My Favorite Car from Sema 2017

Oct 31 2017
Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas Valley, NV

The annual SEMA, or Specialty Equipment Market Association show in Las Vegas is a place for car modifiers to display what they’ve been working on, showcasing creativity and innovation in the car building scene.

Scrolling through some of the press releases and news blasts from the show, we came across this: 

Modified Porsche 964

It’s a Porsche 964, drastically modified by Porsche sprint car builders Kelly Moss Road & Race. Part of the reason I love this car so much is I’m a huge Dakar rally fan, where the normal road-going cars are heavily re-engineered by teams to compete in one of the most arduous races in the world. This car rightly won the “Best Off-Road Vehicle” of the show award.

Dubbed the VICCI Safari 4, KMR took an acid rain damaged west coast 964 donor car and completely rebuilt it. The Porsche was converted to all-wheel drive and the original naturally aspirated motor was replaced with a supercharged Porsche 3.8 liter flat-six. Power output stands at a whopping 435hp and 400ft lb of torque, a 70% increase over the original specs and this is thanks in part to some Fabspeed headers and a GT3 exhaust. The magical sound can only be compared to a swarm of angry hornets. KMR dropped in a 5-speed manual transmission for ultimate control when off-roading.

Lifting a Porsche 964 involves a lot of fabrication and engineering. To give clearance for the adjustable long travel Reiger shocks and chunky BF Goodrich KO tires, the team at KMR had to remove 14” from the luggage compartment under the hood and bond on specially extended wheel arches all around.

The engine intake is now located inside the cab, to cut down on dust getting into the air filters. Custom ducting work was made to keep the engine running cool, working in combination with a remote oil cooler.

Brembo brakes were fitted with huge, trash can lid sized calipers. Braided lines give a more positive brake pedal feel and allow for the long suspension travel. Of Course, when building a car like this, you add a hydraulic park brake or “drift stick” for mad off-road skids.

Just like any good off-roader, the interior is plain and functional. Rear seats have been removed to help save weight and both driver and co-driver now benefit from full racing harnesses, leather Recaro racing seats, and a roll hoop.

This Porsche 964 also has an onboard fire suppression system and carries its own compressor and air tank for quickly letting tires down to lower pressures when driving on sand. Of course, the car is equipped with a full off-road recovery kit for digging and pulling yourself out of almost any situation. Even included is a basic toolkit and well-positioned under hood lighting for effecting repairs in the field.

For nighttime adventures, the car is loaded with high output, low power usage LED lighting. The company jokes that the car has enough lighting to “illuminate a small village”.

It’s a delight to see such a well thought through the build, executed to the highest possible standards and you really get the impression that the VICCI Safari 4 is not a concourse ‘show’ car, it’s made to be used and is fully operational. What a machine!