Tata Kept Porsche from Using the Safari Name

2023 porsche 911 dakar safari
Tata Kept Porsche from Using the Safari NamePorsche

From the moment we first heard Porsche was developing an off-road-focused 911 production car, we expected it to be called the 911 Safari. The 911 nameplate has strong ties to the East Africa Safari rally, after all. Plus, most aftermarket off-road-ready 911s carry some form of "Safari" nomenclature. But Porsche itself decided to call its car the 911 Dakar, and now we know why. The automaker couldn't get permission to use the copyrighted name from Indian carmaker Tata, Edmunds reports.

“We talked to [Tata],” 911 Dakar program director Thomas Krickelberg told Edmunds. “But they didn’t give us permission for that. That was Option A. And then we switched to Dakar.”

The Dakar name wasn't very easy to get ahold of either, says Krickelberg. He told Edmunds Porsche had to get permission from the Amaury Sport Organization (ASO), the organizers for the Dakar rally. And it had to pay an undisclosed sum for the rights. “Then it was smooth,” Krickelberg told Edmunds.

The 911 Dakar has been a long time coming. Porsche developed a concept for an off-road-focused 911 all the way back in 2012, and according to Krickelberg, production of such a model could've started all the way back in 2016 had momentum for the trim not stalled within the company. Eventually, after the 992 was introduced in 2020, internal forces came to an agreement, and the Dakar was greenlit.

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