Lee 911 Sibley
It’s great to be out and about rather a lot again after a prolonged period of enforced confinement as our world came to terms with COVID. The ability to once again just pack a bag and hit the road has been reinvigorating, especially when at the wheel of Porsche’s stunning 992 Targa 4S Heritage Design Edition, which you can read about in detail on page.
On my travels I’ve noticed more 911s out enjoying the road than usual as owners fully commit to the ‘Carpe Secundum’ school of thought. As is said many times in this magazine, a Porsche is built to be driven, not sat at home in a garage, so this latest revelation has been great to see. It’s also been highly pleasurable to enjoy the company of other enthusiasts in person for the first time in many months (no more Zoom, hooray!) while sharing our passion for these great sports cars.
A word of advice: if you’re putting together ideas for summer road trips and plan on undertaking some maintenance or repair work beforehand, don’t leave it until the last minute. Many businesses are struggling with delays to parts availability from suppliers for one, but also it seems many enthusiasts skipped services or maintenance work last year due to the lack of miles covered, which means workshops are facing a backlog of clients this year due to a doubled workload. In either scenario, I wouldn’t want you to miss out on the fun stuff, particularly after a year or so of relative inactivity, due to the realities of dealing with the aftermath of this great world event.
We at Total 911 are looking forward to plenty of road trips coming up, where we’ll bring you an array of awesome 911s on the world’s best roads, hopefully meeting as many of you along the way as possible. Enjoy the issue.
Lee 911 Sibley 11 months ago #
The first customer 911 that’s purposebuilt for off-road driving is here. The all-wheel-drive 911 Dakar rides 50mm higher than a 992 Carrera with Sport chassis, a four-corner lift system adds another 30mm to the Dakar’s ride height, with tall, knobbly Pirelli P ZERO tyres ready to tackle the dunes. Weighing just 10kg more than the C4 GTS on which it’s based, just 2,500 examples of the 911 Dakar will be built, with first deliveries arriving by spring 2023. Prices start at £173,000.
Lee 911 Sibley 11 months ago #
I’d like to think that, in over 10 years of doing this job, I’ve seen most things when it comes to Porsche 911s. The past decade has witnessed old, unloved 964s being turned into million-pound-plus pieces of automotive artwork; manual gearboxes ditched on GT3s and then reinstated; and even the flat six engine, housed in the back of 911s since the first in 1963, moving to a mid-mounted setup on the RSR race car. However, I never, ever thought I’d see a new, strictly off-road 911 released by Porsche.
It’s difficult for Porsche to keep many secrets these days and so, granted, the release of an off-road 911 has been expected for some time. We’d seen spy pictures of the Dakar 911 out testing on the Nürburgring for many months, and noted an Instagram post by legendary former rally driver and Porsche ambassador, Walter Röhrl, who used the hashtag ‘Dakar 911’ when hinting at a new project. The post was quickly deleted.
The Dakar 911 might have been anticipated, but the next question to ask is, is it needed? The reality is that time will tell, for if Porsche sells all 2,500 of this limited-run series then the company will have definitively found yet another niche within the ever-expanding 911 enthusiast sphere.
It’s a risky move, particularly because 2,500 is a rather large number of off-road sports cars to sell for any manufacturer, but as I’ve mentioned before on this page, releases such as this continue to show that Porsche is very much attuned to both its history and fan base.
“I never ever thought I’d
see a new, strictly off-road
911 released by Porsche”
It’s nearly 40 years since the company first conquered the dunes of the Dakar with a Porsche 911, hence the name of this 992, with the original Type 953 driven to overall victory by the accomplished French rally driver René Metge in the famous 1984 Paris-Dakar extravaganza. In more recent times, the ‘safari’ 911 movement has gathered pace, largely in the US market thanks to bespoke restomod builds pioneered by the Leh Keen project and Singer’s All-terrain Competition Study, which was revealed in 2021.
It’s no wonder, therefore, that Porsche has identified the off-road market as an area of interest, commercially, and you can bet a large proportion of Dakar 992s will find their way to the United States or Middle East, where the terrain is more appropriate for their use.
Either way, it’s a brilliant reinvention of the modern 911 platform and really does underline the 911’s dexterity as the do-it-all sports car. Bravo Porsche.
Lee 911 Sibley 2 years ago #
I’ve just got back from a memorable trip to the Museum on Porscheplatz, where the company once again held ‘Sound Nacht’ after a COVID-induced two-year hiatus. It was a huge privilege to attend: the event, split between Weissach and the Museum, has been watched online by some 50,000 people around the world, while just 22 of us were afforded the priceless experience of being present at the Museum on a warm Saturday evening as the cars were fired up and played their own concert in front of us.
The carefully chosen sports cars – each with their own, unique soundtrack – were joined by legends such as Walter Röhrl, Roland Kussmaul and August Achleitner, who shared stories on each of the models with a genuine warmth and passion that can only come from a manufacturer with such rich road and race history as Porsche.
Of course, the company doesn’t need to organise Sound Nacht: there’s no real commercial purpose, as new Porsche sports cars are barely mentioned, let alone present. The event is run by real enthusiasts within the company (which again marks it out from others) in a kindred nod to those of us who also have petrol running through our veins. Its very concept is simply marvellous, and Porsche’s commitment to administering it every year even more so.
However, there’s a real argument that as the years roll by, Sound Nacht will take on even greater significance. With automobiles changing at an ever-quicker pace thanks to digitisation and the adoption of e-power, Sound Nacht will act as the reference point for a decorated period of motoring history where cars were powered by mechanical parts, not computers, and with their striking soundtrack at the epicentre of the emotions they garner.
Porsche clearly recognises this, which is why it insists on giving enthusiasts one glorious night a year where these brilliant sports cars are brought back to life in the name of automotive nirvana, their memories etched into our minds, their sounds joyously ringing in our ears.
“Sound Nacht will act as the reference point for a decorated period of motoring history”