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Tyres / Tyre NewsPerformance Tyres / Porsche 911 Dakar

Late Brake Show tests the Porsche 911 Dakar

It might be the slowest brand new Porsche 911 you can buy, but Jonny Smith reckons the limited edition Dakar is the most fun. Find out why as Jonny slides and slithers his way around the historic Lydden Hill rallycross track.

The terrible weather and rough terrain are exactly what the 911 Dakar was built for. Inspired by the all-conquering competition Porsches that won the arduous Paris-Dakar Rally in the 1980s, this modern version is based on the potent GTS, complete with its 473hp 3.0-litre twin-turbo engine that delivers masses of low-down shove to keep the Dakar thrusting onwards over mud and ruts.

Porsche has capped the top speed of the Dakar to 150mph because you cannot drive any faster off-road. To cope with the power, pace and topography, the Dakar comes on specially made Pirelli Scorpion All Terrain Plus tyres that are unique to this Porsche. Their extra tread depth and stronger construction work with the longer travel of the Dakar’s suspension, which sits 50-millimetres higher over a GTS and can be raised a further 30-millimetres, let this Porsche tackle tracks you’d think twice about taking on in an SUV.

Four-wheel drive gives the Dakar superb traction and it’s helped by plenty of other changes over any other 911. There’s rugged skid plates to protect the underside of the car, unique five-spoke alloy wheels, and the front radiator has been moved to the sides to keep it safe from rocks. As Jonny finds out, all of this adds up to a car that is huge fun on any surface. The only thing that worries Jonny is whether or not the lucky 2500 people who buy a 911 Dakar will use them to their full potential. To find out just what this Porsche is capable of, join Jonny in the rain and mud.

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