Porsche’s Dakar Support G Wagon with a Porsche V8 Engine: A Legendary Tale

2 min read

One of the coolest things about the Paris-Dakar Rally is the unique support vehicles that keep pace with the race cars. Among them, a first-generation Mercedes G-Class fitted with a Porsche 928 S4 V8 engine stands out as a true legend.

In 1984, Porsche won the Dakar Rally, so when they introduced their new 959 rally cars in 1985, they needed top-notch support. They upgraded from their Volkswagen T3 van to a Mercedes Gelandewagen. However, the 155-horsepower Mercedes struggled to keep up with the race cars.

To remedy this, Porsche’s lead engineer, Roland Kussmaul, decided to give the G Wagon a boost by installing a powerful 320-horsepower Porsche V8 engine borrowed from a 928 S4. They nicknamed the modified truck the “Porsche in sheep’s clothing” and painted it in Rothmans livery to match the team.

During testing in Egypt before the 1986 Dakar race, one of the 959s caught fire, leaving the team with only one entry slot. Kussmaul decided to enter the engine-swapped G Wagon, and to everyone’s surprise, it performed exceptionally well.

The 320-horsepower G Wagon not only kept up with the race cars but finished second overall in the Rallye des Pharaons, a prelude to Dakar. This was a remarkable achievement for a support vehicle.

Porsche's Dakar Support G Wagon with a Porsche V8 Engine: A Legendary Tale

Unfortunately, the G Wagon broke down during the Dakar race, but Kussmaul improvised by stripping one of the 959 race cars and converting it into a support vehicle. Despite the challenges, Kussmaul managed to finish sixth overall in the overloaded 959 “support car.”

Related Articles:

This legendary G Wagon with a Porsche V8 engine proved to be more than just a support vehicle—it became a symbol of Porsche’s ingenuity and determination in the face of adversity.

You May Also Like

More From Author

+ There are no comments

Add yours