- An unspecified amount of the planned 2 500 units have been confirmed for South Africa from the second quarter of 2023
Following the revival last month of the 911 Carrera T, Porsche, after a slew of recent online spy shots, officially unveiled the latest modern-day 911 throwback, the new 911 Dakar, at the Los Angeles International Auto Show in the early hours of Thursday morning (17 November).
Tribute to a Dakar legend
A homage to the 911 SC that took René Metge and Dominique Lemoyne to victory in the 1984 Dakar Rally on the automaker’s first attempt, the 911 Dakar’s reworking goes further than being a simple jacked-up version of the Carrera 4 GTS on which it is based. In a nod to the Dakar-winning SC, known internally as the 953 hence the number designation on the doors, the 911 Dakar boasts a lift kit and revised suspension that has led to a 50 mm increase in ride height to distinguish it from a sport suspension fitted 911 Carrera.
Along with the suspension’s ability to lift the front and rear by another 30 mm in “high lift” mode that limits the top speed to 170 km/h, Porsche has retuned the steering and chassis, fitted extended wheel arches and door sills, while also redesigning the side air vents and equipping the 911 Dakar with steel bash plates underneath the front and rear bumpers.
A new Rallye launch control function, optimised for maximum grip and height on loose surfaces from the get-go, completes the changes, along with red front and rear tow hooks, a carbon fibre-reinforced plastic rear spoiler, a lightweight glass rear window, outer air inlets from the 911 GT3 and 19-inch at the front and 20-inch at the rear 953-esque white wheels in model specific Pirelli Scorpion All Terrain Plus tyres resplendent with a twin carcass inner pile and nine millimetre tread pattern.
Return of the “Rothmans Porsche”
More tribute to the 953 is the option of a roof rack capable of transporting items weighing up to 42 kg and perhaps the most prominent, the optional Rallye Design Package that sees the body being painted white/Enzian Blue Metallic with red and gold stipes as per the colours of then sponsor, Rothmans.
As a means of avoiding promotion of its former backers though, the Rothmans insignia on the doors has been dropped in favour of the Rough roads moniker Porsche claims “reflects the concept of the 911 Dakar and its suitability for driving off-road”.
Inside and behind
Buyers uneasy with the Rallye Design Package, which additionally includes six-point front seat belts, a rollover bar and fire extinguisher, can opt for a new colour option called Shade Green not available on any other standard 911.
Inside, Porsche has kept the 911 Dakar’s interior changes to a minimum with the removal of the rear seats, fitting of the otherwise optional RaceTex bucket seats with Shade Green stitching, blue seatbelts and 911 Dakar treadplates. Fitted with a lightweight battery whilst tipping the scales at 1 605 kg, 10 kg more than the model on which it is based, the 911 Dakar’s drivetrain is unchanged with outputs from the 3.0-litre twin-turbo flat-six stagnant at 353kW/570Nm.
Paired as standard to the eight-speed PDK gearbox, the all-paw gripping 911 Dakar will get from 0-100 km/h in 3.4 seconds and reach a limited top speed of 240 km/h as a result of the all-terrain rubber. Now available for ordering in Europe, only 2 500 911 Dakar’s will be built globally with an unspecified number heading for South Africa from the second quarter of next year. Sans the Rallye Design Package, pricing starts-off at R4 140 000.