Porsche 911 Dakar to debut Nov 16 in Los Angeles

Porsche 911 Dakar to debut Nov 16 in Los Angeles

Testing of a taller-riding, off-road-capable Porsche 911 has been on the rumour mill for some time, and certainly, builders of modified cars have given their own interpretation of the theme, such as restoration-modification specialists Singer Vehicle Design with the All-terrain Competition Study, and Marc Philipp Gemballa with the Marsien.

Now, such an undertaking has been confirmed by Porsche themselves with the 911 Dakar that has completed its off-road testing regime, which the German manufacturer will premiere at the Los Angeles Auto Show next week on November 16.

Porsche has conducted more than 10,000 km of off-road testing on the 911 Dakar so far, as part of the car’s wider testing programme that has seen more than 500,000 km covered in test mileage. These tests went beyond the off-road proving grounds at Porsche’s Weissach facility, venturing further across Europe and into the Middle East.

Routes similar to rally courses were tackled on the Château de Lastours test course in southern France for testing on loose surfaces as well as over jumps, while snow and ice were tackled on the cold-weather proving grounds of Arjeplog, Sweden.

With ‘Dakar’ in its name, the desert environment has to be mastered as well, and so the 911 Dakar was extensively tested in Dubai and Morocco, where the development units of the lifted Neuelfer were driven repeatedly over steep, 50 m-tall sand dunes in temperatures of more than 45 degrees Celsius.

Technical specifications for the 911 Dakar have yet to be revealed, and it remains to be seen if the off-road capable 911 will be for regular series production, or made as a limited-run edition. Given its off-road design brief, all-wheel-drive and a turbocharged powertrain is likely to feature here.

The Porsche 911 Dakar isn’t the only sports car line to spawn a lifted, off-roading variant; the Lamborghini Huracan Sterrato concept of 2019 will emerge as a production car when it is unveiled in Miami, US next month, according to Autocar, and this will also be the Italian supercar maker’s final purely internal combustion model.

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Mick Chan

Open roads and closed circuits hold great allure for Mick Chan. Driving heaven to him is exercising a playful chassis on twisty paths; prizes ergonomics and involvement over gadgetry. Spent three years at a motoring newspaper and short stint with a magazine prior to joining this website.


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