to customer specifications, making these classic Porsches lighter, stronger and in many ways better than the originals. As Dickinson noted, these cars are not Singer Porsches — they are properly referred to as Porsche 911s restored and reimagined by Singer.