Porsche's high-riding 911 has finally arrived with Carrera GTS drivetrain, all-terrain tires, and a three-inch lift.

, 2023 Porsche 911 Dakar Is Off-Road-Ready With 473 HP and Three-Inch Lift, Costs $220,000
Porsche

The age of the factory Safari car is finally upon us. After years of home-brew creations and aftermarket tuning shops offering to turn your 911 into a world-beating Safari car, Porsche has stepped up and built an off-road 911 of its own. Dubbed the 911 Dakar, it checks all of the boxes of a great off-roading sports car, including a raised ride height, fender flares, all-terrain tires, and even an optional roof basket. Porsche officially uncovered the new model Wednesday night and it’s available for order as of this story going to press.

Porsche hasn’t said whether the 911 Dakar is based on any specific 911 trim, though if we had to guess, we’d say the team used a Carrera 4 GTS to start. The powertrain is straight out of the C4GTS, with a twin-turbo flat-six making 473 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque. It sends power to all four wheels via an eight-speed PDK. Sorry purists, no manual option is available.

The ride height is one of the most notable modifications. Porsche says the Dakar sits 1.96 inches higher than a normal 911 Carrera, though there’s a lift system onboard that can raise the suspension another 1.18 inches, for a total of 3.15 inches. That’s plenty to clear most dunes, rocks, snowbanks, or whatever else you plan to drive over. That extra 1.18 inches will stay raised up to 105 mph. Porsche knows owners will use this thing to bomb through deserts, so it’s set up accordingly.

, 2023 Porsche 911 Dakar Is Off-Road-Ready With 473 HP and Three-Inch Lift, Costs $220,000
Porsche

This isn’t simply longer shocks and springs. The suspension incorporates longer links which not only stretch travel but slightly increase track width. It’s the same strategy that works for Ford when turning an F-150 into a Raptor. Also, the adjustable suspension system fills the space normally used by the 911’s rear seat. So, those puny seats are deleted and, no, they can’t be added back as an option.

There’s also the tire, a new Pirelli Scorpion All Terrain Plus model developed specifically for this car. They measure 245/45 ZR 19 in front and 295/40 ZR 20 at the rear, with a nine-millimeter tread depth for optimal traction in low-grip conditions. There are also sets of specific Pirelli snow and summer tires available as options. No matter which tire set you go for, they’ll be shrouded by a set of model-specific fender flares and side skirts.

Because the wheels are mere 19s, there’s no option for oversize carbon fiber brakes. Instead, the brakes come off the Carrera 4S and are made of pig iron with six-piston calipers up front and four-piston clampers in back.

Other changes to the exterior include a carbon fiber reinforced plastic roof taken from the GT3, red-painted forged aluminum tow hooks front and rear, and stainless steel mesh grilles along the front fascia to prevent rock strikes from damaging more-delicate components. Inside you’ll find fixed-back bucket seats as standard and lightweight glass to cut weight. Curb weight is 3552 pounds which, as Porsche points out, is just 16 pounds more than an automatic Carrera 4 GTS.

Rear-wheel steering and GT3-derived engine mounts are also standard on the 911 Dakar. Porsche added two new drive modes, Rallye Mode and Off-Road Mode, which can be used to traverse loose surfaces and maximize traction in rough terrain, respectively. There’s also a new rally-specific launch control, which allows up to 20 percent wheelspin for loose-surface launches. The 0-60 sprint happens in just 3.2 seconds, with a top speed limited to 150 mph due to the all-terrain tires.

, 2023 Porsche 911 Dakar Is Off-Road-Ready With 473 HP and Three-Inch Lift, Costs $220,000
Porsche

The 911 Dakar carries with it a handful of exclusive options, including an optional roof tent and roof basket. There’s a 12-volt socket mounted to the roof to power the lights on the basket, which can hold up to 92 pounds. In addition to the two roof accessories, there’s also a “Rallye Design” package that gives the Dakar a white and blue two-tone paint job, designed as a tribute to the 1984 Dakar Rally winner, a Porsche 911 SC/RS. Buyers who option the package can opt for a number on the car between 1 and 999.

Don’t worry, the “Rothman’s” inspired livery isn’t the only option. Other available designs include ones inspired by the East African Safari, classic Martini sponsorship, and Kühne and Nagel.

Porsche expects U.S. deliveries of the 911 Dakar to begin in spring 2023. Just 2500 examples will be built, each with a starting price of $223,450, including destination. It will be a one-year-only model.

Call your dealer now. As a good businessperson, expect the actual sales price to be well beyond the MSRP. And for it to stay there… forever.

Brian Silvestro Road & Track staff writer with a taste for high-mileage, rusted-out projects and amateur endurance racing.

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