The Porsche 911 needs no introduction thanks to decades of heritage backing it up. But where many people see the 911 nameplate as an asphalt-ready sports car— which it is— Porsche is eager to remind us of the model’s rally pedigree with this: the 2023 911 Dakar.

It’s named after the world-renowned Paris-Dakar Rally, specifically paying homage to Porsche’s legendary victory in 1984. And it does so in more ways than fancy graphics. Standard is Porsche’s Traction Management All-Wheel Drive system, driven by a 3.0-liter twin-turbo boxer engine. It produces 473 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque, channeled to the wheels through an eight-speed PDK.

But raw power is only part of what’s needed to relive the 911’s golden-age of rally racing. The Dakar is also lifted for 6.2-inches of ground clearance— about 2-inches higher than a Carrera GTS. The auto-adjusting suspension can raise the vehicle up to 7.5-inches in “high mode,” a drive setting available up to 105 mph. That’s great for clearing obstacles, as are the knobby all-terrain tires wrapping bespoke wheels.

We could’ve tested the Dakar anywhere, but Porsche flew us out to the deserts of Morocco for a true Dakar Rally experience.

DAVE SCRIVENER: “In 35 years of doing this business, I never thought I’d see myself off-roading a 911, yet here I am, traversing the sandy paths and dunes of Morocco in a 911 Dakar. This is not just a trim package, this car actually has some off-road chops for soft roads, sand dunes, things like that. This thing is very-well-equipped to handle this kind of terrain.”   

Other trim-exclusive add-ons include a CRFP rear spoiler and hood, model-specific fascias and rocker panels, and wheel arch extensions. And if you want to go all-out with the nostalgia, you can opt for the “Rally Design Package” for the two-tone paint and scripting.

The 2023 Porsche 911 Dakar starts just a tad over $220,000, limited to just 2,500 units. It’s certainly exclusive, but a perfect 80’s throwback for Porsche Rally fans of any era.

And We’ll have more Quick Spins… soon