Many say the Porsche 911 is the car that can do anything, and with that spirit in mind, the German automaker is rolling out the limited-edition 911 Dakar for the 2023 model year.
The new off-road ready model can even be had in a commemorative racing livery, marking the sports car maker’s first all-wheel-drive entry into the legendary Paris-Dakar Rally in 1984. Overall, the company plans to produce just 2,500 of the rally-ready, all-wheel drive monsters.
Porsche won in 1984, and to mark the achievement, the 911 Dakar will be offered with an optional Rallye Design Package inspired by the iconic winning car of 1984.
Ready or not, here it comes
For those used to seeing the 911 sitting low to the ground, ready to sweep easily and athletically through tight corners, the new 911 Dakar is going to be a revelation. This car’s ready to slide through corners at high rates of speed, which an expert driver will carry into the straight that follows.
The 911 Dakar sits 50 millimeters, or nearly 2 inches higher than the conventionally stanced 911. Using the standard lift system, the driver can add another 30 millimeters or a little more than an inch more to provide handling closer to that of a sport-utility vehicle.
The lift system is not only designed to help clear obstacles at low speeds, but is also an integral component of the newly calibrated suspension. The “High Level” setting is usable at up to approximately 105 mph for spirited off-road driving. Above this speed, the car returns to its normal ride height.
Of course, that kind of driving calls for special shoes all around, and the 911 Dakar doesn’t disappoint, shod in specially developed Pirelli Scorpion All Terrain Plus tires, measuring 245/45 ZR 19 in front and 295/40 ZR 20 at the rear, providing a sporty off-road appearance.
However, they more than look the part, with special off-road tread with a 9 mm deep tread pattern to help ensure better grip and reinforced sidewalls to ensure they can handle the terrain most off-roaders traverse.
Putting the power down
Of course, a big personality needs the goods to back it up and the 911 Dakar is definitely ready on that front with 3.0-liter twin-turbo Boxer engine that puts out 473 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. That typical Porsche roar is matched with a 3.2-second 0-to-60 mph time and a top speed limited to 150 mph.
The engine is paired with an eight-speed-PDK and Porsche Traction Management (PTM) all-wheel drive. Rear-axle steering, engine mounts adopted from the 911 GT3 and the body roll reducing Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC) system are also standard equipment. The interplay of all these components enables the 911 Dakar to tackle sand and loose gravel especially well.
The car comes with two new drive modes: Rallye Mode and Off-Road Mode. Rallye mode is pretty self explanatory while Off-Road Mode focuses on maximizing traction at the flip of a switch.