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Breaking Limits: Porsche 911 Sets New Global Milestone

Author: Pratik Ghadge on Dec 08,2023
Reaching highest altitude with Porsche 911

In a remarkable feat of engineering and human determination, a team of mountaineers, engineers, and drivers recently accomplished an extraordinary achievement. They successfully drove a heavily modified Porsche 911 to the summit of a volcano in Chile, setting a new world record for the highest elevation ever reached by a car. This groundbreaking event marks a significant milestone in automotive history, showcasing the limits of what can be achieved with innovation and perseverance.

The Record-Breaking Achievement


Porsche 911 climbing on mountain slope


On December 2, the team reached a breathtaking height of 22,093 feet (6,734 meters) above sea level at the Ojos del Salado volcano in Chile. This achievement shattered previous records, pushing the boundaries of automotive endurance and performance. At the wheel was none other than Le Mans champion Romain Dumas, piloting a specially modified Porsche 911 Carrera 4S, affectionately named Edith. This ascent was not just a test of the car's capabilities but also a testament to human ambition and the relentless pursuit of breaking limits.

The Modified Porsche 911


Modified eFuel on Porsche 911


The vehicle at the heart of this achievement, Edith, was a lighter and more agile version of the off-road 911, meticulously developed by Dumas' team, RD Limited, in collaboration with Porsche. The modifications were extensive and purpose-built for the challenge. Porsche Vision 357, a symbol of innovation, merged seamlessly with engineering prowess in the creation of Edith, the high-altitude conqueror.

The car was equipped with portal axles, a technology typically reserved for hardcore military vehicles, providing a significant increase in ground clearance and a gear ratio reduction for precise throttle control at low speeds. The underbody was armored with Aramid fiber, known for its use in tactical gear, to protect against the harsh volcanic terrain. Inside, Edith featured carbon fiber seats, and to maintain performance at high altitudes, the car ran on a synthetic gasoline known as HIF eFuel, developed in Chile.

Challenges and Innovations


The journey to the volcano's peak presented unique challenges, primarily due to the extreme altitude and frigid temperatures. One of the key innovations in Edith was the implementation of a steer-by-wire system called Space Drive, developed by the Schaeffler Group. This cutting-edge technology replaced traditional physical connections with electronic controls, offering precision and detailed feedback crucial for navigating the treacherous volcanic terrain. The use of advanced technology, including innovations inspired by the iconic Porsche 993, was pivotal in overcoming environmental challenges and ensuring the safety and success of the ascent.

The successful ascent of the Ojos del Salado volcano by a modified Porsche 911 is a landmark event in the world of automotive and adventure sports. It stands as a shining example of how technological innovation, when coupled with human courage and expertise, can conquer seemingly insurmountable challenges. This achievement not only sets a new global milestone but also opens the door to future explorations and innovations in the automotive industry.

Team and Support


Driver inside Porsche 911


The extraordinary achievement of driving a Porsche 911 to the top of a Chilean volcano was not just a triumph of engineering but also a testament to international collaboration and support. The team, a diverse group of professionals from Chile, France, Germany, the United States, Canada, and Switzerland, showcased a remarkable blend of skills and expertise. Each member played a crucial role in overcoming the myriad challenges posed by such a daunting task.

Supporting this endeavor were some of the most renowned names in the automotive and technology industries. Porsche, a symbol of automotive excellence, provided the backbone for this project with their expertise and resources. HIF Global contributed with their innovative eFuel, a synthetic gasoline, highlighting a commitment to sustainable technology. The Schaeffler Group's contribution of the steer-by-wire system was crucial for navigating the challenging terrain. Mobil 1 ensured the smooth running of the vehicle's engine under extreme conditions, while BFGoodrich supplied the durable tires needed for such rugged terrain. TAG Heuer, synonymous with precision, also played a supporting role in this record-setting journey.

Context and Comparison


This recent accomplishment of the Porsche 911, reaching 22,093 feet, is even more impressive when compared to other high-altitude records. The previous record, also set by Porsche and Romain Dumas in 2022, was significantly lower, demonstrating the continuous push for greater heights and challenges. When placed alongside other high-altitude locations like Pikes Peak and Mount Kilimanjaro, the achievement gains an even greater magnitude, showcasing the extreme conditions and altitudes that were conquered.

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The significance of this achievement in automotive history cannot be overstated. It stands as a shining example of human ingenuity, determination, and the relentless pursuit of pushing boundaries. This event is not just about setting a new record; it's about redefining what is possible. It demonstrates the incredible feats that can be achieved through collaboration, innovation, and the human spirit.

The journey of the Porsche 911 to the peak of the Ojos del Salado volcano will be remembered as a milestone in automotive exploration. It serves as an inspiration, showing that with the right team, support, and technology, even the most daunting challenges can be overcome. This achievement is a testament to the human endeavor to constantly seek new milestones and push the limits of what we believe is achievable.

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