© Clint Davis
Porsche and Maserati both recently showed off Safari sports cars they will likely never make. What other cars are waiting for the off-road treatment?
Earlier this week, Maserati shared a speculative rendering of their new MC20 sports car in a "Safari" trim, a rally-ready variant that would make the MC20 as prepared for snow as it is for a dry track. Unfortunately, the rendering is purely conceptual, an idea for future MC20 owners to execute themselves rather than a goal for the actual company to eventually produce.
Porsche went a step further in 2012, revealing earlier this month that they actually produced a safari-ready 911 that never got past the one-off stage. This is actually building on a surprisingly long history of Safari-prepared 911s and 959s, from actual rally cars produced and raced by the company to popular modifications done by intrepid owners. (But not Intrepid owners; The heavy Dodge is not well-equipped for off-road duty)
Unfortunately, neither the MC20 nor the current-generation 911 seem likely to receive a production Safari variant any time soon. Even the most adventurous car companies seem to see the market for an off-road-first supercar as untenable, and, while they are almost certainly right to do so, there is no fun in it. So what car should be getting this treatment?
Personally, I think this is the perfect territory for Toyota's current Supra. The Supra shares a common ancestry with the Celica, which was the basis of Toyota's best rally cars throughout the 90s, and what better way could they pay homage to that history than by throwing a lift kit, snow tires, and a headlight cluster on a Supra that was designed solely for paved surfaces?