The 911 Dakar is Here, and It’s Magnificent

November 24, 2022
Posted in BLOG
November 24, 2022 admin

The 911 Dakar is Here, and It’s Magnificent

Earlier, we discussed the much-anticipated Porsche 911 Dakar, which was finally unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show on November 16, 2022. As it’s now official, Porsche has released a bevy of details and specifications on the production version of the car, and it’s possible that they exceeded anyone’s expectations for it. Without further ado, let’s dive in and take a close look at the facts and figures that make the 911 Dakar already a modern classic.

Obviously, the thing that most will notice on their first take of the 911 Dakar is that it stands completely alone among any other supercar on the market. It rides high, and while it’s not quite as tall as some of the test mules we’ve covered, it still boasts up to 3.14 inches more ground clearance than a standard 911. The ride height is electrically controllable and can be set to several different levels, with a lower setting for street use and an extra bit of clearance for when the going gets rough. As predicted, the Dakar will come with proprietary Pirelli Scorpion all-terrain tires in 19- and 20-inch sizes, all mounted to exclusive forged wheels unique to the Dakar.

The front fascia is unique to the Dakar, and in addition to providing more clearance than traditional 911 splitters, it also happens to be made of steel to serve as a skid plate, also sports a tow hook to aid in recovery efforts should the Dakar become stuck. In fact, much of the bodywork (such as the side skirts) is made of stainless steel to prevent damage from trail obstacles. The rear fascia is the same construction as the front and features a fixed spoiler instead of an adjustable one. That’s not to say high-performance, light weight materials don’t make an appearance on the Dakar; Porsche has made liberal use of their “carbon-fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP)” material where possible, such as the GT3-style hood. Incredibly, all of this extra steel and protection only adds 16 pounds to the weight of the Dakar over the standard Carrera 4 GTS.

Finally, we can’t talk about the 911 Dakar without mentioning the striking color schemes available exclusively on this model. Porsche’s Rallye Design Package paints the car with a gorgeous mix of white and blue with racing stripes, as well as white-painted wheels. This serves as a tribute to the Porsche 953 car that won the 1984 Dakar rally, the namesake of this model. While it’s based on 953, buyers can even specify their own number on the paintwork.

A substantial amount of engineering work has gone into increasing the durability and capability of the 911 to bring it up to rally car standard. The chassis has been stiffened by incorporating GT3 engine mounts, enabling less flex when putting the 473 horses and 420 pound-feet or torque under the hood to work. The 3.0L, twin-turbocharged motor is mated to Porsche’s flagship 8-speed PDK transmission, and also paired with rear-wheel steering technology. This translates to a 0-60 time of 3.2 seconds, and a top speed limited to 149 miles per hour. The air filter is loosely based on the unit from the Turbo, which has been specially modified for operation in dusty environments. It has also borrowed the cooling system from the Turbo S – overall, this motor gives the vibe of an old-school, hot rod, factory racing car put together with the best parts Porsche has laying on the shelves.

When the Sport Chrono Package is purchased, the Dakar will also come with a specially tuned “Rallye Launch Control,” enabling quick takeoffs in low-traction environments (of course, the Dakar features all-wheel drive).

Accessories and Options
As expected, the Dakar will be offered with quite a few OEM accessories designed to help their owners gear up for any adventure. A roof rack will almost be mandatory equipment, and is capable of holding up to 88 pounds of equipment; integrated into this roof rack is an LED light bar for auxiliary lighting on the trail. Some of the other accessories you’ll be able to transport on your roof rack include specially designed cans for gas and drinking water, recovery boards, and even a rooftop tent! Also available as an option option are specific heritage decal sets intended to pay homage to legendary rally 911s from the 1970 rallies.

If you are in the market for a Dakar, you’d better be quick; only 2,500 will ever be made, and with a price tag starting at $222,000, they have undoubtedly already become instant collectibles. It’s possible that there may be an additional run or two of some sort of Dakar-based model in the future, but that is all entirely conjecture at this point.

Kudos to Porsche for taking such a big gamble with the design and development of this car at a time when the future of fun cars seems a little bleak; the 911 Dakar exists for no other reason than to put smiles on faces and miles on the odometer.