Jaguar Land Rover’s parent company prevented Porsche from calling its new 911 off-roader the Safari, according to Edmunds.
Instead, Porsche settled on the name “Dakar,” after the race across Europe and Africa that a 911 won in 1984. But even that took some effort, as well as a payment to the organizers of the Dakar Rally, which now happens in Saudi Arabia.
Originally, the car was to be called the 911 Safari, Thomas Krickelberg, director of the Porsche 911 Dakar program, told Edmunds at an event in Morocco. To do so, the automaker sought approval from India’s Tata Motors, which has been building a midsize SUV called the Safari since 1998.
“We talked to them,” Krickelberg said. “But they didn’t give us permission for that. That was option A. And then we switched to Dakar.”
Though Dakar is the name of a city in Senegal, Porsche determined that it needed to buy the rights to it from the Amaury Sport Organisation, for an undisclosed amount.
“Then it was smooth,” Krickelberg joked.
Porsche introduced the 911 Dakar at the L.A. Auto Show last fall. It’s limited to 2,500 units globally and goes on sale this spring for $223,450, including shipping.