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The Off-Road Porsche Dakar 911 Is Coming, and We Want One

The ultra-rugged sports car will make its official debut on Nov. 16, and it looks as fun as it sounds.

The Porsche 911 Dakar prototype on ice Porsche

Who doesn’t love a good Porsche 911 Safari build? Soon, you’ll be able to buy one of the off-road sports cars directly from the brand itself.

The German automaker has just shared images of its own Safari, which it also confirmed will be called the 911 Dakar. The new photos should put any concerns off-road enthusiasts may have had about the long-rumored model’s capabilities to bed, as they show the car holding its own in extreme cold and heat.

The photos, which only show the 911 Dakar in prototype form, also offer our best glimpse yet of what to expect from the car. The lifted coupé looks more robust than the rest of the 911 line and comes equipped with a large rear spoiler and roof rack. Porsche didn’t go into details about its technical specifications, but we can all but guarantee that it will have all-wheel drive, just like the heavily modified 953 that won the 1984 Paris-Dakar rally (yes, that’s where the name comes from) and kicked off Safari mania. There is some thought the variant will be based on the 911 Carrera 4S which has a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged that pumps out 443 horses and 390 ft lbs of twist.

The Porsche 911 Dakar prototype rides a sand dune
Porsche 911 Dakar prototype Porsche

What we do know for certain, though, is that 911 Dakar prototypes have racked up over 310,000 miles during testing, over 6,000 miles of which came in off-road conditions, according to the brand. Porsche has tested its latest sports car on the frozen lakes of Sweden and over dunes in Dubai and Morocco. Those lucky enough to spent time behind the wheel of the car have come away impressed, too.

“The car is incredibly fun to drive,” two-time rally champion Walter Röhrl, who drove the car during cold-weather testing, said in a statement. “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.”

The Porsche 911 Dakar prototype slides on ice

The 911 Dakar is scheduled to make its public debut next Wednesday, Nov. 16, before the start of the LA Auto Show. No release date has been revealed yet, but we don’t imagine it’ll be too far off. We also don’t know how much it will cost, but if it does turn out to be based on the Carrera 4S, expect it to start north of that model’s $130,000 starting price.

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