Porsche’s new 911 Dakar has arrived, bringing a number of off-road-focused tweaks that help this sports car to go further than ever.
Limited to just 2,500 examples worldwide – with each priced at £173,000 – the 911 Dakar takes its inspiration from the first overall victory by Porsche in the 1984 Paris-Dakar rally. It rides 50mm higher than the standard 911 Carrera S, but this can be raised by a further 30mm using a lift system. Porsche says that with this additional ride height, the Dakar can rival ‘more conventional off-road vehicles’ in terms of ground clearance and ramp angles.
That ‘high level’ setting can be used at speeds of up to 106mph, after which the car will automatically lower to its standard setting.
The 911 Dakar uses that ride height increase in conjunction with specially developed Pirelli Scorpion All Terrain Plus tyres – measuring 19 inches at the front and 20 inches at the rear – which bring a chunky tread pattern and reinforced sidewalls to help both provide better traction and make the tyres more resistant to cuts and abrasions.
These can be switched for optional Pirelli P Zero summer and winter tyres for when more on-road driving is planned.
Powering the 911 Dakar is a 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged engine that is also used in the 911 GTS models. With 473bhp, it’s capable of driving the Dakar from 0-60mph in 3.3 seconds and onwards to a top speed of 149mph, which has been limited as a result of the off-road tyres.
Power is sent to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission, while all cars also get rear-axle steering for better agility at lower speeds and improved stability at greater ones. The Dakar also benefits from dynamic engine mounts taken from the 911 GT3 and Porsche’s Dynamic Chassis Control system.
Two new driver modes have been installed on the 911 Dakar, too. The first – Rallye – is designed for ‘loose, uneven surfaces’ and puts the car into a more rear-focused all-wheel-drive setup. Offroad mode, meanwhile, is there for situations where more ride height is required.
All cars get towing lugs at the front and rear, as well as widened wheel wells and sills. There’s additional protection, too, from stainless steel plates on the front, rear and sills, while the side air intakes have also been redesigned to better protect them from flying debris.
There’s also a 12-volt power outlet on the roof of the Dakar, which connects to the headlights on the optional roof rack. The rack itself can carry up to 42kg, which Porsche says is ideal for fuel and water canisters.
A special Rallye Design package – priced at £18,434 – adds the classic two-tone finish, decorative vinyl, white wheels and a red taillight strip.