At the Los Angeles Motor Show, Porsche unveiled the 911 Dakar, an off-roading limited edition version of the brand’s signature sports coupe inspired by the model’s rallying heritage in the 1980s.
Based on the existing 992-gen Carrera 4 GTS, buyers can even spec it with a period-correct livery that resurrects the iconic Rothman’s blue and white aesthetic of the ‘84 Paris-Dakar winning 959-based 953 Group B racer (part of the optional Rallye Design package - RM100k).
As you might have guessed, the German automaker isn’t making these modern-day interpretations easy to obtain with a production run of just 2,500 units.
The writing was already on the wall that a high-riding 911 was incoming, but especially so when Porsche themselves sent a duo of modified 992s up the Andes mountains to scale the world’s tallest volcano.
However, as was the case with the 911 R and other limited editions, this 911 Dakar could precede a more widely available production model down the line, provided demand is high enough.
The exterior has been bulked up to accommodate the enlarged fenders and wheel wells with added cladding, steel bash plates up front and throughout much of the undercarriage as well as rear spoiler done in carbonfibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) . Meanwhile, its boot lid is swiped from the GT3.
The base car already has the full all-wheel traction that’s long been part of Porsche’s 911 range. No changes have been made to the powertrain or driveline, where it remains 3.0-litre bi-turbo flat-6 producing 480PS and 570Nm mated to an 8-speed PDK dual-clutch gearbox.
Where plenty has been altered is with the suspension, body, and chassis. Most obviously is the added ride height, making the Dakar sit 50mm higher than the standard 911 Carrera S with the option of an added lift of 30mm available at the push of a button. Very handy for Malaysia's flood prone roads.
The Dakar is capable of 170km/h over rough terrain, which we imagine to be some serious dune surfing at those sorts of speeds, aided by its standard Pirelli Scorpion All-Terrain Plus tyres with reinforced sidewalls and a tread depth of 9mm. Because of this, though, top speed is reduced to 240km/h.
That said, Porsche will fit more road-friendly rubber upon customer request. A special ‘Off Road’ driving mode also divides power equally between the front and rear axles as well as engages Rally Launch Control, tuned to minimise wheel slippage on loose surfaces for maximum acceleration.
Thankfully the interior looks plush, so you'll be nicely pampered as you're tackling some rough and tumble terrain.
On road, it’ll hit 100km/h in 3.4 seconds, but good luck being quick enough to put your name down for one. Pricey as it is, this limited run variant is expected to sell out very quickly.
There's just something about cars. It's a conveyance, it's a liability, it's a tool; but it can also be a source of joy, pride, inspiration and passion. It's much like clothes versus fashion. And like the latter, the pursuit of perfection never ends.