Porsche has announced that the upcoming (992-generation) 911 Dakar has completed “more than” 10 000 km of off-road testing. 

Billed as the first two-door sports car to offer “outstanding” off-road capabilities, the 911 Dakar was named in honour of the German marque’s first overall victory in the Paris-Dakar rally in 1984 in a modified 911, which was fitted with all-wheel drive for the first time. Porsche says, “In testing the car, the development engineers around general project manager Achim Lamparter didn’t only restrict themselves to intensive use of the off-road proving grounds in Weissach.” Indeed, the 911 Dakar was tested worldwide under “extreme” conditions.

“I was absolutely stunned by how well the car performed here”

The 911 Dakar underwent more than 500 000 km, 10 000 of which was off-road. One of the sites where the tall(er)-riding 911 was tested was the Château de Lastours test track in southern France. Porsche used this track to test the car’s handling on “typical” rally courses and “fine-tune” the suspension set-up. 

911 Dakar

“All Dakar teams come here to test their cars in Europe before the rally,” said Porsche works driver Romain Dumas. Porsche says Dumas was “puzzled” by the assignment to drive this model at Château de Lastours. However, the company says Dumans’ astonishment quickly gave way to admiration for the 911 Dakar’s “spirited” off-road performance. 

“Even jumps were no problem for the chassis thanks to the robust design and increased ground clearance,” said the automaker. “I knew what a 911 could do on the road … but I was absolutely stunned by how well the car performed here on the loose,” said Dumas. 

911 Dakar

In addition, the new model was tested on snow and ice at the Arjeplog testing grounds in Sweden by two-time world rally champion Walter Röhrl. “The car is incredibly fun to drive,” said Röhrl. “Everything works so precisely and calmly. No Porsche customer will believe all the things you can do with this car before they’ve driven it themselves.”

Porsche also took the 911 Dakar to Dubai and Morocco, where its test drivers “mercilessly” drove the off-road-orientated 911 on fast sand tracks and high dunes in temperatures of “up to” 45 degrees Celcius. “The 911 Dakar delivered a commanding performance even in the desert,” said Frank Moser, vice president of model line 911/718. “Especially here, the 911 Dakar can make the most of its conceptual advantages – the combination of low weight, higher ground clearance, a powerful rear-mounted engine and the short wheelbase make for an exhilarating driving experience.”