While a Porsche 911 may be the last thing that you would expect when someone asked you to name an off-road-ready performance vehicle? They do exist, especially in the coveted Safari guise. However, these conversions were largely done by aftermarket firms, with Porsche not offering a factory-ready version for customers that crave desert-ready capability but with a factory warranty backing them up. Porsche has finally answered the call and has unveiled the 2023 Porsche 911 Dakar.
Porsche 911 Dakar Raises The Temperature On Off-Roading
The Porsche 911 Dakar might have styling that largely sticks to the 911 family tree, but that’s where the similarities come to a swift end with the front fascia featuring a pair of red-adorned tow-hooks, a large blacked out rear spoiler as well as exaggerated fender flares and wheel arches. Those arches house the Dakar’s exclusive set of meaty Pirelli Scorpion All-Terrain Plus Tires. Porsche was originally going to make the tires optional, but they did so well in testing that the company decided to make them standard. The tires have two layer construction and a re-enforced sidewall to help resist damage and punctures while the 9mmof tread depth also maximizes traction in low grip environments.
The tires also forced Porsche to jack up the suspension with the Dakar benefitting from a substantial 2-inch lift. This lift can be enhanced by another 1.2 inches when needed thanks to the fully adjustable suspension system which gives the car a full 3.2 inches of extra clearance versus a standard 911 Carrera. This height can also be maintained at speeds up to 105 mph before the car lowers down to a special speed setting. An upgraded cooling system and extensive structural enhancements help the Dakar take plenty of punishment out on the trail while still having the motivation to power through a rally course when the owner is not showing off the enhanced height to friends at cocktail parties.
Porsche will also offer owners an optional roof-mounted tent and a roof mounted cargo box with the latter item having the ability to haul up to 92 lbs of cargo. The basket will also be a welcome enhancement to the space already offered in the standard front mounted frunk. The interior is perhaps the most prominent sign of the 911 Dakar’s luxury roots with the cabin having the usual assortment of high quality plastics and materials. Dakar models get standard lightweight bucket seats as well as a fully digital instrument cluster.
Slaying A Trail Near You
Performance for the 2023 Porsche 911 Dakar comes from the same 3.0 liter twin-turbocharged boxer-six that also sees duty in the 911 GTS with the engine making 473 hp and allowing the Dakar to make the sprint to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds. An eight-speed automatic is the sole transmission on board with all-wheel drive being standard. The cooling system is from the Turbo S and unlike other 911 models, the Dakar’s top speed is restricted to 150 mph due to the structural limitations of the all-terrain tires. New Off-Road and Rallye drive modes are exclusive to the Dakar with Ralleye mode sending more power to the rear wheels and is meant for loose surfaces.
The 911 Dakar is also perhaps the closest that a buyer will get to a 911 CUV and when you factor in the ground clearance it has, the Dakar does match a few of these models in that particular category. Porsche also was quick to point out that it also managed to preserve the 911’s track ready character and cited the extensive testing that went into the Dakar’s development, as well as an impressive performance at the fabled Nürburgring with the model getting the same lap time as a 993 era 911 GT3.
When Can I Buy One?
Pricing for the 2023 Porsche 911 Dakar starts at $223,450 but if your eager to add one to your garage, you will need to act quickly. Porsche is limiting production to a mere 2,500 units with all of them being allocated for the entire world. While the $200,000 plus asking price may seem intimidating at first glance, the 911 Dakar does have a unique amount of coolness to it and it can certainly prove its worth when pushed hard on the road less traveled.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.