Prepare to feel poor all over again, because the California-based Porsche 911 restoration gods at Singer have unveiled their latest creation: The ACS, which is basically its take on the 911 Safari. Provided you're familiar with the firm's previous work, the ACS (short for All-terrain Competition Study) is exactly what you'd expect a Singer Safari 911 to be like. An absolute weapon of beauty.
The ACS is based on a 964 from 1990 and was built upon request of an anonymous, "existing, long-term, special" Singer client who wanted an air-cooled 911 that could "compete in off-road racing and demonstrate all-terrain exploration capabilities." It doesn't sound like those intentions are an aspirational cover for "keep it in a temperature-controlled garage for the next 50 years" either because this well-heeled off-road enthusiast has apparently purchased two—the white one seen here for "desert rallying" and another in red for "high-speed, high-grip tarmac events." Now that's a person who is very much living its best life.
That said, the buyer has also given his personal blessing to any future Singer customers who'd like their car done in the exact same configuration as well so you better start digging in between those couch cushions.
The ACS is powered by a twin-turbo, air-cooled, 3.6-liter flat-six good for about 450 horsepower. Apparently, more power can be extracted via tuning for the varying demands of individual events. That power travels through a five-speed sequential transmission and onwards to a permanent all-wheel-drive system. To make sure it survives the conditions in which it was meant to be rallied, it's got a long-range fuel tank, two full-size spare tires and wheels, and 5-mm thick removable aluminum underbody protective panels that allow for easy middle-of-nowhere repairs.
All of the body panels are carbon fiber and the brake calipers are four-pistons while the long-travel suspension features not one but two five-way adjustable dampers on all four corners. Inside, there's an FIA-spec roll cage, FIA-spec bucket seats, a carbon hydraulic handbrake lever, and a huge screen with navigation.
It doesn't sound bad at all either. Have a listen.
Anyone with enough funds, however, can cobble together a bunch of parts, but it's the execution that sets Singer builds apart from the rest. Par for the Singer course, every little detail oozes beauty and care. The rear bumper was milled out of a single piece of aluminum. The fluorescent red splatter in the interior could have come off as tacky but, this being Singer, it works and works gorgeously. Even the underside of the clamshells are painted to pay subtle tribute to the legendary Rothmans livery and would not look out of place in a modern art museum.
This off-road build being such a departure from what Singer usually does, though, help was provided in the form of vintage 911 rally expert Richard Tuthill.
Speaking of "enough funds," Singer won't specify exactly how much the ACS will cost with Tuthill merely mentioning to Top Gear that it would definitely cost "a bit more" than your run-of-the-mill Singer that already runs near the million-dollar mark. "It'll be what it'll be," he adds. Feel poor yet?