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Climb Every Mountain: Porsche 911 sets record for high-altitude driving

Copiapó, Chile — In early December, a modified Porsche 911 Carerra 45 set the record for vehicle altitude height at 6,734 metres above sea level.

The record-setting Porsche was piloted by racecar driver Romain Dumas and was heavily modified in order to complete the trek up the Ojos del Salado volcano in Chile.

Such modifications included carbon fibre seats, portal axles for improved ground clearance, underbody protection and a steer-by wire system.

Dumas’s support team included members from Canada, the U.S., Chile, France, Germany and Switzerland. The team included two doctors who monitored for altitude sickness.

The previous altitude record was 6,694 metres and was set in 2020 on the same volcano by a pair of Mercedes-Benz Unimogs.

Last year, Dumas and his team took modified 911s up the same volcano, initially going up as high as 6,007 metres.

On the trek, Dumas and the team had to deal with oxygen-starved air and -20 degrees Celsius temperatures. As with the trial run, two cars were brought on the trek named Doris and Edith by Dumas and his team.

Both ICE vehicles used ran on synthetic fuels created by HIF a company in Chile. The fuel was made from water and carbon dioxide with renewable energy. HIF claims that the carbon dioxide captured when making the fuel roughly equals what is emitted when the car is driven.

Despite the low temperatures, the cars were still filled with factory-recommended lubricants and engine components.

The record-setting vehicle, Edith, reached the summit on December 2 at 3:58 local time.

“The 911 managed to go higher than any other earthbound vehicle in history,” Dumas said. “We reached a point where we were met by the true summit of the true summit of the west ridge; we could go no higher. So this was the maximum altitude that can be achieved.”

 

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