Singer’s latest creation is this futuristic and rally-ready desert runner
Singer is going off-road. The Los Angeles-based Porsche restoration house, world-renowned for its exquisite reimaginations of the 964-generation 911, has revealed an outrageous rally-ready project dubbed the All-terrain Competition Study (ACS). This lifted, twin-turbocharged creation rendered in Parallax White is one of two ACS vehicles (the other is painted Corsica Red) that Singer developed in partnership with U.K. rally specialist Tuthill.
The futuristic-looking Safari-style monster seen here was made at the request of a long-term client who wanted to honor Porsche’s 1980s rallying heritage and, like those machines, it should be fully viable in competition. Targeting desert races like the Dakar Rally and the Baja 1000, the white ACS is fully prepped for the grueling demands of those events with a full FIA-spec rollcage and FIA-certified competition seats. Other upgrades include a long-range fuel tank, two full-size spare wheels and tires, a rehydration system for driver and navigator, and a GPS navigation system.
The owner of the Parallax White ACS also commissioned a second car, painted in Corsica Red, that will instead focus on “high-speed, high-grip tarmac events and disciplines.” For such events, Singer would adjust gear ratios, ride height, and damper settings, along with appropriate wheels and tires for the surface.
While the desert-destined ACS, like all of Singer’s restorations, started as a 1990 Porsche 911, it’s fair to say that this is a completely overhauled vehicle whose modifications promise to fundamentally change it. (The ACS used a C4 coupe as its starting point, Singer says that C2 cars are equally suitable.) Engineered collaboratively between Los Angeles and Oxfordshire, U.K., but assembled at Tuthill’s facilities, the ACS is an all-out effort to tackle the desert. Singer says it strengthened the ACS’s monocoque for heavy-duty off-road use, and the body panels are all made of carbon fiber for weight reduction and easy replacement. The car rides quite a bit higher than stock (12 inches of ground clearance) and rides on a bespoke suspension with 12 inches travel. A pair of five-way adjustable dampers sit at each corner, along with the 16-inch forged aluminum wheels wearing BFGoodrich All-Terrain tires. The brakes are four-piston monobloc steel discs, and the stopping system comes with a hydraulic handbrake.
Naturally, the ACS features a permanent all-wheel drive system, along with a sequential five-speed transmission and front, center, and rear mechanical limited-slip differentials. The dog-box will allow for flat-shifting, allowing drivers to either shift gears via either the shift paddles or the manual gear lever. Out back is a twin-turbo 3.6-liter flat-six that churns out 450 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque.
Impressive as everything is underneath that carbon-fiber skin, the look of the car itself is perhaps most striking. While Singer’s design work has always melded the Porsche ethos with the SoCal tradition of modifying 911s, the ACS is a major step in a new direction. Its large duck-bill spoiler, prominent tow hook, chunky fenders, two-tone contrast between the body and the bumpers/sills, various ducts and vents, and slotted engine cover resemble a wild rally concept come to life. The company’s vision for a Porsche-inspired off-roader blends Singer’s passion for motorsports with the holistic approach it takes to every project.
“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,” said Singer 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 911s in their honor while utilizing fresh perspectives and state of the art know-how.”
Singer’s partnership with Tuthill follows a previous collaboration with Williams Advanced Engineering in 2017, which yielded the stunning Dynamics and Lightweighting Study (DLS). Tuthill is himself a seasoned expert in rally racing (911s prepped by his team have long been a force in the sport, including a recent victory at the 2019 East African Safari Classic) and he even partnered with Prodrive back in the 1980s to provide specially-prepped body shells for the Rothmans 911 SC/RS. That experience helps bring this partnership with Singer full circle.
Customers will be able to spec future commissions with the off-road elements developed for the ACS, and Singer says it can provide full technical support packages for vehicles that will be campaigned in competition. All of Singer’s modified 911s are fully customized, and, as you might expect, they don’t come cheap. The DLS models have been rumored to cost in the neighborhood of $1.8M, and two Singer-modified Porsches sold at auction in 2019, each for more than $800,000.