Singer reveals Porsche-inspired off-road racer

US engineering and British rallying firm team up to create car with "deeply legitimate competition credentials"

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Los Angeles-based automotive engineering firm Singer Vehicle Design, famed for its ‘reimagined’ Porsche 911s, has created its first off-road machine.

The racer, dubbed the All-terrain Competition Study (ACS), is the result of a collaboration between Singer and Porsche rally specialist Richard Tuthill in the UK and celebrates the Porsche rally cars of the 1980s that tackled the World Rally Championship and the Paris-Dakar.

“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 founder Rob Dickinson.

“We at Singer are motorsport nerds in our hearts and demonstrating our understanding of the discipline required our off-road vision to display deeply legitimate competition credentials from the structural engineering, to the bodywork ethos, to the mechanical package.

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“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.

“As is our habit we chose to tackle our subject thoroughly and we are proud to have found the best in the world – always our ambition – to help us reach our goals. Like Williams Advanced Engineering before them with the Dynamics & Lightweighting Study, Richard Tuthill and his incredible team have allowed us to bring our vision for the All-terrain Competition Study to life in the most spectacular way.”

Like other Singer creations, the ACS is based on a 1990s 964 911 platform – in this case a 1990 model. The car had its monocoque strengthened to allow it to tackle a multitude of terrain, while the body panels were replaced with carbon fiber ones to compensate for the added weight of the strengthening and other off-road enhancements.

Those enhancements include specialized long-travel suspension with eight five-way adjustable dampers and uprated four-piston brakes (with hydraulic handbrake), wrapped in 16-inch wheels with BF Goodrich off-road tires. There’s also a pair of full-size spare wheels onboard, a new long-range fuel tank, a full FIA-approved roll cage and race seats, a drinks system for both the driver and co-driver plus a competition GPS system.

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The engine has received attention too, with the 3.6-liter air-cooled flat-six unit tuned to now deliver 450 bhp. It’s mated to a five-speed sequential gearbox, that’s also manual and paddle-shift capable, delivering power to all four wheels through a a permanent all-wheel-drive system.

Singer’s ACS has been designed with the likes of Dakar and the Baja 1000 in mind, and while the car was a bespoke commission for a long-standing Singer customer, they have given their approval for further examples to be made.

“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,” Dickinson added.

“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.”

Words:Dominik Wilde