The Porsche 911 Dakar is a new variant of the popular sports car that has been designed for off-road use. With its all-terrain tires, soft suspension, and powerful engine, the 911 Dakar is an impressive machine that can tackle any terrain with ease. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what makes the Porsche 911 Dakar so special.
“The arrival of the 2023 Porsche 911 Dakar and the Lamborghini Huracan Sterrato creates a new class of off-road sports cars that should be fully embraced by car enthusiasts. I had the opportunity to test drive the 911 Dakar in the dunes of Morocco and it was an incredibly hilarious and surreal experience. It left me wondering why Porsche didn’t launch this concept sooner, given the popularity of aftermarket off-road 911s. The idea for the 911 Dakar has been in development for almost a decade and is a tribute to Porsche’s 1984 Paris-Dakar rally win with a Carrera 3.2 4×4. Car culture deserves more of these unique and thrilling vehicles.”
It’s evident that Porsche has put a significant amount of time and effort into the development of the 911 Dakar. From the impressive powertrain to the all-wheel drive system, everything has been crafted to provide a top-notch off-road performance. The 3.0-liter twin-turbo flat-six engine produces 473 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque, making it a powerhouse on the dunes. The 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and the all-wheel drive system ensure smooth and seamless transitions, making the 911 Dakar a thrilling and dynamic vehicle to drive. Whether you’re cruising down the highway or tackling rough terrain, the 911 Dakar is sure to provide a memorable and exciting driving experience.
|Base price (as tested)||$223,450 ($232,150)|
|Powertrain||3.0-liter twin-turbo flat-six, 8-speed dual-clutch automatic, all-wheel drive|
|Horsepower||473 @ 6,500 rpm|
|Torque||420 lb-ft @ 2,300 to 5,000 rpm|
|Curb weight||3,552 pounds|
|Cargo volume||4.6 cubic feet|
|0-60 mph||3.2 seconds|
|Top speed||149 mph|
|Quick take||A Porsche 911 unlike any other, and one that will leave you wanting more, more, more.|
The 2023 Porsche 911 Dakar appears to be a simple modification at first glance. Based on the 911 Carrera 4 GTS, the most noticeable changes include a two-inch increase in ground clearance and the use of rugged Pirelli Scorpion All-Terrain Plus tires in a staggered setup (front: 245/45ZR19, rear: 295/40ZR20). Although summer tires are available as a no-cost option, they are not recommended. Additionally, the 911 Dakar features a redesigned front fascia with a trimmed underside for improved approach angles and a carbon-fiber hood borrowed from the 911 GT3.
Suspension and Engine
The 911 Dakar’s suspension has longer links for increased wheel travel, as well as softer dampers to reduce the impact of initial bumps. To resculpt the front end, Porsche removed the central radiator and replaced it with two larger cooling fans, which are typically used on the 911 Turbo. The air intakes are larger, and the air filters are more robust to handle extended stints of dusty desert driving. The hood and spoiler are made of carbon fiber to reduce weight, and the new diffuser incorporates the 911’s sport exhaust.
Under the hood, the 911 Dakar uses the same twin-turbo 3.0-liter flat-six engine as the Carrera GTS, which produces 473 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque. The Dakar only comes with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and all-wheel drive, which Porsche estimates will get the car to 60 mph in just 3.2 seconds.
The Dakar comes with a dual-axle hydraulic suspension lift that can raise the ride height by 1.2 inches, for a total of 7.5 inches. In Offroad mode, the lift automatically activates and the all-wheel drive system is locked into a 50/50 front/rear split. The torque-vectoring rear axle is still active, so the rear wheels can be shuffled side to side as needed. This setup allows the 911 Dakar to easily climb steep dunes and handle low-traction conditions.
Rallye mode is another exclusive feature of the 911 Dakar, where the all-wheel drive system switches to a much stronger rear bias. This is great for sliding around on dirt roads and gravel tracks, and the transmission mapping is also changed to hold gears for longer periods of time. The 911 Dakar is easy to control in Rallye mode, with quick, responsive steering and immediate throttle inputs.
The Porsche 911 Dakar is an impressive machine that combines the performance of a sports car with the off-road capabilities of an all-terrain vehicle. Whether you’re driving on pavement or in the desert, the 911 Dakar is sure to impress. While the Rallye Design Package and Rallye Sport Package are expensive, they add a level of customization and performance that is unmatched.