The next Porsche 911 could be an off-road rally car, but it might not get the iconic Safari nameplate as rumors suggest. Instead, the new model could be named “Dakar.”
Trading an iconic badge for a new one is an exciting news for hardcore rally enthusiasts. It’s not as if Porsche is closing its curtain on the Safari Edition. God knows the company has been shelling out limited editions of its models time-after-time.
However, as the new nameplate strongly infers, this move might signify the company’s commitment to ensure victory at Dakar Rally. Finishing the competition, let alone winning it, has been a testament to the toughness of vehicles entering in it.
These endurance rally competitions were originally staged from Paris, France, to Dakar, Senegal which really tests any vehicle’s reliability and driver’s endurance.
Rally racing has been synonymous with in Porsche’s racing history. Though the company has now been more associated with sophisticated German luxury, Porsche has always been a tough off-road competitor. One iconic moment for the company was the 1972 East African Safari Rally which saw Polish driver Sobieslaw Zasada taking second place at the event.
Zasada had only one support mechanic on his team which fueled speculations of him not finishing the race at all. The Polish was adamant that there was no substitute for grit, and so he earned his podium place, and cemented himself as a rally icon.
Another significant moment, particular with Dakar, was the entry of the Porsche 959 Group B rally car in 1986. The car was built to withstand the most grueling course which extended for over 8,000 miles, traversing some of the most inhospitable places on earth. The Porsche 959 took home the first and second place with a third 959 finishing sixth place at the event.
Indeed, if rumors turn out to be accurate, Porsche is really making a big commitment. But it definitely has the racing pedigree and experience to make the competition more challenging.
Article by: PAULO CUENTO
February 10, 2022