An enthusiast tests the off-road capabilities of the Porsche 911 Dakar | Taza Khabre


  • The Porsche 911 Dakar Edition offers impressive off-road performance at high speeds, making it ideal for dune-cruising and off-road adventures.
  • Despite its off-road capabilities, the 911 Dakar handles ordinary roads like any other Porsche 911, offering a comfortable and powerful drive.
  • The 911 Dakar pays homage to the Porsche 953 that won the 1984 Paris-Dakar, featuring a distinctive two-tone finish and design cues from the iconic rally car.

Porsche took the 911 off-road with the special edition 911 Dakar sports car. This is one of the most outrageous versions of the 911 today. It even came with an optional Heritage Livery package that paid tribute to the 1984 Paris-Dakar winning Porsche 953. However, to see how good it is off-road, YouTuber 888MF got a car and decided to test its off-road abilities, pushing it to the limit.

Although the 911 Dakar does not climb rocks or cross swamps, it can offer good off-road performance at high speeds. Ideal for dune riding and reviving the spirit of the 953, it also allows you to drive on asphalt roads as usual.

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How the 911 Dakar works off-road

Characteristics of the Porsche 911 Dakar engine



Years of production



Twin-Turbo Flat-Six


3.0 liter


473 hp

A turning point

420 lb-ft



Known applications

Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS

The YouTuber drives the 911 Dakar off-road, traversing the field in off-road mode, an easy way to start the car’s adventure. But despite the roughness of the field, the 911 Dakar handles it easily and comfortably. The car is back on the field for a longer run to see what else it can do, and even through the dirt of the Dakar it handles it without a problem. Dirt ruts are also no problem for the Porsche, as it handles them like any normal road.

The YouTuber has some speed in the 911 Dakar on a dirt road, and that’s something that a sports car can easily handle. Remember, this is still a Porsche 911 at its heart, and there’s a lot of sports car DNA in it. With a ground clearance of 3.15 inches, the Porsche has a top speed of 105 mph, making it ideal for speeding through desert dunes. This car really feels at home in this environment. It’s the only 911 to feature a sports chassis, making it about 1.9 inches taller than the standard 911.

via YouTube channel 888MF

The video shows well how good the 911 Dakar is off-road. While the YouTuber isn’t pushing it to the absolute limits as it’s not his car, the extra ground clearance and off-road changes ensure the Dakar is a no-brainer. Stiffer unit mounts from the 911 GT3 help to improve the car’s driving dynamics when driving off-road. As the YouTuber finds out, the 911 Dakar can perform just as well as a regular 911 on asphalt.

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How the 911 Dakar behaves on normal roads

Porsche 911 Dakar Top down view
via YouTube channel 888MF

As you would expect, with the normal ride height and in sport mode, the 911 Dakar feels great on the normal road. Like any other 911, the car is no slouch, and the only sign of its off-road DNA is the slightly increased noise from the off-road tires. The flat-six engine under the car’s hood is similar to the 911 GTS engine. In this version of the 911, it is enough for 473 hp. and allows the car to accelerate to 100 km/h in 3.2 seconds. Top speed is 149 mph, which is more than enough for everyday use.

It’s also an aggressive car thanks to design cues like the hood from the 911 GT3. The stance of the 911 Dakar is also dramatic and aggressive, thanks in part to the SUV’s wider wheel arches at the rear. The 911 Dakar has a completely different stance than the regular Porsche 911, with extra width, height adjustment and exterior changes that create a unique Porsche sports car. Letting the 911 Dakar stand out is a good move, as it’s sometimes difficult to tell the different models apart at first glance.

2023 Porsche 911 Dakar Sahara Desert Morocco
The Smoking Tire YouTube channel

The 911 Dakar is also very comfortable thanks to the bucket seats. This applies both on and off-road, and the added bonus is exceptional visibility from the driver’s seat. The YouTuber describes the 911 Dakar as a 911 GT3 on the road, which is very high praise, and highlights how the changes to its handling have really changed its driving dynamics. Additional traction from the four-wheel drive system will also come in handy when driving a sports car on wet and greasy roads.

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Why the 911 Dakar pays tribute

Porsche 911 Dakar Front view with 1984 953 in the background
Through Porsche

Porsche has added the Rallye Design Package to the 911 Dakar, which comes from Porsche Exclusive Manufacktur. It is a two-tone finish in White/Gentian Blue Metallic and is actually the Rothmans Porsche livery from the 1984 Paris-Dakar winner. But this time it says Roughroads Porsche on the side instead of the name of the cigarette company. However, the signature blue and white colors of the Rothmans are clear, as are the stripes running down the center and side of the Porsche. Press images from Porsche show the 911 Dakar taking on the 953 that won the 1984 event.

The 953 was a heavily modified version of the 911, built specifically for the 1984 Paris-Dakar Rally. The car is sometimes referred to as the 911 4×4 and uses a developed manual four-wheel drive system from the later Porsche 959. The car had a 300 hp six-cylinder engine. and weighed only 2,750 lbs. The car, with improved suspension, entered the competition three times, with the Rothmans livery taking the overall victory. It was a 953 driven by René Metge and Dominique Lemoine.

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2023 Lamborghini Huracan Sterrato, front view on the road
Via: Lamborghini

Characteristics of the Lamborghini Huracan engine



Years of production





5.2 liters


601-640 hp

A turning point

413-442 lb-ft



Known applications

Lamborghini Huracan

Porsche isn’t the only one making a powerful off-road vehicle. The Lamborghini Huracan Sterrato is Lamborghini’s first SUV, and it can handle gravel and rough roads as well. Under the hood of the Sterrato is a 5.2-liter V10 from the regular Huracan, which produces 601 hp. and 413 lb-ft of torque. With the initial success of the 911 Dakar, Porsche recently hinted that more off-road models could be on the way, allowing the more than 2,500 people who bought the Dakar Rally to enjoy Porsche off-road vehicles.

Sources: YouTube channel 888MFPorsche, Lamborghini

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