We all knew what to anticipate when Porsche revealed it was creating an off-road 911. In Porsche enthusiasts circles, the Safari movement had become pervasive and impossible to avoid, and it had long ago simmered into a thick, dependable aftermarket sauce: Large fenders, a high ride height, and thick tyres were all additions Porsche made to its own model.
The 911 Dakar was afterwards introduced by the business. Undoubtedly, this is yet another legendary off-road brand, but it’s not the one we’ve all grown to associate with elevated Porsches that never see the ground. The 911’s tail’s script was… wrong. What took place? It turns out that the name wasn’t picked because of Porsche’s racing history. Because “Safari” was already taken, it was only the second-best choice.
According to Thomas Krickelberg, project director for the 911 Dakar, the business had initially planned to utilize the Safari brand. However, the business found that it would conflict with an already-registered trademark—that of Tata Motors‘ Safari crossover.
Tata refused to budge when Porsche requested permission to use the Safari moniker, despite Porsche’s best efforts. However, don’t be too hard on Tata for taking the name of your preferred automobile; businesses are required to aggressively enforce trademark rights or risk having their brand completely lost.
The 911 Dakar continues to be a small-S safari-styled automobile, but because of the confusing nuances of trademark law, it will never receive the capital S it so richly deserves. But maybe that’s a good thing; the safari look shouldn’t be restricted to just that one platform, after all. By utilizing the Dakar term, Porsche may be aiding in our memory of all the other vehicles that merit their own safari rendition and firmly reserving the phrase for aficionados.