If you're looking for a Porsche 911 that can cope with literally anything, then this may just be the electric beast for you. It's called the Super Off-Road Challenge Concept. When you're set on taking something stylish to the hills, mountains, deserts or just about anywhere else, then it's the perfect weapon. Only thing is: it's not real. Yet, anyway.
The Super Off-Road Challenge Concept is the work of one of the burgeoning number of car concept artists who digitally imagine what could be, given money, commitment and a healthy dose of insanity. Luis González of Spain’s Hakosan Design is just such an auto-artist and this alluring, unlikely vehicle is his work.
Donor car is a 1990s era 911, a 993 in Porsche's model language, but there's not much of that deluxe express left, beyond the obvious visual cues. Key - and controversial - decision is to ditch the famous flat six engine and replace it with an all-electric powertrain derived from that used in the Extreme E race/rally series that's now in its second season. Power would be a staggering 1,000 bhp.
Since there's now no engine to the rear, a forged carbon fibre panel incorporates the signature whale-tail spoiler as well as accommodating a full-size spare wheel. Hugely flared arches are just sufficient to contain hefty bespoke wheels and allow for the specialist lift gear fitted to the car. Frontal aero kit includes a forged carbon splitter while multiple additional lights are high-specification LEDs.
Luis González's design takes inspiration from a real-life vehicle commissioned from Singer, the Californian 911 rebuild and reimagine specialists. Singer's 450 bhp twin turbocharged ATC - All-Terrain Competition Study - was conceived for the worst its owner could throw at it. In turn, both Singer and Gonzalez pay homage to the 911’s real world rally heritage. Closest relative is the beefed up 959 derivative that won the gruelling Paris-Dakar Rally in 1986. The heritage goes back further: more-or-less standard 911s began rallying not long after the car’s production launch, first winning the Monte Carlo Rally in 1968.
Interior of the digital concept is as striking as that remarkable exterior. Electronic instruments for both driver and rally navigator are backlit in green, as if on an alien spacecraft. There's a heads-up display, so that, reassuringly, both can keep their eyes on the no-doubt treacherous road ahead. Race seats are perforated, while the steering wheel is a Formula One-style detachable affair with multiple manettino dials.
Could the Super Off-Road Challenge Concept ever be built? It depends. While Extreme E is going from strength to strength - McLaren have joined the fray for this season - racing is in identical vehicles. Perhaps if the rules were loosened, Porsche might be tempted. And if they are, we know just the design they could draw on.