Remember the extraordinarily awesome Porsche 959? That supercar was born out of the first series of all-wheel drive (AWD) 911s that participated in the 1984 Paris-Dakar Rally and emerged victorious. That same concept has finally been applied to a series-production 911, and it’s officially called the Porsche 911 Dakar. We want one so badly, but only 2,500 units will be produced.
The exterior of the 2023 Porsche 911 Dakar is brimming with personality. The 911 Dakar sits 50 mm higher off the ground compared to a standard AWD 911 Carrera 4, but a “High Level” off-road mode raises this further to 80 mm. As a result, its approach, break over, and departure angles are similar to some off-roader SUVs, and yet it can travel at this raised position at speeds of up to 170 kph.
Considering the environment these cars will potentially face, the 911 Dakar comes with black cladding for protection from stones and rocks, along with forged aluminum tow hooks, stainless steel silver plates, and protective mesh covers on all of its air intakes. However, these add weight to the 911 Dakar, and to counter this, Porsche swapped the electrically-deployable rear spoiler for a fixed one whilst adding a carbon fiber hood, fitting the car with thinner glass and lightweight bucket seats. Oh, and the rear seats have been removed because who sits there anyway?
If you want to make your Porsche 911 Dakar truly look the part, a Rally Design Package brings out the best of this rally-inspired sports car. The package costs €26,061 (around P1.5 million) and it pays homage to the original 1984 Paris-Dakar Rally-winning 911 through its two-tone White and Enzian Blue paint, red and gold stripes, white wheels, and “Roughroads” lettering on the doors. Customers can also choose their own race number from 0 to 999.
Other accessories are also available for the Porsche 911 Dakar, such as the off-road roof basket that can hold up to 42 kg. It’s fitted with an LED roof light that’s powered via a dedicated 12-volt socket. You can also opt for a Porsche Tequipment tent, and also a Porsche Design Dakar chronograph that’s finished in standard or Rally Design. Whichever color is chosen, this watch is mated out of scratch-resistant titanium carbide.
Powering the 2023 Porsche 911 Dakar is a six-cylinder twin-turbo boxer engine that produces 480 hp and 570 Nm of torque, which is sent to all four wheels via an 8-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic. This is good for a blisteringly quick 0-100 kph time of 3.2 seconds, but due to the aggressive Pirelli Scorpion all-terrain tires with 9 mm treads, its top speed of just 240 kph is the lowest in recent memory.
Even though this is a Porsche for the desert, the 911 Dakar still comes with chassis enhancements from the road-going models such as four-wheel steering and dynamic engine mounts. A Rally Launch Control maximizes grip for quick jolts from loose surfaces.
The 2023 Porsche 911 Dakar and its novelty factor will surely make this one of the most highly sought-after 911s in recent memory. The fact that it can perform off-road whilst still being a very capable sports car on the tarmac means that those 2,500 units won’t have a difficult time looking for a loving owner.