Porsche has revealed what might just be the most radical street-going 911 ever. Called the 911 Dakar and limited to 2,500 examples worldwide, the new car is an homage to Porsche’s outright win at the 1984 Paris-Dakar Rally.
Revealed at the Los Angeles Auto Show, the 911 Dakar can even be boiught with what Porsche calls the Ralley Design Package, which includes a paint job reminiscent of the ‘84 rally car, only with the word ‘Roughroads’ in place of a cigarette sponsor used in period.
Buying choosing the Ralley Design Package can ask for a number between 1 and 999 for the door stickers. As well as the blue, red and gold livery shown today, Porsche says designs inspired by other period liveries, including the iconic Martini paint job, are also available.
The most obvious difference between the Dakar and any other contemporary 911 is its ride height, which is 1.96in (50mm) higher than a standard 911 Carrera. The car’s lift system can also provide an extra 1.18in (30mm) of ground clearance at the front and rear. But instead of being used purely to clear high obstacles at low speed, the lift system of the 911 Dakar has been tuned to act as an integral part of the chassis. So yes, you can crank the ride height up and speed over sand dunes to your heart’s content.
Porsche says the system is available for “ambitious off-road adventures at speeds of up to 170 km/h [105 mph]”. Above that speed, the car automatically lowers back down to its usual height, which is still 50mm higher than a base 911.
The Porsche 911 Dakar comes fitted with Pirelli Scorpion All Terrain Plus tires with a chunky, 9mm deep tread pattern and reinforced sidewalls. Summer and winter tires are also available, turning the Dakar into a true year-round sportscar. Porsche says the standard all terrain tires “offer sports car dynamics on the road” as well as composure on the dirt.
Optional additional equipment include a roof basket and a roof tent, as well as a special 911 Dakar chronograph watch by Porsche Design. There’s also a 12-volt socket mounted on the roof for powering spot lights, which can be fitted to the roof basket.
The 911 Dakar is powered by the same drivetrain as the 911 GTS, which means Porsche’s three-litre flat-six engine sits at the back, producing 473 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque. This is sent to all four wheels via an eight-speed PDK semi-automatic gearbox. No manual option is available. The car can sprint to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds and top speed is limited to 150mph due to the all-terrain tires.
Helping the 911 Dakar get off the line no matter where it is, Porsche has developed a launch control system that allows up to 20 percent wheelspin when accelerating on low-grip surfaces.
US deliveries are expected to begin in the spring of 2023 and the 911 Dakar is pruced from $223,450.