_Moving up in the world.

Let’s talk about cars for a change. Because these things have become quite a bit more civilised since Fred Flintstone invented the wheel. And that it has come a long way should be obvious.

With ease. Because today, every car is so much more than just a Faraday cage. We are comfortable, we have satisfactory space, near our fingertips are an array of gadgets, and we can also choose which song to put on by Mariah Carey… And not only has king car evolved a lot, infrastructure has also improved enormously. In countries where the budget has not been completely derailed, the asphalt is often as smooth as an eel, and thanks to good suspensions and revolutionary tyres, we also suffer less and less from that contact with the public road. So you could argue that motoring is being made very easy for us.

Cause of death. But just as you have an “enfant terrible” in every class, there are also brands in the automotive world that launch models that disregard outlined paths and rules. And in master VAG’s class there is not one, but two of that kind: the Porsche 911 Dakar and the Lamborghini Huracan Sterrato. The theory of evolution mentioned earlier is not on the curriculum of these two. Primal instinct prevails all the more. Dust on the dashboard here is sand, mudspots on tyres are pure sludge and enjoyment is suffering. The Porsche 911 Dakar and the Lamborghini Huracan Sterrato are a tribute to the late Fred Flintstone, who was reportedly killed by a burst tyre…

Vertigo. Let’s start with the Porsche 911 Dakar, given that it is linked to the 911 that won the 1984 Paris-Dakar rally. The first striking detail of the Porsche 911 Dakar is its ground clearance, which is 50 millimetres higher than that of a 911 Carrera with sports suspension. And the standard lift system can raise the front and rear ends an additional 30 millimetres. Its ground clearance and ramp angle rival those of conventional SUVs. The lift system is not only used to slowly cross obstacles, but is an integral part of the retuned chassis. The ‘high level’ setting is available for ambitious off-road adventures at speeds of up to 170 km/h. Above that speed, the car automatically lowers back down to its normal level.

Sandbox toy. The three-litre biturbo six-cylinder with 480 hp and a maximum torque of 570 Newton metres delivers superior performance with a compelling boxer sound. The new sports car sprints to 100 km/h in 3.4 seconds; due to the all-terrain tyres the top speed is limited to 240 km/h. As standard, the engine comes with an eight-speed PDK and Porsche all-wheel drive. The interplay of all the components results in the 911 Dakar being just as dynamic on sand and loose surfaces as it is on the Nürburgring Nordschleife. In the interior, the 911 Dakar underscores its sporting ambitions with standard full bucket seats and the omission of the rear seats. Lightweight glass and a lightweight battery reduce its weight further, enabling the Porsche 911 Dakar to weigh in at just 1605 kg.

Ceci est une crossover. Next in line, the 602 hp strong Lamborghini Huracan Sterrato. Compared with the Huracán EVO, the Sterrato comes with an updated version of the LDVI (Lamborghini Integrated Vehicle Dynamics) system, and bringing the RALLY mode for low-grip conditions to the Huracán line for the first time. The Huracán Sterrato comes with a 5.2-liter V10 engine with maximum power output of 610 hp and 560 Nm of torque, combined with 7-speed dual-clutch transmission and electronically controlled all-wheel drive. Designed to offer optimum performance on unpaved and sandy surfaces, it accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.4 seconds and reaches a top speed of 260 km/h.

When not convinced. The ground clearance has been increased by 44 mm compared with the Huracán EVO to ensure greater suspension travel, as has the front (+30 mm) and rear (+34 mm) track widths. Furthermore, in addition to protecting the car body, the aluminum front underbody protection, the reinforced sills, the rear diffuser and the sturdy wheel arches all emphasize its muscularity. The classic air intake located on the rear hood not only enhances the sporting spirit of the model, but also helps supply the engine with clean air when driving on dusty tracks. And if al this doesn’t convince you, you could always go for the real deal: the Lamborghini Urus.