This modded Porsche 911 has just driven higher than any other car on the planet

Le Mans champ Romain Dumas floored it to 6,734 metres above sea level

Porsche 911 Mountain Record
(Image credit: Porsche)

Apparently, it's not easy to drive a car to the peak of the western ridge of the Ojos del Salado volcano in Chile. 

Disregarding the distinct lack of roads, the vast boulder fields and the deathly drops either side, there’s the issue of the air being half as dense at altitude as it is at sea level and the -20°C temperatures. Internal combustion engines don’t really get on with those kind of conditions.

All things considered, it’s quite the achievement that former Le Mans champion Romain Dumas managed to pilot a heavily modified Porsche 911 to 6,734 metres above sea level, setting a new world record and proving Dumas is one badass wheelsmith in the process.

Porsche 911 Mountain Record

(Image credit: Porsche)

In order to achieve such lofty heights, Porsche had to create two bespoke 911 models - nicknamed 'Doris' and 'Edith' - presumably because one was very likely to break. Porsche says the final record push was achieved in the "lighter and more agile" Edith variant, which essentially is an extremely off-road capable conversion based on the current 911 Carrera 4S.

The 443hp, 3.0 litre, six cylinder boxer engine remained unchanged and was paired with a stock seven-speed manual transmission, but portal axles were added to increase ground clearance. These portal axles also had the added effect of reducing the gear ratios to allow for more precise throttle inputs at low speed.

The underbody was covered in Aramid fibre for additional protection, lightweight bucket seats were added to the interior and steer-by-wire technology was specially developed by Schaeffler Group.

Porsche 911 Mountain Record

(Image credit: Porsche)

This offered "precision and detailed feedback to allow Romain Dumas to place the car precisely where he needed it – often while ascending precarious and near-vertical slopes," according to Porsche.

What’s more, the two cars were running HIF eFuels, produced in Chile, which were made from water and carbon dioxide using renewable energy. Porsche claims it was a near-net CO2 neutral record attempt.

According to the team, it took them two weeks to acclimatise to the altitude, with the record attempt broken up into smaller segments each day. The final push began at 3.30 in the morning and was complete by 15.58 the same day, with the heavily modified 911 taking the savage incline in its stride. 

"The 911 'Edith' had some new scars and a layer of thick volcanic dust, but was otherwise ready to perform the same feat all over again," Porsche claims.

Is it just us, or has the sudden urge to fit massive off-road tyres to a 911 suddenly taken hold?

Leon Poultney

Leon has been writing about automotive and consumer tech for longer than he cares to divulge. When he’s not testing the latest fitness wearable and action camera, he’s out in a shed fawning over his motorcycles or trying not to kill himself on a mountain bike/surfboard/other extreme thing. He's also a man who knows his tools, and he's provided much of T3's drills coverage over the years, all without injuring himself.