This high-riding Porsche 911 will take you off road

Lionel Kong
2023 Porsche 911 Dakar

Porsche 911 Dakar is a limited edition homage to the Porsche 953 racing car of 1984

Los Angeles, USA

First up, there will be just 2,500 examples of this car built worldwide, and is priced at 222,020 euros in Germany, which, after taxes and all the extra stuff, translates to S$967,788 without COE and options in Singapore. It was unveiled at last week’s Los Angeles Auto Show, and is, broadly speaking, built using a current 911 Carrera as the base.

2023 Porsche 911 Dakar

A 3.0-litre, twin-turbo Boxer engine delivers 473 hp and propels the 911 Dakar from zero to 100km/h in 3.4 seconds. It features an eight-speed twin-clutch transmission and as you would expect from a rally-inspired car, four-wheel drive. 

2023 Porsche 911 Dakar cabin

But instead of the usual road and track tuned suspension setup, the 911 Dakar rides 50mm higher than a standard 911 Carrera. A suspension lift system is fitted as standard, and it will jack the car up by a further 30mm to help clear off road obstacles at low speeds. Porsche claims that the ride height and breakover angles of a fully lifted 911 Dakar will be similar to conventional crossover SUVs.

In other words, it’s a Porsche 911 coupe built to kind-of drive like a Porsche Macan

Other notable technical highlights include rear-axle steering, engine mounts adopted from the 911 GT3 and a body roll-reducing system, designed to let the 911 Dakar tackle sand and loose gravel with confidence.

2023 Porsche 911 Dakar cabin

Instead of ‘race’ and ‘track’ modes, the car will feature Rallye and Off Road Mode. Rallye Mode is designed for uneven surfaces and biases power to the rear axle, while Off-Road Mode maximises traction on sand and over rough terrain. 

We’re not sure if owners of the car are really going to take to flogging the 911 Dakar over dirt trails and what would Jeep Wrangler owners think, but to complete that rally car look the 911 Dakar has red front and rear tow hooks made of forged aluminium, flared fender arches and rocker panels, and stainless steel body elements on the front and rear fascia and side skirts. The air intakes in the front fascia have stainless steel mesh grilles, built to keep out off road debris.

You can go camping with the car if you really want, as an optional roof rack rated to hold up to 42kg of gear, along with a roof tent, is available.

2023 Porsche 911 Dakar

The car’s whole ethos is built around the retro styling that is being capitalised on by so many luxury carmakers over the last decade. From the McLaren Senna which has nothing to do with legendary Formula 1 driver Ayrton Senna, nor the McLaren F1 team of ages past, to the plastering of Martini Racing decals on the Porsche 911 Carrera S Martini Racing Edition (On a race car it’s a sponsorship theme dating back to 1976. On a street car, it’s quite something else altogether) luxury brands do everything they can to appeal to hark back to the glories of past years.

Even Lotus has jumped into the fray with the recently-launched, black and gold coloured Lotus Evija Fittipaldi, a homage to the championship-winning Lotus 72 Formula 1 car of 1972.

1984 Porsche 911 Paris Dakar Rally
A Porsche 911 goes swimming back in 1984

In the case of the new Porsche 911 Dakar, the inspiration is the 1984, Rothmans-sponsored, Porsche 953. It was a heavily modified 911 with a manually controlled four-wheel drive, and three of the cars were entered in the gruelling 1984 Paris-Dakar Rally. One of them went on to win the race.

2023 Porsche 911 Dakar
The Porsche 911 Dakar in standard, ‘not racing livery’ colour

The car was quickly succeeded by the Porsche 959 in 1985, which did not actually deliver the results expected of it, and with the cancellation of Group B racing regulations a short while later, saw Porsche’s rallying aspirations come to an end in the 1980s.

2023 Porsche 911 Dakar

Of course with public tobacco branding, even old ones, being totally illegal in practically every country, the old Rothmans logo is now ‘Roughroads’ on the new Porsche 911 Dakar. But for retro geeks and people who claim to be in the know, the blue, while, gold and red colour that you can get the car in is unmistakable.

The number of units allocated for Singapore have not yet been announced, but with a local price already set, it’s certain than a small number will be made available to local customers.


911 Carrera dakar Porsche

About the Author

Lionel Kong

An old hand from the bad old days of crazy COEs, the straight-shooting, ex-CarBuyer editor is back in the four-wheeled world. Rumours that he went to another country to start a Judas Priest tribute band are unfounded.

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