Off-Road Supercars: Lamborghini Huracán Sterrato vs. Porsche 911 Dakar

Earlier this year, the all-new Lamborghini Huracán Sterrato finally made good on over a decade of its parent company VAG parading off-road supercar concepts through its other family brands, like the Audi Nanuk and the ItalDesign Parcour concept cars. The idea finally landing at Lamborghini seems fitting given the brand’s attitude, and its status as the last shepherd of the company’s V-10 engine. But the automaker took so long getting it on the road that Porsche has now caught up with its own off-road production supercar, the recently unveiled Porsche 911 Dakar. Only one question remains: Which bank are we going to rob?

No, the true question is which car we’d rather have, and the MotorTrend editors are pretty split. So, we’ve compiled a group of our arguments, in case you happen to be able to afford either model, but not both, and need help deciding which is best for your needs. Plus, you get to see just how tasteless we can be, all in good fun.

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Lamborghini Sterrato – Associate Editor Duncan Brady

I’m a huge Porsche fan, but if I was shopping for an off-road porker, I’d find a Cayenne Transsyberia or get madman Leh Keen to build me one of his Safari 911s. Maybe both. What I love about the Huracán Sterrato is that there’s zero precedent for a production car like this, no sports car rally history to speak of, and few owners building up a mid-engine Lamborghinis like a Mad Max superwedge.

Also, it’s gotta be the coolest V-10 off-roader since the Volkswagen Tuareg TDI, and it will undoubtedly make better sounds than the 911 Dakar, which should really have the 640-hp flat-six from the Turbo S or the free-breathing shrieker out of the GT3. I’ll take my Sterrato in full bonkers spec: Blu Glauco with bronze wheels, light pods, all the decals (minus the silly racing number), and crossbars to carry my color-matched roof box.

Porsche 911 Dakar – Associate Editor Billy Rehbock

For me, the Porsche 911 Dakar wins with its maximum ride height of 7.5 inches, over half an inch more than the Lamborghini Sterrato. The fact that the extra lift can be deployed up to 105 mph seals the deal for me. My build is a perfect one-car solution. 


  • Paint to sample, Irish Green: $12,830
  • Carbon Fiber Roof: $3,890
  • Protection Film, Front: $2,700
  • Exterior Mirror Base in Exterior Color: $660
  • “911 Dakar” Under Door Puddle Light Projectors: $370
  • Porsche Design Subsecond Clock: $1,120
  • Brake Calipers in High Gloss Black: $900
  • Wheels Painted in White (Irish Green with PTS): $0
  • Titanium Wheel Bolts: $1,800
  • Surround View: $1,430
  • Ionizer: $350
  • Central Tachometer in White: $420
  • Air Vent Surround and Air Vent Slats in Leather: $1,800
  • Sun Visors in Leather: $0
  • Owner’s Manual Wallet in Leather: $480
  • Bespoke Door-Sill Guards in Black Brushed Aluminum, Illuminated: $1,350
  • Burmester® High-End Surround Sound System: $3,980
  • Total Price: $257,530

Porsche 911 Dakar – Associate Editor Alex Leanse

Heritage runs deep in the 911 Dakar, but the much-publicized Rallye Design Package isn’t the only way to celebrate it. Porsche offers decal sets commemorating years it ran in the East Africa Safari Rally. I’d have my 911 Dakar with the “Rallye 1987” set, which splashes iconic Martini racing colors across the body. At $7,510, it costs a fraction of the Rallye Design Package while looking equally rad.

I’d spec no-cost adaptive sport seats and the $3,980 Burmester audio system to ease long days in the saddle, bringing my dream 911 Dakar to a relatively modest $243,490. I’d choose it over the Huracan Sterrato because it’d be just as fun for ripping gravel, but might not be so high-strung for low-speed technical picking.

Lamborghini Sterrato – Senior Editor Alex Stoklosa

I was definitely here for the concept of a lifted, burly tired Porsche 911—what became the 911 Dakar—but Porsche lost me with the pricing and ultra-limited production run. After all that, there’s going to be, what, seven of these? And they’ll cost a quarter-million dollars? I hope Jerry Seinfeld enjoys his glorified Volkswagen Beetle Dune. I’ll take the Sterrato, which is altogether wilder looking than the Porsche—which like every other 911, looks like every other 911, albeit slightly taller. Lambo’s dirt-ready sports car looks like a sports car, all wedgy and extreme. And those available hood-mounted auxiliary lamps? Whew.

I’ll acknowledge that, yes, the Sterrato is probably going to cost a fortune. But its exotic looks go a long way toward justifying that outlay, and it seems like Lambo is going to build these as people demand them. Attainable! In light of the price and already severe styling, for my build I went with a basic aesthetic. In white (“Bianco Monocerus”), with its plastic fender flares and body armor, my Sterrato mimics the vibe of a base-model mainstream SUV, right down to its unremarkable silver-painted aluminum wheels and gray brake calipers. I tossed some roof crossbars onto the standard roof rails to play up the not-a-typical-mid-engine-supercar theme, plus, of course, those extra LED lights for the nose.

Chasing further rugged basic-ness inside, I opted for yellow accents stitching over black and gray leather, red-colored door handles (to match the door over the starter button), and a fire extinguisher, because why not. Beyond that, I added only Apple CarPlay and a set of winter tires. The result should stand out without being shouty—that’s the V-10’s job.

Porsche 911 Dakar – Senior Editor Alex Kierstein

Here’s a 911 Dakar I actually want to live with and drive. The retro graphics packages are very cool—I’m glad Porsche offers them—but a little too outré for me. The stock color palette is a little dull, so it’s paint-to-sample.

I chose Riviera Blue, which looks better on the Dakar than the ever-popular Mexico Blue. The lighter color also lets the body cladding and chunky tire tread really pop. Silver wheels add some contrast but black-painted calipers also tone the exterior down a bit, letting the eyes follow all the other details rather than landing on the too-bright red stock calipers.

Lamborghini Sterrato – Jonny Lieberman

Spec’d my Sterrato in Matte Blu Uranus because I’m mentally 12-years-old. Also, looks cool with bronze accents. Had to ditch the auxiliary lights–I’m over cars with mustaches. Went with carbon-fiber floor mats because I can.

Features Editor Christian Seabaugh

I’m somewhat surprised to write this, but when it comes to the 911 Dakar and the Sterrato, picking the Porsche is easy for me. It all comes down to capability: the 911 Dakar not only rides higher than the Lamborghini, but its suspension is height-adjustable, making it more likely to be more enjoyable in more places. Add to that Lamborghini’s use of aluminum skid plates (and Porsche’s smarter choice of stainless steel), and I’d be willing to bet that there are many more miles of fun to be had in the 911 Dakar than the Huracán Sterrato.

My car at $225,950 is lightly optioned:

  • White with white wheels ($0—will look cool dirty and be less dorky around town than the “Roughroad” livery)
  • Adaptive heated Sport Seats ($0—likely more comfortable off-road than the great-looking houndstooth buckets)
  • Heated GT Steering wheel ($0)
  • Surround View ($1,430—gotta watch for rocks!)
  • Ionizer ($350 to keep dust out of the cabin)
  • Seat belt in guards red ($540 for a splash of color)
  • Fire extinguisher ($180—you never know)

Lamborghini Sterrato – Senior Editor Justin Westbrook

Since I am indeed poor enough to need to choose between the two, it’s pretty clear to me which is the favorable choice, at least before I’ve driven them. With the Dakar, someone else made Safari 911s popular, and the brand is just now catching up to that enthusiast demand with a limited edition, super exclusive model. That’s all well and good, and the Dakar is cool, but the Lamborghini is just so much cooler.

Sure, Lambo doesn’t have the storied off-road racing legacy that the 911 is enjoying, but that’s what makes it even more special. There’s nothing else like it out there, really. It’s an off-road V-10 supercar, and it’s such a good idea, it’s existed now in three different iterations, under three different companies. It was destined to happen, and I would like to align myself with destiny.

So, if it’s the Sterrato, it’s got to be a fun color, and there’s no color more fun for a car than yellow. Plus, I can get matching calipers. I didn’t option the paint-matched lower exterior trim, but maybe I should—so that rescuers can spot the yellow highlights on the underside of my car when I inevitably get turned over going crazy in this thing.

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