Porsche 911 Dakar: price and performance details for 473bhp off-road sports car

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The Porsche 911 Dakar has been unveiled as a limited-edition, off-road focused version of the iconic sports car.

Inspired by the marque’s first overall victory in the 1984 Paris-Dakar rally, the 911 Dakar features bodywork, chassis and drive mode modifications to give it a tougher look and more rugged ability than the standard 911 range. Just 2,500 examples will be sold worldwide, each priced at £173,000.

The clearest change is the 911 Dakar’s rise in ride height, with the rally-inspired model sitting 50mm higher than a standard Carrera S. This can be raised by a further 30mm to give added ground clearance that Porsche says can rival more conventional off-road vehicles. Porsche also says that the raised ride isn’t just for crawling over obstacles but can be used at speeds of up to 105mph for “ambitious off-road adventures”. Above that speed, the suspension returns to its standard height.

Helping the 911 Dakar make rapid progress away from the Tarmac are specially developed Pirelli Scorpion All Terrain Plus tyres with a chunky tread pattern to provide better traction and reinforced sidewalls to make the tyres more resistant to cuts and abrasions. These wrap around 19-inch alloys at the front and 20-inchers at the rear. Porsche says the tyres offer engaging on-road handling but buyers can specify more road-focused Pirelli P Zero.

Powering the 911 Dakar is the same 473bhp 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged flat-six engine used in the 911 GTS. This allows the Dakar to sprint from 0-60mph in 3.3 seconds and onwards to a limited top speed of 149mph due to the off-road tyres.

Power is sent to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission, while all cars also get rear-axle steering and Porsche’s Dynamic Chassis Control system. Two new drive modes have been created to enhance the Dakar’s off-road skills. Rallye is designed for ‘loose, uneven surfaces’ and puts the car into a more rear-focused all-wheel-drive setup. Offroad is designed to work with the raised ride height in trickier conditions.

Visually, the car gets wider bodywork than regular 911 models and there is additional protection in the form of stainless steel plates on the front, rear and sills. The side air intakes have also been redesigned to protect them from flying debris. Front and rear towing lugs add to the rough and ready vibe and owners can specify a rally raid-inspired roof rack complete with light bar and space for fuel and water cans. To complete the 1980s homage owner can also chose a Rallye Design pack that recreates the famous two-tone Rothmans livery of the original rally cars, albeit with the script changed to a more socially acceptable “Roughroads”.

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