Porsche 911 Dakar: The first ever 2-door sports car with off-road cred

Sub-zero temperatures, sweltering heat, dunes and off-road testing in Dakar-like terrain in the hands of rally veterans…the Porsche 911 Dakar has braved all these conditions and is every car enthusiast’s wet dream

After Porsche won the 1984 Paris-Dakar rally in a modified all-wheel-drive 911, many car enthusiasts would have looked at the Porsche 911 and wondered what if Porsche built (for the general public) a 911 that could tackle dirt tracks and go off-road? What would it be like? Well, folks, it’s no longer a dream and Porsche has done it. The company is set to showcase the 911 Dakar at the LA Auto show on November 16. Yay!

Porsche didn’t limit itself to its Weissach off-road proving tracks in the development of the 911 Dakar. No, that wouldn’t have sufficed. The images of the 911 Dakar tackling 50m high sand dunes in Dubai, Morocco and flying in famous off-road tracks like Château de Lastours in France says it all. Apparently, Château de Lastours is a favourite among manufacturers as it is a testing ground for them before the Dakar Rally to tune their car’s suspension further.

Behind the wheel is Porsche works driver Romain Dumas, who was also the test driver for the ID R, the all-electric race car by Volkswagen. After putting the 911 Dakar through its paces on loose surfaces and testing its off-road capabilities, Romain Dumas “was absolutely stunned” about how well the car performed in the said conditions. Sweeping off-road drifts and jumps are new strengths of the 911 Dakar. Talk about sports cars entering SUV territory with the theatrics!

Porsche says that the 911 Dakar has been tested for 500,000 km, including 10,000km in off-road conditions. Two-time world rally champion Walter Rohrl tested the car in the freezing Arctic conditions and he too was impressed by the car’s handling. “Everything works so precisely and calmly. No Porsche customer will believe all the things you can do with this car before they’ve driven it themselves”, he says. What would you fancy? A regular 911 or a do-it-all 911? The world seems to be ready for the latter and we can’t wait to see it soon. But those in the UAE can see the 911 Dakar in the flesh soon, at the second Icons of Porsche event, scheduled to run on November 26 and 27, 2022.

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