New 911 Dakar is the off-road Porsche of our dreams

17th November 2022
Ethan Jupp

The Cayenne may have saved Porsche and it may be an excellent car, but it’s nothing like the off-road Porsche we’ve always wanted. Now, after more than three decades of primarily road-focused 911s, we’re finally getting the jacked-up, knobbly-tyred, Mad Max-spec flat-six of our dreams. Meet the Porsche 911 Dakar.


Inspired by Porsche’s 1984 Paris-Dakar Rally win, the 911 Dakar takes what is ordinarily a low-slung, hard-gripping hard-charging sportscar and takes it entirely out of what we’d ordinarily think is its comfort zone. 

Body wise, the changes are subtle but distinctive, with rubber arches and a fettled nose and tail. There’s a carbon fixed rear spoiler and the fixed carbon frunk lid from the GT3. ‘Fuchs’ style wheels complete the retro look. 

There are aluminium towing lugs at the front and rear, stainless steel skid plates, and 12-volt power outlet on the roof that can power the spotlights on the optional 42kg-capable roof rack. The rally design package is unmistakable as a nod to the classic Rothmans livery, though per the restrictions of the modern world, ‘Roughroads’ is emblazoned down the side in this case. 


Its running on Pirelli Scorpion all-terrain tyres, with a 40 and 45-profile front and rear. Its suspension is a full 50mm higher than that of a standard Carrera S, with a further 30 possible using its lift system. Of course, being a Porsche 911 still, it’s not a simple case of jacking it up for particularly dodgy obstacles. The system will stay raised at speeds of up to 106mph, beyond which it automatically lowers.

On the inside, it’s almost 911 business as usual, with the 918-spec carbon buckets adding support and specialness, as do the lashings of carbon-fibre and ‘sport tex’. 911 Dakar badging and digital script can be seen on the dash and digital instruments, just to remind you of exactly what you’re in.

Powering the Dakar is the same 480PS (353kW), 570Nm (420lb ft) version of the 3.0-litre twin-turbo flat-six that powers all 992 Carreras, which otherwise known, is ‘GTS’ spec. Performance is therefore strong, with that power being delivered to all four wheels via the familiar eight-speed PDK transmission, for a 0-62mph time of just 3.5 seconds and a tyre-limited 149mph top speed.


In terms of shaping the Dakar’s driving characteristics, there’s rear steering, 911 GT3 dynamic engine mounts and PDCC anti-roll, all recalibrated for dual asphalt and dirt purposes. There are new driving modes, too, including Rally and Offroad, with the former for faster dirt routes and the latter for high-clearance, obstacle-heavy crawling. Both modes feature Rally Launch Control which, again, is a launch software calibrated specifically for off-road use allowing wheel slippage of up to 20 per cent.

Just 2,500 examples of the 911 Dakar are to be built, with buyers getting the opportunity to explore the full capabilities of their Dakars with tuition at Porsche experience centres. Prices start at £173,000 in the UK, with deliveries beginning in Spring next year. If you want that Rally Design Package, it’ll be another £18,434. 

Is this the coolest 911 yet made? It’ll almost certainly be a huge amount of fun and thanks to that jacked up suspension those knobbly tyres, ride the UK’s rutted roads beautifully.

  • Porsche

  • 911

  • 911 Dakar

  • Paris-Dakar

  • Dakar

  • porsche-911-dakar-main.jpg


    Porsche is building an off-road "Dakar" 911

  • porsche-911-dakar-main.jpg


    Why Porsche has a right to build an off-roader | Thank Frankel it's Friday

  • porsche-911-dakar-on-the-road-main.jpg


    The genius of the Porsche 911 Dakar on the road