The crazy 964-era 911 never looked better, and now it's going into production.
If there’s something familiar about the batty Baja-ready Porsche 911, it’s more than just weird déjà vu. About a month ago we happened upon a video detailing this decidedly mental 911, which had its public debut at the 2019 SEMA Show. It’s the brainchild of Porsche fan TJ Russell, and as you can image, he enjoys trips off the beaten path just as much – if not more – than pounding down asphalt. In that article, we mentioned this build was done in such a way that more could be made if there were interested buyers. Guess what folks – it’s time to let your money do the talking.
TJ Russell and his company, Russell Built Fabrication, is officially tossing a hat into the niche vehicle production ring. That’s right – order banks are now open for those who want what could be the most radical rally 911 we’ve ever seen. What’s that? You’ve seen some insane off-road 911s before? Perhaps, but were they road legal? That’s right, this Russell Built 911 isn’t just a dune jumping toy. You can hop in the driver’s seat and tackle trails or the drive-thru line at Costa Coffee, if that’s your thing. Or, if you do want a hardcore race-only version. Russell can do that, too.
To refresh your memory, the car starts life as a 964-generation 911. The chassis and suspension are strengthened, but it’s far more than just a Porsche with a body lift and knobby tyres. The wheelbase is stretched 75-millimetres (3-inches), and side-to-side the track is a full 14-inches wider. This improves stability greatly, while allowing for no less than 12 inches of suspension travel in front, and 355 mm (13.5 inches) at the back. A majority of the components are custom-machined from aluminium, and obviously the widebody wings are special-issue as well. In fact, every body panel is a bespoke composite item, which not only gives the 911 a positively sinister look, but it shaves 180 kilograms (400 pounds) in the process. The entire machine tips the scales at just 1,270 kg (2,800 pounds).
Gallery: Russell Built Fabrication Porsche 911 Baja
As such, the 911’s tweaked flat-six engine doesn’t have much weight to contend with. Russell Built Fabrication teams up with Rothsport Racing on the mill, which is enlarged to 3.8 litres and gains a host of bolt-ons as well as customer internals. It develops 365 bhp, and yes, it can be mated to either a two-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive Porsche drivetrain.
The one piece of information we don’t have that we suspect everyone wants is price. Nothing is mentioned in the press release, and frankly, with the sheer amount of customisation involved in creating this 911, there likely isn’t any base price from which to start. We’re fairly certain it’s quite an expensive step to take, but if you have any doubts about just how amazing this machine is, check out the photo gallery above with no less than 134 high-resolution shots from every angle imaginable.
Sun Valley, CA – After debuting its prototype vehicle in the Toyo Tires Treadpass display at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas last month, Russell Built Fabrication has announced it is officially taking orders for its ultimate race-inspired, off-road outfitting package for the 964 generation of the Porsche 911. Using a multitude of custom components created with modern technology and engineering, Russell Built Fabrication transforms each outfitted vehicle into the most capable, versatile, dual sport air-cooled 911 on the planet. Each outfitting package will be hand crafted and can be custom-tailored for its desired use, allowing clients to spec their Porsche 911 as a daily driver, class-legal race car, or anything in between.
Structure and Suspension
To transform the 964 911 into a capable off-road vehicle, Russell Built Fabrication has strengthened both the chassis and suspension systems to handle even the harshest of terrain. The track has been widened an incredible fourteen inches and wheelbase increased three inches, allowing for a more balanced center of gravity and increased stability.
At the front of the car a set of custom structural towers have been added, allowing the suspension system to be mounted to the chassis via factory bolt provisions while being supported by the tube structure integrated into the factory tub. This enables consistent placement as well as easy replacement of damaged components if the need arises. The structural towers are fabricated from 4130 chromoly plate and then heat-treated to increase strength and durability. Custom spindles and upper a-arms are machined from billet 7075 aircraft aluminum along with box plate heat-treated 4130 chromoly lower a-arms. This setup makes for the best combination of both strength and lightweight materials, and along with a set of 2.5 inch 3-way adjustable coilover shocks yields a full 12 inches of suspension travel.
At the rear of the vehicle is a buggy-style chromoly box plate and tube trailing arm that utilizes the factory pick up points to maintain the handling characteristics Porsche 911 engineers intended with an incredible 13.5 inches of wheel travel provided by 3.0 inch 3-way adjustable. An adjustable NASCAR-style rear sway bar keeps the car planted and level during cornering.
A great deal of pride and respect was used in creating and designing the exclusive body parts used in each outfitting package, with great importance placed on maintaining the DNA that the Porsche 911 is known for. The goal was to develop something that might have come out of the Porsche race factory had they continued their efforts in off-road racing into the 1990s with the 964. From the widebody fenders, molded rally-style hood, to the lightweight doors and hard top, every panel is custom-formed from composite materials to provide the lightest, most durable parts possible. In total, the vehicle weight has been reduced by 400+ pounds by replacing all the factory steel body parts, bringing the weight from 3200 pounds down to 2800 pounds in full luxury spec.
For the engines fitted in each outfitted Porsche 911, Russell Built Fabrication has partnered with Rothsport Racing, who boasts a thirty-year pedigree of building Porsche 911 engines capable of handling both on and off-road. The factory 3.6L engine has been enlarged to 3.8L with custom internals, throttle bodies and intake manifold controlled by a Motec ECU. The result is an efficient and reliable engine that produces 365 horsepower and 310 lb-ft torque. The engine is mated to the stock Carrera C4 drivetrain, with both 2WD and 4WD sequential systems available as an option.
For its prototype vehicle Russell Built Fabrication has fitted 15x7-inch fifteen52 Integrale wheels at all four corners, wrapped with Toyo Open Country A/T II tires.
The interior of each outfitted 911 can be ordered in a variety of specifications, from bare bones race car to full luxury. For safety, all vehicles are outfitted with a chromoly race-spec roll cage, with door bars pushed out for side impact protection. The entire inner sheetmetal surfaces are welded up and sealed from the front fuel supply and rear engine bay, then sprayed with a layer of sound deadening and ceramic coating to insulate the cabin from noise and heat. A Motec digital display is used to help monitor any and all components as well as log data for any troubleshooting and fine tuning. In the rear seat area behind the folding Sparco SPX carbon seats is a locking storage box for spare parts, tools or anything needed to be kept contained. Clients can choose from a variety of carpet and leather finishes to complete the look of the cabin.
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