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Porsche 911 Dakar finally revealed, Australian pricing and release date confirmed


Porsche has cooked up a limited-edition ode to an epic 1980s victory and it’s already been confirmed for the Australian market

It’s been almost 40 years since Porsche won the Paris-Dakar Rally in 1984, entering a heavily-modified 911 called the 953 that rolled on lifted suspension and a 4×4 system with mechanical differentials. 

That car led to the 959 supercar and, ultimately, the all-wheel-drive Carreras that are so ubiquitous today.

Porsche 911 Dakar 2023 hill
Porsche has finally unveiled the 911 Dakar

At the 2022 LA Auto Show, Porsche is honoring that car with yet another special edition: the Porsche 911 Dakar. 

Prices start at $491,400 before on-roads in Australia, not far off the cost of a 911 Turbo S coupe ($506,200), with local deliveries expected to commence in the second half of 2023.

A total of 2500 units will be produced globally with an unspecified quantity allocated for the Australian market.

What has Porsche changed?

This model blends parts from various models in the 911 range to create the most badass, off-road production Porsche ever.

It starts with a base 911 Carrera, augmented with the GTS’s 3.0-litre twin-turbo flat-six powertrain, making 353kW of power and 570Nm of torque, but beefed up with a custom air intake designed for inclement conditions. 

Porsche 911 Dakar 2023 rear driving
The 911 Dakar starts with a base Carrera chassis and adds a GTS powertrain

Power from that is routed through the Porsche Traction Management all-wheel-drive system. To keep the weight down to 1605kg (10kg heavier than a regular GTS with a PDK transmission) Porsche strips out the rear seat and installs thinner, lightweight glass.

A street-oriented suspension just wouldn’t do, so Porsche outfitted a custom setup, propping the car up 50mm higher than a standard Carrera. But, at the touch of a button, it’ll hike itself up another 30mm – though only up to 170km/h. 

After that, it lowers back down again. At maximum height, the result is 171mm of ground clearance, a 16.1-degree approach angle, and a 19-degree breakover angle.

Porsche 911 Dakar 2023 green front 3/4
Porsche has added raised suspension with up to 30mm of additional adjustability

Street tires wouldn’t do either, so Pirelli developed a special Scorpion fitment for the 911 Dakar, 245/45 ZR 19 in front and 295/40 ZR 20 at the back. 

That’s not exactly your prototypical rally tire size, but these will be dual-carcass for off-road durability, with a healthy 9mm of tread. However, if for those who plan to use their Dakar in more pedestrian applications, buyers can opt for standard P Zero summer or winter tires instead.

The car does have rear-axle steering and Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control standard, the latter augmented with some fun new modes to take advantage of the 911 Dakar’s assets. 

Porsche 911 Dakar 2023 tyre
Naturally, some serious tyres were in order

There’s a Rallye Mode, which provides a rearward power bias and a healthy tolerance for wheelspin, perfect for getting your Scandinavian flick on. 

Then there’s Off-Road Mode, which balances power more evenly across all four wheels for maximum traction, also providing the maximum lift. And, if that weren’t enough, there’s a new, dirt-friendly launch control for living out your WRC fantasies. 

It wouldn’t be a special edition without plenty of visual flare, and Porsche’s provided literally that, with healthy fender extensions at every corner to match the knobby tires. 

Porsche 911 Dakar 2023 with old mate
The optional Rallye Design Package throws in the original livery

An optional roof basket will come pre-wired for your choice of lights, or you can also outfit a rooftop tent for the proper overlanding experience.

Red tow hooks, front and rear, will be there for you when you go a little too far, and buyers with a bit of nostalgia for the old Rothmans livery can choose the Rallye Design Package for an additional $54,730. 

The package adds two-tone blue base colour with white with red and gold stripes that’s familiar enough without violating any pesky trademarks or tobacco advertising laws.