They might even be the best models in their respective ranges.
We were expecting the Porsche 911 Dakar and Lamborghini Sterrato to receive more flack for their existence, but the general feedback in our comments section has been resoundingly positive. Sure, there were one or two Grinches who don't understand that not every car has to be "logical" to exist. Still, the vast majority of commentators were quick to defend Porsche and Lamborghini's high-riding supercars.
CarBuzz did an on-paper shoot-out between the two, and in that article, we promised to delve deeper into why we love these cars so much and why they exist. Our argument for these cars suggests that they're not as silly or unnecessary as you might think. In fact, in both cases, they might be the best models in their respective ranges.
The 911 has always been the everyday champion. We know for a fact that you can daily drive any 911, up to the hardcore models like the GT3 RS. If you have kids between the age of five and 12, the school run is relatively easy.
We'd even go as far as saying a standard 911 is a better school-run car than an unnecessarily large SUV, which takes up a tremendous amount of space in the school parking lot. Do you really need such a big car to take a second grader to school? Our opinions on oversized SUVs aside, however, there is a common trait shared among SUVs and these new high-riding supercars: They both do an excellent job of dealing with poorly surfaced roads, which is common in cities like LA, New York, and Chicago.
As automotive journalists, we tend to flog the old horse that suggests supercars have become so docile that they can be used daily - but it's not true. A Lamborghini will crush your lower back and butt, and while the 911 is better, you'd be more comfortable in a Chevy Malibu. The extra lift in the suspension and the extra give in the high-profile tires of these off-roading supercars are bound to make a difference. And that's before we even get to the task of driving the standard cars in a docile way.
If you've ever been stuck in traffic with a manual 911 or any Huracan, you'll know what we're on about. The Porsche clutch will give you calves thicker than The Rock's neck, while the Lamborghini feels angry about being caged in with a bunch of slower vehicles. A 911 with a dual-clutch transmission is a different story, but that's the exception to the rule.
What we love most is that Porsche and Lamborghini have found a way to make supercars fun at slow speed. If you've driven any modern supercar, you'll know they're too fast for public roads these days. You either need exclusive membership to a club with a private track or time to frequent the various track days available in America.
Even then, you'll be frustrated by the boy racer in a Honda Civic that's been turbocharged to within an inch of its life. The boy racer will go home and say he gapped a McLaren 765 LT, but meanwhile, you just let him through because said Civic was seconds away from boosting itself into oblivion.
Speaking of McLaren, we drove the 675 LT in 2016, and along with that drive came the realization that supercars were becoming too fast. To get the most out of it, you have to drive at speeds that law enforcement would not appreciate. Not to mention the uncomfortable acceleration.
We've said many times that 0-60 mph in less than three seconds is not fun. It looks good on paper, but it gets old very quickly. We've been called nancy boys, primarily by people in turbocharged shitboxes that have never driven a supercar.
The point is this. The 911 Dakar and Huracan Sterrato should be a riot at 50 mph in the right setting. And that setting has so much going for it.
The United States has tons of dirt road, and thus, tons of potential. Heck, the Mojave Desert is effectively a race track, far away from overenthusiastic cops who have it in for noisy cars.
The best thing about lesser-used dirt roads is the lack of traffic. Cops also tend not to patrol these, so the only thing you have to worry about is a wild Karen living off the grid that may call the cops claiming that a mad person is polluting the atmosphere with V10 noises, but that's easily avoidable if you know where to go.
Both the 911 Dakar and the Sterrato have driving modes dedicated to going sideways. Most of the power is sent to the rear, and the front axle provides just enough power to keep you from headbutting a Sequoia. Equally, both cars have limited top speeds, far below what the standard cars are capable of.
That's why these cars matter. They've made supercars fun again. To prove the point, ask yourself one simple question: What's more fun, going around a long sweeping corner at 100 mph, hardly scratching the surface of what a car is capable of, or going fully sideways around a wide 90-degree turn on a dirt road at 40 mph in second gear at 8,000 rpm?
Though neither company are likely to say it out loud, that's what these cars were built for. Unfortunately, both cars are limited editions - but not because there's no demand. Porsche is on the verge of giving the 911 a substantial facelift, and the 911 Dakar's 2,500 consignment is all it had room for. It's the same story with the Huracan, which is on its way out. Only 1,499 will be made.
We predict they'll eventually become part of the standard range, just like the GT3 and drop-top versions. And we'd be pretty happy with that.