The latest incarnation of Porsche’s iconic 911 is the Dakar, a version of the sportscar that’s able to bring all the coolest parts of fast Porsches to gravel roads. The 911 Dakar is a limited-run model that will see just 2 500 units released worldwide. The car is properly impressive too, it can eat gravel roads at 170 km/h, has Rallye Launch Control, Porsche’s all-wheel drive system, rear-axle steering, anti-roll stabilisation and that crowning feature in the form of a twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre flat-6 with 353 kW and 570 Nm of torque on tap. This setup affords the 911 Dakar the ability to hit 100 km/h in as little as 3.4-seconds ON GRAVEL and has a limited top speed of 240 km/h. The initial launch pics showed the lifted 911 in an old-style race livery from the days of cigarette advertising that resembles the iconic Rothmans colours, but with cigarette advertising not allowed anymore, the name was changed to Roughroads Porsche while still using the original Rothmans font. It looks great, but what about those prospective owners who aren’t fans of smoking?
With the infamous Dakar racing having just ended, the designers at Porsche have just upped the ante for options available to buyers. While the main news and social media channels follow the main race classes and the big teams during Dakar, there are smaller channels that focus on other classes in Dakar, especially the historic classes that are made up of old cars that have previously raced the event. Many of them still feature the same livery used back in the day and this is enough to make automotive race fans very happy. It seems some of those fans have some pull at Porsche and so the German automaker has put together a few more livery options for those that are keen on the 911 Dakar.
Rallye 1971: fifth place for Polish 911 team
This event took participants more than 5,000 km through savanna, desert scrubland and the highlands of Kenya and is regarded as one of the toughest rallies of all. Porsche undertook the challenge for the first time with a works team in 1971. Outwardly, the modified 911 S models were only identifiable by the simple black decals on the bonnet, the front wings and the doors. The Rallye 1971 decal set for the 911 Dakar revisits this design and adds the competition number 19, which belonged to the most successful 911 in this rally – a car that came fifth in 1971, driven by Polish drivers Sobiesław Zasada and Marian Bień. The decal set is available for €4,165.
Rallye 1974: Björn Waldegård enters the fray
The East African Safari Rally featured incredibly long stages – in 1974, the race was divided into three sections of 1,450 to 2,019 kilometres, which the teams had to complete in just five days. Of the 99 cars that entered, only 16 made it to the finish line. Swedish rally champion Björn Waldegård, who had already won the Rallye Monte Carlo twice in a Porsche, held the lead for a long while alongside co-driver Hans Thorszelius in the 911 Carrera 2.7 RS and started the third section with a 36-minute gap on second place. But a damaged wishbone cost him 72 minutes, and in the end Waldegård held on to finish second. Characteristic of the decals of the main sponsor were the blue stripes that traced the shoulder lines of the otherwise white car. The current wrap takes up this theme, albeit with narrower stripes and augmented by the Porsche logo on the lower edges of the doors. The Rallye 1974 decal set is available for €4,165.
Rally 1978: the legendary racing design
Björn Waldegård wasn’t finished. With one of two 911 SC Group 4 cars custom-built for the purpose, the Swede gave it another go in Kenya and quickly showed the competition that he was set on victory. In the end, however, the East African Safari Rally would again prove treacherous: wishbone, shock absorber, drive shaft – Waldegård’s Porsche sustained too much damage, in some cases far from helping hands. The speedy Swede had to be content with fourth place, while the South African duo of Vic Preston Jr. and John Lyall took second. The sponsor’s decals consisted of wave-shaped surfaces in orange and light and dark grey, familiar around the world thanks to the activities of the Martini Racing Team founded in 1958. Once again, Porsche designers have respectfully reinterpreted the historic decals here. The competition number 14 on the doors was that of second-placed Vic Preston Jr. The Rallye 1978 decal set is available for €5,950.
Take a look at the YouTube video from when the all-new Porsche 911 Dakar was released just the other day, which already features pretty cool livery, and these new ones offered as an option direct from Porsche add to the overall awesomeness of the lifted 911: The new 911 Dakar | Porsche
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