Porsche is known for its road-hugging sports cars, but it's plenty familiar with off-roading, too. It's gone rallying more than a few times, and these days, it's all the rage for 911 owners to give their rigs the Safari treatment. Porsche has gone ahead and cut out the middleman by building the battle-ready 911 Dakar, which comes from the factory with all-terrain tires, a real suspension lift, a roof rack, and more.
Performance-wise, Porsche says the 911 Dakar can hit 60 miles per hour in just 3.2 seconds. I'm assuming that's on asphalt, but I imagine it comes pretty close to that on gravel, too. The top speed is limited to 150 mph on account of the nearly 30-inch all-terrain tires, but regular summer and winter tires are also available. Not sure who'd want those but that's OK.
Output comes from a 3.0-liter twin-turbo flat-six with 473 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. It's backed up by an eight-speed PDK automatic delivering power to all four wheels, though the powertrain isn't really where the magic happens; it's in the new bodywork, suspension, and tires. The Dakar rides on big all-terrains mounted to 19-inch wheels in the front and 20s in the rear. The suspension can also be lifted 30mm at speeds up to 105 mph. That means in its highest setting, the Dakar is a full three inches taller than a regular Carrera.
New body elements place the Dakar in a class of its own as well. Forged aluminum tow hooks, stainless steel body elements, flared fenders, and stainless steel intake grilles make it hard to mistake for a regular 911. The car is also available with a roof basket that can accommodate optional rally lights and hold up to 92 pounds of equipment.
A roof tent is available for rich people larping as Lewis and Clark. A Rallye Design Package which makes the car look like the 911 that won the 1984 Paris-Dakar Rally is available for rich people larping as Walter Röhrl.
With all of this new equipment, the 911 Dakar weighs 3,552 pounds; that's only 16 pounds heavier than a regular automatic Carrera 4 GTS. This is thanks to a rear seat delete, special lightweight glass, and the 911 GT3's carbon hood.
More prowess on the dirt comes thanks to rear-axle steering, Porsche's dynamic chassis control system, and two Dakar-specific drive modes called Rallye and Off-Road. Rallye is more for drifty fun on dirt roads—someone please forget to tell the YouTubers about that one—while Off-Road mode is more suited for maximizing traction at slower speeds over more uneven terrain. Both of these modes have a special launch control setting that helps optimize the car's behavior off the line.
Pricing for the Dakar starts at $223,450 and only goes up from there. This is a Porsche, so expect a lot of options. The automaker plans to build 2,500 of the machines for the global market, and they will arrive at dealers in the spring of 2023.
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