Sports cars aren’t the first vehicles that come to mind when speaking of dune-bashing or a jaunt through wetlands. The lack of ground clearance and stiff suspension, for starters, which let your racehorse take tight corners with ease – while also making for an exceedingly bumpy ride when you get off the tarmac. But these two luxury car companies are challenging that notion. Porsche and Lamborghini, both part of the Volkswagen Group, are releasing sports cars that will be capable of tackling deserts, jungles and muddy tracks, should you ever find yourself far off the beaten path.
Porsche 911 Dakar
Porsche’s new all-terrain 911 Dakar sports car gets its name from the 1984 Paris-Dakar Rally, an off-road race which saw the victory of Porsche’s first 911 to be equipped with an all-wheel drive. Fittingly, an optional blue-and-white livery for the car takes inspiration from that now-legendary racer.
Expect an extra 50mm of ground clearance compared to a standard 911 Carrera (with sports suspensions), that can be raised by an extra 30mm should one need to scramble over any obstacles. This is complemented by chunky-threaded Pirelli all-terrain tires, made extra-resilient with reinforced sidewalls to withstand the harshest of terrain.
As is expected from a car with a 473hp six-cylinder purring under the hood, speed remains as blistering as ever: though one is limited to 170kmh when the 911 Dakar is maximally lifted on its haunches, its actual top-end speed is a respectable 240kmh with a hefty century sprint of just 3.4 seconds.
Other off-road details include aluminum towing lugs at the front and rear, widened wheel wells and stainless-steel protective grilles on the side air intakes up front. Other optional add-ons include a roof basket (with a 43kg capacity) or a roof tent.
Lamborghini Huracan Sterrato V10
That’s not to forget about its upcoming stablemate, the latest iteration of the Huracan (first teased as a concept in 2019). Everything is still hush-hush on the Italian stallion for now, as the full reveal is slated for the end of this month. Says the brand on the Sterrato in a press release ahead of the launch: “[It is] the first super sports car designed for maximum driving pleasure even away from the asphalt on loose or dirt surfaces, reinterpreting the very concept of sportiness and emphasizing the brand principles of brave, authentic and unexpected.”
Here’s what we know for now: it will retain its signature 630hp 5.2-litre V10 engine (producing 600nm of petrol-powered torque) with off-road adaptations like increased ground clearance, underbody protection, roof racks and all-terrain tires. Notably, as the upcoming Aventador replacement ships with a hybrid powertrain, this might just be the marque’s last purely petrol-powered vehicle.