Welcome to the new year! The best news we could hear to kick off the year is definitely that Porsche is planning future variants of the iconic 911 for off-road environments. It could be argued that the 911 is already a dominant force in street car performance with the Turbo S model, and it’s already a dominant force in track car performance with the 911 GT3 RS. If Porsche could use the same basic 911 platform to dominate a third form, it would be totally incredible, right? That seems to be their ambition, because Oliver Blume recently casually mentioned to CAR Magazine that more dirty 911s are headed our way. The recently-launched Dakar model is just the first of many, which could not be more exciting.
Oliver Blume: ‘Very few global brands are able to bring these successful items from the past and connect them with modern technology. But Porsche can. Then we thought “Why not a third pillar, besides sporty GT and heritage models? Why not off-road, too?” Now we will see how the market success of the Dakar pans out. And then maybe there will be more to come. The door is now open…’
If Porsche is gauging market success, you could pretty well assume that other off roaders are coming. The Dakar is going to sell like proverbial hotcakes, especially here in the United States market, because it’s a limited-edition Porsche and we all know how that goes. I do hope that this will be a 911R/GT3 Touring situation where the early limited version sells out in quick order and Porsche uses that information to green light a slightly more ‘regular’ version of that car for the, uh, masses?
If you had your druthers, what kind of off-road 911 would you want to buy? Would you be more interested in a rally-raid sports machine with wild active suspension along the lines of the original off-road Porsche, the 959? Or would you prefer a fast and rear-engined soft-roader with street sporting capability, like a Cayenne with no real luggage space? If we’re going to prove Porsche can take on the best in off-road, we’d better expect that Porsche will be returning to off-road racing. Here’s hoping we get an announcement this year that Porsche will be returning to Dakar to take on the rally it won twice nearly forty years ago.