Porsche is pitching its new 911 Dakar as a sports car aimed at the SUV set.
The rally-inspired Dakar features a jacked-up suspension, all-terrain tires and an antilock braking system optimized for loose gravel.
Porsche unveiled the two-door off-roader on the eve of the Los Angeles Auto Show. The 911 Dakar is limited to 2,500 units globally and starts at $223,450, including shipping, in the U.S. starting next Spring.
The Dakar's appeal extends beyond the shriveled pool of two-door sports car buyers. Its racy performance and utility ride speak to both the on-track and off-road demographic.
"When drivers are looking for crossovers and sport-utilities, appealing to these buyers means going to where they are," said Sam Fiorani, vice president at AutoForecast Solutions.
What the 911 Dakar lacks in volume, it makes up in buzz.
"It's a showpiece that allows engineers to go to town and show what they can do," said Ryan Kirchner, new-car manager at Porsche of The Main Line in Newtown Square, Pa. "Porsche wants to build its cars for the extremes."