Dakar 992 1668802441

How We’d Spec It: 2023 Porsche 911 Dakar

Porsche capitalizes on its illustrious rally history with the new 2023 911 Dakar. The latest 911 variant, unveiled this week, honors the German automaker’s 1984 Paris–Dakar Rally victory with a modified 911 called the 953. That car later morphed into the iconic 959, which triumphed in the 1986 race has.

While the 2023 911 Dakar won’t compete like its forebears, it has a host of significant upgrades designed to help it conquer gnarly landscapes, with a 2.0-inch suspension lift, chunky Pirelli Scorpion All-Terrain Plus tires and stainless steel skid plates. Porsche is only building 2500 examples, and with a starting price of $223,450, the go-anywhere 911 is likely to be snapped up by collectors quickly, if it’s not already sold out. Yet Porsche added it to its configurator, allowing us to enter the world of make-believe and design our dream rally 911. Here’s what our editors came up with:

Jack Fitzgerald’s $246,500 Porsche 911 Dakar

2023 porsche 911 dakar

Porsche

2023 porsche 911 dakar

Porsche

The first time I saw a safari 911 I was 15 and walking through the pit lane at Road America. I couldn’t quite wrap my head around what I was seeing. Is that Porsche lifted? Does it have extra headlights and a roof rack? I knew it was beautiful, and hoped that whoever owned it actually made use of their edits. I kept that car in mind as I walked through Porsche’s complicated configurator for the 911 Dakar. For my paint option, I went for the $12,830 Paint to sample British Racing Green, complete with color-matched wheels. I spent $660 to match the base of my exterior mirror paint, and a further $370 for the Dakar puddle lights, as well as $2700 for PPF the entire front end. Since I didn’t pick up on the Christmas feeling the red brake calipers against the green body gave, I paid $900 to have them painted black. I added the Surround View cameras, which should be equal parts useful in tight parking lots as well as navigating off-road. The only options I chose for the interior were the $3980 Burmester sound system so I can blast the Proclaimers in high def, as well as a $180 fire extinguisher for safety. My additional gear added up to $23,050 in the end. Considering the number and price of options available, I’m happy with it. It’s just a shame that Porsche doesn’t offer a factory-installed roof rack and rally headlamps. If only I had picked better Powerball numbers. . . —Jack Fitzgerald

Caleb Miller’s $254,080 Porsche 911 Dakar

2023 porsche 911 dakar

Porsche

2023 porsche 911 dakar

Porsche

Given the 911 Dakar’s high starting price, I knew I had to splurge on Porsche’s Paint to Sample program, because what’s another $12,830 when you’re already spending over 200,000? I chose Viola Purple Metallic, along with color-matched wheels and side mirrors ($660). The standard red brake calipers clashed with the paint job, so I spent $900 to paint them black and an additional $430 on silver tailpipes. I wrapped the entire front end in protective film ($2700) to prevent paint chips from semi-trucks from kicking up pebbles, and the $1430 Surround View camera system was a must to protect my Dakar from unwanted scratches. I also dropped $370 on the puddle lights and $1350 on custom illuminated aluminum door sills—I had the driver’s side sill display a 911 silhouette while the passenger’s side sill says “Porsche,” with white taillight—because I love those kind of silly stuff.

Inside, I swapped the bucket seats for the 18-way adjustable memory sport seats because I value comfort and, let’s face it, most of the car’s life will be spent tumbling around the suburbs running errands. I threw in heated seats and a heated steering wheel, no cost options, to help me survive the frigid Michigan winters. I also spent $1120 on the Porsche Design Subsecond clock, an analogue piece mounted in the dashboard, as it does look super cool. Then, to add some flavor to the interior, I specified the tachometer in white ($420) and embossed the center console lid with the Porsche crest ($340). I also had the air vents fitted in silver-painted leather ($1,800) along with the door panels ($1,910) and the sun visors (somehow a no-cost option) so everything I touch feels soft and supple. Since I didn’t go for any carbon fiber accents on the exterior, I had the interior dashboard trim replaced with matte carbon fiber ($390) and added the $3980 Burmester surround sound system. All told, $30,630 worth of options took my 911 Dakar to a total of $254,080 – not as terribly expensive as I expected, but still an appropriately absurd amount of money for this special 911. –Caleb Miller

Austin Irwin’s $256,080 Porsche 911 Dakar

2023 porsche 911 dakar

Porsche

2023 porsche 911 dakar

Porsche

Look, getting the 911 Dakar without the Rallye Design package is like cooking a turkey without the stuffing. Skip the best part and it’s just another bird. While my colleagues’ taste in paint falls on either side of a KitchenAid mixer and McDonald’s Grimace paint palette, I don’t miss the chance of white with Gentian Blue Metallic on a 992. Porsche rewards those who pay homage to the Paris–Dakar Carrera with a Rallye Design interior stitched in Shark Blue. I’m a big fan of the center pattern on the racing bucket seats, but I much prefer the comfort of the optional adjustable sports seats. I painted the wheels, brake calipers and exhaust pipes black as normal use would quickly revert to that color. For no extra cost, the interior gets heated seats and a heated GT Sport leather steering wheel. For no particular reason, I added the optional fire extinguisher ($180). I’ll also add the Burmester sound system ($3,980) to listen to songs like “Nights over Egypt” by the Jones Girls and “Bidibodi Bidibu” by Bubbles from this intercontinental mashup. Equipment to be added later: a proper Rothmans vinyl over the Roughroads placeholder and a pre-mounted LED light pod for the nose. Porsche’s hardshell roof tent, available later this year, is also a must, but it doesn’t appear to be compatible with the roof rack. The tent will be nice to have when some Natty Light-fueled Bronco challenges me with a “That thing can’t get through here.” When a $256,080 limited edition 911 falls in the woods, it makes a sound. Cry surrounded by laughter, I would think. —Austin Irwin

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