Porsche in the desert: Let’s accelerate the new 911 on an adventure in the Sahara

Porsche’s most famous and revered model, the 911, was designed to accelerate on asphalt. That didn’t stop the German marque from designing and building a beefed-up and raised suspension version of the coupe in the 1980s, which won the 1984 Paris-Dakar Rally and left behind many “roots” SUVs.

To pay homage to the champion car and offer a very different and striking 911, Porsche has just launched the 911 Dakar – limited to 2,500 units worldwide and arriving in Brazil at a suggested retail price of R$1,799,000.

At the invitation of the Stuttgart manufacturer, UOL Carros embarked on an adventure to Morocco, North Africa to test his casting skills in the environment for which it was created: the dunes, rocks and potholes of the Saara desert.

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The trip included a stay in Lisbon, from where we took off on a charter flight to the city of Arfoud, an oasis in southeast Morocco, surrounded by desert and where, according to local residents, it hasn’t rained much for over three years .

According to Porsche, the route chosen for the 911 Dakar tests passes through a region where the famous rally has already taken place – all to honor the history of the champion car and with the guidance of instructors driving the convoy – as well as a support team for towing vehicles in the event of the unexpected.

To our surprise, Porsche personnel encouraged the sports car to accelerate mercilessly, but within the previously planned layout.

Camping tents Porsche 911 Dakar Sahara desert Morocco - Alessandro Reis/UOL - Alessandro Reis/UOL
Image: Alessandro Reis/UOL

To anyone who thinks that the 911 doesn’t go with sand, I guarantee that the Dakar feels at ease, so much so that I accelerated the coupe to over 100 km/h and ended the first day of testing with it in one piece and ready for a another day of adventures.

After spending the night in a camp set up in the middle of the dunes and away from the structure of a city, I and the other guest journalists enjoyed a few more hours of strong emotions in the middle of the Sahara – including climbing a narrow path full of rocks, towards the top of a mountain.

With the help of the instructors, we made it to the top unharmed, including the test vehicle.

How is the 911 Dakar

  • New from Porsche is a combination of elements borrowed from other variants of the 911 that together made the sports car a legitimate off-roader.
  • It’s even more capable than the Cayenne and Taycan, the European automaker’s SUVs
  • THE basis of the Dakar is the 911 GTSfrom which it borrows the flat-six boxer engine
  • With three liters of displacement and two turbos, it delivers 480 HP of power and 58 kgfm of torque.operated by an eight-speed dual-clutch PDK automated gearbox
  • The choice of this powerhouse could not have been better. The 911 Dakar doesn’t need more torque or horsepower to conquer dunes and cross ditches. If it had more, it would probably be harder to control in this type of terrain.
  • Evidently the traction system is of the integral type, in the four wheels. To meet the challenges and get the necessary traction on the more difficult sections, such as the dunes, we have deactivated the traction and stability controls and activated the Off-road mode, exclusive to this very different 911.
  • In this driving mode, the air suspension is raised by three centimeters up to 170 km/h
  • The reinforced suspension is already five centimeters higher than that of a conventional GTS
  • This inevitably causes the body to roll a little more under acceleration and braking on tarmac, but nothing that detracts from the edgy handling typical of a Porsche 911
  • On the contrary: fun and precision are also guaranteed on paved roads, but the greater height of the chassis means that the maximum speed is limited to 240 km/h
  • For me, these are small concessions to the versatility the car offers.
  • Mixed-use tires developed to order by Pirelli play a key role in the off-road capabilities of the 911 Dakar
  • Andcarry sizes of 245/45 ZR 19 at the front and 295/40 ZR 20 at the rear
  • They are one inch smaller in diameter than the 911 GTS


Bonnet detail Porsche 911 Dakar - Advertising - Advertising
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  • To reduce weight, the Dakar dispenses with rear seats, while the front seats are clamshell and have a carbon fiber structure.
  • The 911 GT3’s carbon fiber reinforced plastic bonnet is another trick to streamline the sports car.
  • At 1,605 kg, the 911 Dakar is 10 kg heavier than the Carrera GTS – little, considering the various reinforcements that the off-road variant has received
  • The Dakar can be supplied with the same two-tone paint job as the example we tested, inspired by the same visual motif applied to the 911 that won the Paris-Dakar Rally.
  • It can also be ordered with a conventional paint job
  • Among the many options is a roll cage installed instead of the rear seats.
  • There are also accessories such as a roof rack with lighting and even an awning, which is mounted on top of the vehicle.

It’s a pity that there will be only 2,500 cars

Rear study 911 Dakar - Advertising - Advertising
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In summary, the Dakar retains the sporting soul of every 911, combined with almost incredible capabilities away from the asphalt.

I’m sure the 2,500 units will sell out quickly, if they haven’t all been sold already (Porsche doesn’t say how many make it to Brazil).

Well, this idea of ​​merging a coupe with an SUV soul could yield another batch or even a regular production version. Here’s my humble suggestion to the people of Porsche.


General 911 Dakar - Advertising - Advertising
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Price: BRL 1,799,000
The engine: 3.0 biturbo, 6 cylinders opposed, petrol
Exchange: 8-speed dual-clutch automatic, all-wheel drive
Power: 480 HP at 6,500 rpm
Couple: 58 kgfm at 2,300 rpm
Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h: 3.4 seconds
Full speed: 240 kilometers per hour
Dimensions: 4.53m long, 1.86m wide, 1.34m high and 2.45m wheelbase
Weight: 1,605kg
Trunk: 132 litres
Reservoir: 67 litres

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*Trip invited by Porsche Brazil

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