Porsche 911 Dakar on display
Now comes 911 for the rough stuff
The idea of combining a Porsche 911 and an SUV is not new. But surprisingly, Porsche is now reviving the 1984 Dakar Rally 911 with the current generation 992.
The idea of an off-road Porsche 911 is not new.
Raoul SchwinnAuto & Mobility editor
Today, Blick shows what Porsche will officially unveil next week at the Los Angeles Auto Show: the new 911. This time, one on stilts. The new 911 Dakar is nothing but the rebirth of the 911 built for the legendary Dakar Rally in 1984 with the internal designation 953 – i.e. a rustically modified version of the Porsche 911 G model of the time in the typical blue and white Rothmans paintwork. The biggest difference at the time was not the increase in power to around 300 hp, but the tall body with a significantly modified chassis and all-wheel drive, which was later serially fitted to the Porsche 959.
In recent years, photos of camouflaged prototypes of the current 911 series with a significant increase in ground clearance and rough off-road tires have repeatedly appeared. Next week on Thursday, the camo dresses are dropping at the Los Angeles Auto Show – a favorite fair of people in Zuffenhausen. And the new Porsche 911 Dakar is officially presented. The sports car world can then decide whether this blend of Porsche 911 and off-road is more relevant than ever, or simply unnecessary. We reckon the 911 Dakar could be a hit – if only because it’s probably the most unusual Porsche you can buy from 2023.
Over 500,000 test kilometers
During testing, the developers working with general project manager Achim Lamparter not only drove the off-road 911 across their own test sites, but also drove more than 500,000 kilometers around the world in extreme conditions on snow and ice and in the desert. Of this, only 10,000 kilometers on unpaved roads. The chassis was tuned on the test track at Château de Lastours in southern France. “It was clear to me what the 911 could do on the road. But how well the car performs on gravel was a big surprise for me,” says Porsche factory driver Romain Dumas (44).
The Porsche 911 Dakar had to prove itself even on sandy tracks and high dunes. “And he performed excellently there as well,” reveals Frank Moser, head of Porsche’s sports car series. “That is precisely where the 911 Dakar can demonstrate its conceptual advantages. The combination of low weight, increased ground clearance, a powerful engine at the rear and a short wheelbase ensures a lot of driving pleasure. I was able to convince myself of this during test drives in the Sahara.”
Dakar-Rally instead of Formula 1?
The question of whether customers will only be able to buy the 911 Dakar as a production car from next year, or whether Porsche even wants to use it as a factory entry in off-road racing – after the F1 adventure seems to be shelved for now – no one wanted to officially answer . So let’s be surprised.