2023 Porsche 911 Dakar 122 1668632011

2023 Porsche 911 Dakar is Rad and Rally Prepped

  • Porsche has taken the wraps off its most unique 911 model at the 2022 Los Angeles Auto Show.
  • The 2023 911 Dakar is a facelifted, off-road capable variant of its famous 911 sports car, complete with a roof rack, four-wheel drive, all-terrain tires and more rally-ready mods.
  • Behind the rear axle is a 473-hp twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter flat-six engine borrowed from the 911 Carrera GTS and the 911 Dakar is only offered with Porsche’s eight-speed PDK automatic transmission.

Porsche’s 911 sports car is an icon in its own right and one of the many things we love about it is its wide range of available models, from basic Carrera coupes to the fire-breathing GT3 RS. One thing the 911 series didn’t have is perhaps something we never thought to ask for: an off-roader. That changes for 2023 with the introduction of this, the 911 Dakar, named after the Paris-Dakar rally race that began in 1978.

Although we already got a glimpse of it through teaser images of it completing its testing in all corners of the earth, now the 911 Dakar has been shown in production form and we know all about its all-terrain modifications. The 911 Dakar is essentially a Carrera 4 GTS coupe adapted for rally duty, and as such is equipped with a 473-hp twin-turbo flat-six and all-wheel drive.

Rally Mods

The suspension has been raised by 50 millimeters and features a standard lift system that can give it 30 millimeters more ground clearance when needed. Unlike off-road systems that allow for a higher level of adjustability for low-speed maneuvering, Porsche configured the lift system to allow the 911 Dakar to ride at its maximum height at speeds up to 105 mph. Set the car to its new off-road mode, and it automatically raises itself to this height.

Like other 911 models, the Dakar rides on a staggered wheel setup with 19-inch rollers at the front and 20-inchers at the rear. What makes the Dakar unique is that Pirelli Scorpion All-Terrain Plus tires are wrapped around those aluminum wheels which have been specially developed to be more puncture resistant thanks to a double carcass construction method.

Okay, so the paint can certainly be scratched, but the 911 Dakar is made for high-speed off-road endeavors. Porsche added underbody protection to give the 911 Dakar the ability to blast down rough roads and scale down grassy heights without terrorizing the car’s low-slung mechanics. Stainless steel skid plates and side guards were added and the car’s front overhang was slightly shortened to provide a better approach angle.

Still a 911

Despite all the modifications, Porsche says the 911 Dakar is only 16 pounds heavier than a 911 Carrera 4 GTS with an automatic transmission. Weight-saving measures were taken to keep the car’s mass in check, for example the rear seats were removed and light window glass was used.

The 911 Dakar’s engineers raided the 911 parts bin and installed the GT3’s carbon fiber hood, the Carrera S brakes and the Turbo S’s cooling system. Porsche says the 911 Dakar can hit 60 mph in 3.2 seconds—an estimate we think is a bit conservative given that a rear-wheel-drive 911 Carrera GTS with the PDK broke to 60 in just 2.8 seconds during our testing .

The interior is roomy for two adults and nicely put together just like a regular 911. A pair of aggressively bolstered sport seats are standard, buyers can opt for more comfortable standard 911 seats if they wish. An exterior package that pays tribute to the 1984 Paris-Dakar winning 911 is also optional and it looks radiant with its Fuchs-style white wheels, racing stripes and racing number sticker.

In addition, the 911 Dakar can be ordered with a cool roof-mounted cargo basket with floodlights integrated into the front edge. If you want to camp on top of the 911 Dakar, Porsche says their roof tent will also fit.

The 911 Dakar’s starting price is a hefty $223,450, but we expect that won’t deter money-hungry Porsche buyers, especially when the car is so unique. But if all this performance and rally-bred engineering appeals to you, call your Porsche dealer immediately. Only 2500 will be made, and Porsche is tight-lipped about whether a second series of limited-edition Dakar models will be made available in future model years.

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