the ultimate snow toy?

There are cars that are hard to justify. It is so difficult that even the development teams of a manufacturer are recalibrated by the marketing division, which vetoes the entry into production of some projects. This is the case with the Porsche 911 Dakar, whose development began with the 991 generation but only saw the light of day many years later, while the 992 entered its fourth year on the market. The reason for this turnaround? Not clearly defined, but it is somewhere in the middle of a market study that is definitely more favorable than the previous one, as long as it coincides with the 75th anniversary of the brand and the 60th anniversary of the 911. However, it is the customers who can take advantage of this beautiful toy that is more interesting in detail than its appearance.

The Dakar is based on a Carrera 4 GTS (A Turbo would require a massive block cooling job), but adds many elements of its own. So it is equipped with a wider body, One custom fixed fin in CFRP (carbon fiber reinforced plastic) and a front cover of the same material. Of the Protective shoes occur in front and back, while the sills receive stainless steel reinforcements. The whole thing is completed by black plastic wheel arches surrounding the specific rims and a 12 V socket… On the roof. Because yes, a rack with accessories (jerricans, shovels, plates to get out of a stuck situation, etc.) and small additional spotlights are available as options! And for those who want to pay tribute to the Porsche 953 that won the Paris-Dakar in 1984, a special decoration based on two-tone paint and stickers inspired by the Rothmans livery is also available as an option for the modest cost of €26,280. , along with a carbon roof and various options.

Increased ground clearance

But what impresses at first glance is above all the raised ground clearance. Thanks for a custom suspension with increased travel, the 911 Dakar is 50 mm higher than the GTS and can be raised a further 30 mm to reach 191 mm of ground clearance, a height that it can handle up to 170 km/h. The increase of the center of gravity is obligatory, the setting of the Dakar suspensions is very different from a 911 GTS. Thus, the springs are 50% softer at the front and 30% at the rear, while the shock absorbers are firmer. In Normal mode, the Dakar actually exhibits more vertical movement than any other 911, making the drive a bit vague despite the steering being precise and perfectly consistent. In Sport mode, however, it’s a different story. Porsche maintains a controlled suspension, which then becomes very hard or even dry when relaxing on the roughness of the road, as well as the active anti-roll bars of the PDCC system. Thus the car becomes stiffer, which, with winter tires and the half-snowy Austrian roads, is not exactly for grip. The result is probably more convincing on smooth, dry asphalt!

Born for difficult conditions

That being said, whoever buys the Dakar just to drive on asphalt misses the hidden side of this 911 that is unique, especially since the maximum speed here is limited to 240 km/h. So head to an ice circuit to try out one of two new driving modes. If we leave the Off-Road mode aside, which is designed for riding on rocky terrain, the rally mode reaching us The latter has a damping law as well as the calibration of specific driving aids, as well as an all-wheel drive setting that favors the rear axle more. Clearly, it is the most suitable for having fun making big drifts and for evolving on rolling and slightly uneven tracks. Despite the absence of studded tires (the test cars were wearing Pirelli PZero Winter), the grip was excellent from the first laps on the ice circuit. And it was under the wise advice of Walter Röhrl and Jörg Bergmeister, two renowned drivers and Porsche ambassadors, that we discovered a faithfully balanced car that could be tamed by a simple modus operandi: you load the front brake by turning the steering wheel in the direction of the turn, then you ease off the brake at the same time you open the throttle to start a drift. The rest is just a matter of practice and hope!

It’s like being in a rally car, it is on uneven ground and when asked by many that dampness shows itself, allowing enough body movement to help the wheels work properly, without ever becoming brittle. Even jumping, as experienced in an unforgettable Röhrl passenger run! The bucket seats supplied as standard (comfort seats are available as a free option) are firm but very well maintained and the feeling of being one with the car is real despite the high center of gravity. A feeling helped by that fact despite its modification, the Dakar is limited to 1,605 kg empty, meaning only 10 kg more than a Carrera 4 GTS. Everything is monitored by the electronics, whose excellent intervention makes it possible to deliver enough heat of the flat-six of 480 hp and 570 Nm -which is also particularly sound in the passenger compartment with thin glazing and a remedy of insulating materials- so that the maximum power passes to the ground.

Small production, big price

The Porsche 911 Dakar is one of those cars that turns bananas but also ends up making you smile yellow. Because of €226,689 per piece in France excluding malus (€50,000), options and customization, we probably don’t come across them every day! A problem that shouldn’t be one for the 2,500 or so older kids who can afford it because ultimately, the Dakar is another car in a collection that is more than an all-purpose supercar. However, it is very interesting and fun to lead, so the production should not take long. There is no doubt that like the Lamborghini Huracan Sterrato, it will be all the rage in the Emirates and in the corners of the world where the smooth asphalt is not necessarily present, as collectors must tear it to make it throne next to the latest GT3 RS, thus showing the exceptional versatility of the Porsche 911. Useless, therefore important!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *