THE PORSCHE 911 DAKAR: A HOMAGE TO THE ORIGINAL
It’s no secret that Porsche love to commemorate their best-selling model with a special edition or two. We’ve seen them over the years through the likes of the Speedster, 50th Anniversary, Heritage Design Edition Targa and the Sport Classic – many of which have found their way into the latest 992 generation too.
Their latest launch is a nod to the first all-wheel-drive 911 – the 953 that won the Paris Dakar in 1984, and it’s epic! Aptly named the ‘911 Dakar’, it cherry picks some of the best bits from the whole 911 range. The car then receives some extensive upgrades to raise the ride height and along with some clever computer work, it makes it capable of hitting 106 mph in its ‘high level’ driving mode – ultimate rally experience engaged!
So, how is it actually put together? Well, the engine in the car is from the GTS – the 3.0L twin-turbo flat six unit that pumps out 480bhp, and this is paired to the 8-speed PDK gearbox. This results in the car being capable of hitting 62mph in just 3.5 seconds and a top speed of 149mph. Slightly held back due to the Pirelli Scorpion All Terrain Plus tyres - conventional tyres are available, but where’s the fun in that?!
The car is raised up by 50mm over a standard Carrera S platform and then there’s another four-corner lift kit that can raise it by another 30mm. Porsche’s key message around this is that it offers ‘ground clearance and ramp angles which rival those of more conventional off-road vehicles’ – interesting, who wouldn’t pick this over a Cayenne?!
There’s new drive modes on the steering wheel to enable the car to harness its new-found off-road capabilities in an instant. ‘Rally mode’ works best on loose surfaces and enables a rear-biased set up on the all-wheel-drive system and there’s also an ‘offroad mode’ for high clearance driving. Both of these also feature ‘Rally Launch Control’ which allows 20 per cent of wheel slip for the perfect getaway on gravel!
Equipped with rear-wheel steer and dynamic engine mounts from the GT3, the car also gets Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control – both as standard. There are only 2 bucket seats in the car, and it also gets lightened glass and a slimline battery for ultimate weight saving. It comes in as only 10kg heavier than a Carrera 4 GTS and Porsche believe that even with its roof-rack loaded with fuel, water, traction boards and a tent, it’ll be just as capable on the Nordschleife as it is on Sand – we’ll look forward to watching that lap time then!
There will be just 2,500 of the 911 Dakars made globally and here in the UK, it’ll cost around £173,000. This puts it almost in RS territory in terms of value, but the chances of getting one might be faster than a GT product – either way, we can’t wait to see one up close!