Lunatics at Porsche to Actually Build the 911 Dakar

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
lunatics at porsche to actually build the 911 dakar

If you’ve felt something is missing from your new Porsche 911 – say, an ability to blast dunes or conquer snow and ice – then a variant scheduled for the L.A. Auto Show should be right up your alley.

Check out the new 911 Dakar, marketed by Stuttgart as the first two-door sports car to offer outstanding off-road capabilities. Its name is, of course, a nod to the brand’s first overall victory about 40 years ago in the Paris-Dakar rally; those were the days in which the Dakar actually involved, you know, Dakar. These days, the off-road event is held in other parts of the world, with the next iteration planned for Saudi Arabia marking the 4th time that country will have hosted the event.

Yes, the car. In addition to the official off-road testing grounds near Weissach, the development team is said to have brought mules to rally courses in an effort to fine-tune the suspension, plus slung it around the frozen lakes of Sweden and sand tracks of Morocco. Two-time world rally champion Walter Röhrl apparently lent his talents during ice testing, saying that “everything works so precisely and calmly. No Porsche customer will believe all the things you can do with this car before they’ve driven it themselves.”

Whilst some of these photos look as if they’ve been ripped from the virtual environs of Forza Horizon, Porsche insists this car is the real deal. They’re mum on specs until the show in Los Angeles later this month – where we’ll have boots on the ground to take a closer look – but one can logically assume the 911 Dakar has a higher ride height than other 911s, stouter suspension, and tires which are more than a veneer of black paint around zillion-inch wheels. 

Given the wheelwell gap on the cars in these photos, we’ll take a stab and say the ground clearance of a 911 Dakar is between 6 and 7 inches; an unladen standard 911 stands just over 4 inches from terra firma. And while Porsche isn’t saying exactly what brand of tires are on this thing, they did confirm they it is honest-to-Gott all-terrain rubber. Expect programming tweaks to driving modes and the ABS system as well, making the most of those gubbins in order to perform optimally on surfaces not generally associated with a Porsche 911.

[Images: Porsche]

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2 of 4 comments
  • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Nov 09, 2022

    It might have active suspension. It gives you ground clearance for the limited off-road terrain this can handle. Arab dune runners will probably buy them.

  • Fred Fred on Nov 10, 2022

    I don't know, check out the Audi Dakar racer from 2022, except for breaking the suspension in the first stage it was pretty amazing. Bonus for being an EV with a range extender

  • Jwee More range and faster charging cannot be good news for the heavily indebted and distracted Musk.Tesla China is discounting their cars. Apart from the Model 3, no one is much buying Tesla's here in Europe. Other groups have already passed Tesla in Europe, where it was once dominant.Among manufacturers, 2021 EV sales:VW Group 25%, Stellantis at 14.5%,Tesla at 13.9%Hyundai-Kia at 11.2% Renault Group at 10.3%. Just 2 years ago, Tesla had a commanding 31.1% share of the European EV marketOuch., changed their data, so this is slightly different than last time I posted this, but same idea.
  • Varezhka Given how long the Mitsubishi USA has been in red, that's a hard one. I mean, this company has been losing money in all regions *except* SE Asia and Oceania ever since they lost the commercial division to Daimler.I think the only reason we still have the brand is A) Mitsubishi conglomerate's pride won't allow it B) US still a source of large volume for the company, even if they lose money on each one and C) it cost too much money to pull out and no one wants to take responsibility. If I was the head of Mitsubishi's North American operation and retreat was not an option, I think my best bet would be to reduce overhead by replacing all the cars with rebadged Nissans built in Tennessee and Mexico.As much as I'd like to see the return of Triton, Pajero Sport (Montero Sport to you and me), and Delica I'm sure that's more nostalgia and grass is greener thing than anything else.
  • Varezhka If there's one (small) downside to the dealer not being allowed to sell above MSRP, it's that now we get a lot of people signing up for the car with zero intention of keeping the car they bought. We end up with a lot of "lightly used" examples on sale for a huge mark-up, including those self-purchased by the dealerships themselves. I'm sure this is what we'll end up seeing with GR Corolla in Japan as well.This is also why the Land Cruiser has a 4 year waitlist in Japan (36K USD starting MSRP -> buy and immediately flip for 10, 20K more -> profit) I'm not sure if there's a good solution for this apart from setting the MSRP higher to match what the market allows, though this lottery system is probably as close as we can get.
  • Jeff S @Lou_BC--Unrelated to this article but of interest I found this on You Tube which explains why certain vehicles are not available in the US because of how the CAFE measures fuel standards. I remember you commenting on this a few years ago on another article on TTAC. The 2023 Chevrolet Montana is an adorable small truck that's never coming to the USA. It's not because of the 1.2L engine, or that Americans aren't interested in small trucks, it's that fuel economy legislation effectively prevents small trucks from happening. What about the Maverick? It's not as small as you think. CAFE, or Corporate Average Fuel Economy is the real reason trucks in America are all at least a specific dimension. Here's how it works and why it means no tiny trucks for us.
  • Gabe A new retro-styled Montero as their halo vehicle to compete against the Bronco, Wrangler and 4Runner. Boxy, round headlights like the 1st generation, two door and four door models, body on frame.A compact, urban truck, Mighty Max, to compete against the Maverick. Retro-styled like the early 90s Mighty Max.A new Outlander Sport as more of a wagon/crossover to compete against the Crosstrek and Kona. Needs to have more power (190+ HP) and a legit transmission, no CVT.A new Eclipse hybrid to compete against the upcoming redesigned Prius. Just match the Prius's specs and make it look great.Drop the Eclipse Cross, I am not sure why they wanted to resurrect the Pontiac Aztec. Keep the Mirage and keep it cheap, make the styling better and up the wheel size. The Outlander seems fine.I like the idea of some sort of commercial vehicle, something similar in size to the Promaster City but with AWD.