It might be cold out, but the Porsche 911 Safari saga is definitely heating up judging by these latest spy shots of a lone prototype undergoing winter testing.
We’ve seen the Safari out in the wild before, but this time it’s wearing much less camouflage, giving us our best idea yet of what the high-riding sports car will look like when it launches later this year.
The dressed-down look reveals some important changes versus previous prototypes, including a vent at the base of the hood, which may be slightly misleading because there seems to be a large cover over the lower section of the hood.
There’s also a new design of front bumper that features fewer grille vanes and appears more swollen around the revised intakes, something that will probably appear when Porsche facelifts the nearly three-year-old 992. Is it just us, or does that new bumper look strangely reminiscent of the front end of the original Cayenne SUV?
Related: 2023 Porsche Cayenne Spied Up Close, Facelifted Model Should Debut Later This Year
We can also see what appear to be production-spec plastic wheel arch spats and sill moldings around the Pirelli P Zero-wrapped multi-spoke alloy wheels. But the most interesting update is at the rear end. Previous Safari prototypes have featured a regular adaptive rear spoiler, but this one has a fixed rear wing.
The wing isn’t a high-rise GT3-style spoiler, and it’s not like the ducktail wings we spotted on some mysterious prototypes last year, which we believed to be a spiritual successor to 2010’s 911 Sport Classic. Instead, it seems to be inspired by the tea-tray wings fitted to 911 Turbos in the 1980s and 1990s.
While Porsche has been openly testing the Safari 911 since October 2020, it has yet to confirm the project or release any details. We can’t even be certain that Porsche will use the ‘Safari’ name over something like the ‘Cross Turismo’ badge it applies to the off road-themed Taycan. Giving it the Safari tag would, however, help link the new variant to Porsche’s classic rally cars, and has become well recognized in recent years as a result of Porsche fans creating their own jacked-up 911s.