Porsche will unveil the new rally-inspired 911 Dakar at the Los Angeles motor show on November 16.
The model is named for Porsche’s victory in the 1984 Paris-Dakar rally in a modified 911.
The new variant will feature lifted suspension and all-terrain tyres, as well as 911 GT3-style nostrils up front, wheel arch cladding, and a raisable spoiler.
Powertrain specifics and details on the upgrades the Dakar will have over the standard 911 have yet to be confirmed, but development driver Lars Kern said, “I am very satisfied with the handling on loose surfaces. Even the ABS is optimised for braking on gravel”.
Porsche has taken the 911 Dakar through an intensive testing regime of more than 500,000km of driving across a mix of terrains.
Some 10,000km of this testing was off-road in iconic locations such as the Château de Lastours test track in France, which was used to demonstrate the car’s abilities on a typical rally track.
Two-time world rally champion Walter Röhrl tested the 911 Dakar in Arjeplog, Sweden, a test ground used by Porsche to demonstrate its traction control, handling, and its ability to navigate snowy conditions on a frozen lake.
The 911 Dakar was also put to its paces in sandy Dubai and Morocco, where it was driven up 50 metre dunes in 45-degree heat.
“Especially here, the 911 Dakar can make the most of its conceptual advantages – the combination of low weight, higher ground clearance, a powerful rear-mounted engine and the short wheelbase make for an exhilarating driving experience,” said Frank Moser, vice president for the 911 and 718 model lines.
Porsche has also recently sent its experimental version of the 911 Carrera 4S to Chile to climb the side of the world’s highest volcano, Ojos del Salado, with modifications such as a pair of portal axles and lower gear ratios.
The 911 Dakar pays homage to one of Porsche’s most legendary motorsport victories.
The 1984 Paris-Dakar Rally saw Rene Metgé and Dominique Lemoyne victorious. They traversed tough terrains from sand dunes to mud in a heavily reworked, four-wheel drive version of the 911 Turbo chassis called the 953.
Porsche isn’t the only brand readying a higher-riding sports car. Lamborghini will reveal a jacked-up version of its Huracan in December called the Sterrato.
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