With the 911 Dakar, Porsche has unveiled possibly the coolest new 911.
Porsche has always listened to its customers. Okay not always, but then you have the 911 GT3 Touring (manual, wingless GT3), 718 GT4 (track-ready, manual 718) and GT4 RS (GT3 engine in a 718!) – all of which were the direct result of customer feedback. The new 911 Dakar is no different. While it does pay tribute to Porsche’s first overall victory in the Paris-Dakar rally, it also seems to be born from the idea to offer the sea of the Safari spec 930 owners across the world something new to lust after. To be honest, though, I feel that the 911 Dakar will make Indian Porschephiles the happiest.
The reason is simple. The 911 Dakar gets 50mm more ground clearance than the 911 Carrera with sports suspension, which can be further raised by 30mm at speeds of up to 170km/h. No more crawling over speed breakers, for sure. Thanks to AWD, stainless steel protective elements and the Pirelli Scorpion AT tyres, you can go pretty far off the beaten path too.
Powering the car is a 3.0-litre bi-turbo six-cylinder unit, which produces 473bhp and 570Nm and offers a 0 – 100km/h time of 3.4s. The top speed of the car, however, is limited to 240km/h because of the all-terrain tyres.
Other big changes to the 911 Dakar include two new driving modes – Rallye, which is optimised for loose surfaces, and Offroad for maximum traction over tough terrain – and a new Rallye launch control, which will let the wheels spin just enough for a spectacular flying start to your special stage.
Cosmetically, the car gets a new fixed CFRP rear spoiler, a CFRP bonnet with air intakes taken from the GT3, and bright red towing lugs both at the front and rear. The wheel wells are wider too, and the front air intakes get stainless steel grills to protect against rocks.
Porsche is only making 2,500 examples of the 911 Dakar, and demand will be high, so I suggest calling your Porsche dealer quickly, throwing compliments at the sales staff, maybe even sending some early Christmas presents, and putting down your deposit pronto. I’d also suggest getting the optional Rallye Design Package for retro vibes and the optional roof rack with integrated headlights and a 42kg load capacity.