The 2023 Porsche 911 Dakar is a rally car for the road

The off-road Porsche 911 is no longer limited to historic racing cars or aftermarket modifications. The 2023 Porsche 911 Dakar is top-notch Neunelfer straight from the factory, although you’ll probably need to call your dealer while you’re reading this if you want to pick one up.

Porsche unveiled the 2023 911 Dakar on Thursday. Limited to just 2,500 units, the 911 Dakar pays homage to Porsche’s first place finish at the 1984 Paris-Dakar Rally. As Porsche notes in the press release, that race was also the first time that a The 911 came with an all-wheel drive system, a move that made its way to road cars not long after.

In its simplest form, the 911 Dakar is a taller and more robust 911. It’s about 2 inches taller than a standard 911, with ground clearance of about 6.3 inches. But the Dakar can raise an additional 1.1 inches as needed, thanks to a hydraulic lift system similar to the front nose lift of other 911s. Depending on the current suspension setting, the approach angle is 14.2 or 16.1 degrees, with a break angle of about 19 degrees in maximum mode.

While Pirelli P Zero summer tires are available, they are not exactly the ideal off-road rubber. For these kinds of antics, the 911 Dakar comes standard with Pirelli Scorpion all-terrain tires. Snow tires are also available, which still makes a little more sense than the P Zeros.

The 911 Dakar gets its motive power from a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged flat-6 engine that produces 473 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque, the same six-cylinder found in the Carrera GTS. That’s enough forward motion to hit 60 mph in just 3.2 seconds, although top speed is limited to 150 mph, as the tires aren’t rated for more than that. An eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is standard, as is rear-wheel steering.

Those are some really big tires.

Andrew Crok/CNET

Porsche also beefed up the car in other ways to prepare it for the rigors of true off-roading. A revised intake housing includes a new air filter. The intercoolers were also changed; the central intercooler has been removed, while the outer ones have been replaced with improved units from the 911 Turbo and Turbo S. The spring rates have been adjusted and the shock absorbers are taller and stronger.

Stylistically, some elements are unique to this model. There’s a fixed rear spoiler, forged aluminum tow hooks, fatter fenders and a new front fascia. To prevent stones from ruining your day, the side vents are equipped with stainless steel grilles. A rooftop bin is optional and holds up to 92 pounds of stuff. That bin offers additional forward lighting and connects via a 12-volt socket in the car’s roof. The rear seats were also eliminated.

Since the 2023 Porsche 911 Dakar is limited to just 2,500 units, you’d better hurry if you want to grab one. You’ll need your big suitcase full of cash, too, as the Dakar will net you $222,000, including $1,450 in destination fees. They will start hitting retailers in the spring.

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