All-new off-road Porsche 911 Dakar Ready for LA Debut
Porsche has reacted to the growing fad of aftermarket so-called Safari 911s by confirming that its own off-road 911 Dakar is on its way. Set to be revealed at the Los Angeles Auto Show on 17 November, the newcomer will be shown off in a free to join Arabian Desert Porsche Dakar Festival in the weeks after.
More than just an off-road Porsche, 911 Dakar salutes the many factory competition Porsches that starred in rally and raid events over the years. Those include the 1986 959 Paris-Dakar, the ‘78 911 SC Safari and the ’81 911 C 5 San Remo Rally CS.
Stunning Performance on the Loose
The Dakar will be Porsche’s first 911 to offer outstanding off-road capabilities in a salute to Weissach’s breakthrough 1984 Paris-Dakar victory with the first-ever all-wheel-drive 911. Porsche’s development team tested the new car over more than 300,000 miles in the most extreme conditions around the world, including almost 10,000 miles off-road.
“Dakar teams come here to test pre their cars in Europe,” Porsche works driver Romain Dumas explained of the Château de Lastours facility in France used to fine-tune the Dakar’s handling and suspension on typical rally roads. “I know what a 911 can do on the road, but I was absolutely stunned by how well it performed here on the loose.”
Double world rally champion Walter Röhrl could not resist putting the 911 Dakar through its icy winter paces in Arjeplog, Sweden. “This car is incredibly fun to drive,” Walter admitted. “Everything is so precise and calm, no Porsche customer will believe all you can do with this car until they have driven it themselves.”
911 Dakar an Exhilarating Car to Drive
The new 911 Dakar also proved itself on fast sand tracks and high dunes in Dubai and Morocco. Test drivers mercilessly took on steep, 50-metre dunes in extreme temperatures. “This car delivered a commanding performance even in the desert,” product boss Frank Moser pointed out.
“It makes the most of its conceptual advantages of low weight, higher ground clearance, a powerful rear-mounted engine, and a short wheelbase. “It made for an exhilarating driving experience in our Sahara tests.”
“I would never have thought that a vehicle with such ground clearance and all-terrain tyres would still feel like a Porsche 911 on asphalt,” Porsche racing ambassador Jörg Bergmeister added. Test driver Lars Kern concluded, “It’s amazing how much traction the off-road tyres deliver, this car is a blast to drive!”