The Porsche 911 is arguably the most popular and well-known sports car in the world, and its lineup is packed with track-oriented hardcore variants like the GT3 RS. But at the 2022 Los Angeles Auto Show, the German automaker rolled out a very special world premiere with the 911 Dakar, a high-riding 911 that’s ready to take on off-road trails. Limited to just 2,500 units globally, the 2023 Porsche 911 Dakar will begin arriving at dealerships in the U.S. in spring 2023 with a starting price of $223,450 including delivery, processing, and handling.
Inspired by the first overall Porsche victory at the 1984 Paris-Dakar Rally, this 911 variant will be offered with an optional Rallye Design Package that’s inspired by that winning car. The package outfits the lifted 911 with a White and Gentian Blue Metallic two-tone paint job with decorative livery. In fact, this is the first time Porsche is combining a two-tone paint scheme with livery. Buyers can also choose to add a start number to the side of the car, anything between 1 and 999.
Riding 50mm (1.97 inches) higher than a standard 911 Carrera, the 911 Dakar features a lift system that can raise the front and rear of the car by an additional 30mm (1.18 inches). That would give the 911 Dakar a stance similar to what’s found on crossovers and SUVs, which may be a bizarre sight for some. Porsche says the “High Level” setting can be used up to approximately 105 mph. If you go faster than that, the car will return to its normal ride height.
Powered by a 3.0-liter twin-turbo Boxer engine, the 911 Dakar offers 473 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. That lets it go from zero-to-60 mph in just 3.2 seconds, and top speed is limited to 150 mph because of the specially developed Pirelli Scorpion All Terrain Plus tires. It runs a staggered setup with 245/45/19 up front and 295/40/20 in the rear, sporting an off-road focused tread pattern with a depth of 9mm. Those all-terrain tires are standard equipment, but buyers can also opt for summer performance and snow tires from the Pirelli P Zero family.
The engine is mated to an eight-speed PDK with Porsche Traction Management (PTM) all-wheel drive. Naturally, Porsche added two new driving modes to the special model: Rallye Mode and Off-Road Mode. Rallye Mode is designed for loose, uneven surfaces and biases power to the rear axle, while the Off-Road Mode delivers maximum traction on sand and rough terrain. While Off-Road Mode is engaged, the 911 Dakar defaults to the “High Level” ride height. Not surprisingly, there’s also a unique Rallye Launch Control mode that enables acceleration on loose surfaces and allows wheel spin of up to 20%.
A few parts from the 911 GT3 have been adopted onto the Dakar, including rear-axle steering and engine mounts. There’s also a carbon fiber hood from the 911 GT3 with large openings to extract air. The rear features a fixed rear spoiler and accents include red forged aluminum front and rear tow hooks, flared fender arches and rocker panels, and stainless steel body elements throughout. Up top on the roof, Porsche has outfitted the 911 Dakar with a 12-volt socket for the headlights of the optional roof basket. Buyers can also opt for a roof tent.
Inside, the rear seats have been tossed out and buyers will get full bucket seats up front as standard. Lightweight glass contributes to a bit of weight loss, with the 911 Dakar tipping the scales at 3,552 pounds. Another unique feature to the Dakar is standard Race-Tex upholstery with Shade Green stitching. That Shade Green color is an exclusive paint color to the 911 Dakar.
Also announced was the Design Chronograph 1 – 911 Dakar and the Chronograph 1 – 911 Dakar Rallye Design Edition. These timepieces feature a housing made of particularly light and scratch resistant titanium carbide, which is indicated by the TiC found on the dial in red. It’s a first for Porsche Design watches and the material is even lighter than titanium.
The 911 Dakar Rallye Design Edition of the Chronograph 1 features additional rough roads graphic in white, blue, gold, and red in the small seconds, which is inspired by the colors from the 1984 winning rally car. The leather strap features black leather and contrast stitching, along with a perforation with backing made of Shark Blue Race-Tex. This is a contrast to the Shade Green found on the standard 911 Dakar timepiece.
Only buyers of the 911 Dakar will have an opportunity to purchase the special watch, which is also limited to 2,500 pieces. Pricing will start at $14,500 and customers will receive a plaque in a high-quality box along with the timepiece.
If you’re in the Los Angeles area, make sure to stop by the 2022 Los Angeles Auto Show to check out the 911 Dakar.
Updated (12:53 p.m. EST, 11/17/2022): Added live photos of the Porsche 911 Dakar at the 2022 Los Angeles Auto Show.
Updated (10:31 p.m. EST, 11/16/2022): Added more information on the Chronograph 1 – 911 Dakar and the Chronograph 1 – 911 Dakar Rallye Design Edition.