Hungry for dust: Porsche 911 Dakar

Raise the curtain on the new Porsche 911 Dakar, the first off-road series 911. With this unique off-roader, Porsche is reviving the tradition, albeit only 2500 times. We take a look at the most important features and highlights of what is probably the most extreme variant of the 911.

Porsche is celebrating a special world premiere at the Los Angeles Auto Show: The Porsche 911 Dakar feels just as much at home off the beaten track as it does on country roads.

The model, limited to 2,500 units, not only shows that there are hardly any limits to the concept of the Porsche 911. It is much more a reminiscence of Porsche’s first overall victory in the 1984 Paris-Dakar Rally, which was also the birth of all-wheel drive in the Porsche 911. That’s why the new 911 Dakar is optionally offered with a Rally Design Package reminiscent of the winning car of 1984.

Ground. Freedom.

What immediately catches the eye on the Porsche 911 Dakar is its ground clearance: It is 50 millimeters higher on the Dakar than on a 911 Carrera with sports suspension. In addition, the standard lift system can raise the front and rear of the car by a further 30 millimeters. This brings ground clearance and ramp angle up to the level of classic SUVs. The lift system is not only used to slowly negotiate obstacles, but is an integral part of the retuned chassis. The “high level” setting is available up to a speed of 170 km/h for off-road driving. If this speed is exceeded, the car automatically lowers back to normal level.

Specially developed tires of the type Pirelli Scorpion All Terrain Plus ensure that the Porsche is guaranteed propulsion and safety even in rough terrain.

Six cylinders. Eight gears. Engine mounts from the GT3.

The three-liter biturbo six-cylinder engine with 480 hp and a maximum torque of 570 Newton meters delivers superior performance with a present and emotional boxer sound. From a standstill, it accelerates the new sports car to 100 km/h within 3.4 seconds; the top speed is limited to 240 km/h due to the all-terrain tires.

The engine is coupled to an eight-speed PDK and Porsche all-wheel drive as standard. In addition, the rear-axle steering, the engine mounts from the 911 GT3 and the PDCC roll stabilization system are part of the standard equipment. The interaction of these components should help the 911 Dakar to move dynamically on sand and gravel as well as on the Nordschleife. Maximum off-road performance is also served by two new driving modes that can be selected using the rotary switch on the steering wheel. Rally mode is suitable for loose, uneven surfaces, with all-wheel drive designed to be particularly rear-heavy. In Offroad mode, the high level is automatically activated. This mode is designed for maximum traction in heavy terrain and sand. In both new driving modes, the new Rally Launch Control can also be switched on: it ensures maximum acceleration on loose surfaces and allows wheel slip of around 20 percent.

Rothmanns becomes Roughroads.

The core of the optional Rallye Design package from Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur is a two-tone paint finish in white/ gentian blue metallic. This is the first time that Porsche has put the combination of bi-color paint and decorative foiling into series production. On the side of the vehicle, the customer can choose an individual starting number between “0” and “999”.

In addition to the rally stripes in red and gold, the 911 Dakar with Rally Design Package, whose appearance is based on the winning vehicle of the 1984 Paris-Dakar Rally, also bears the words “Roughroads” on the doors. The term is protected as a brand name and reflects the concept of the 911 Dakar and its suitability for off-road use.

Porsche 911 Dakar

Engine: 3.0-liter six-cylinder turbo boxer engine

Power: 353kW (480 hp)

Weight: 1,605 kilograms

Acceleration: 3.4 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h

Vmax: 240 km/h (all-terrain tires)