Lunatics at Porsche to Actually Build the 911 Dakar

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

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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Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

More by Matthew Guy

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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