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Battle of the off-road supercars: Lamborghini Sterrato VS Porsche 911 Dakar

Lamborghini is a brand synonymous with creating shock and awe, but its latest car might be its most bonkers model yet.

Called the Sterrato, it’s a jacked-up version of its Huracan supercar that’s designed to be used far away from the svelte tarmac of the race track – and will certainly appeal to the mega-rich in the Middle East who can take one into the desert. 

It will likely cost over £270,000 in the UK, though few will be able to get their hands on one because Lambo is building only 1,499 examples.

The arrival of the Sterrato comes just weeks after Porsche unveiled the 911 Dakar – a similarly stilted version of its iconic model. The big question is, which of these crazy off-road supercars is best on paper?

Which bonkers off-road supercar would you choose? Both Lamborghini and Porsche have this month unveiled limited-edition jacket-up performance machines. Money no object, would you choose the Lambo Sterrato or the Porsche 911 Dakar?

Lamborghini Sterrato

Lamborghini CEO and chairman, Stephan Winkelmann, hasn’t minced his words about the flamboyant car maker’s latest creation.

‘True to our values as a visionary, bold and unconventional brand, with the Sterrato we are breaking new ground in driving sensations,’ he said at the vehicle’s unveiling this morning.

He called it ‘like an avant-garde work of art’ and a ‘radical and original interpretation of the super sports car concept’ that ‘belongs in the world’s most dynamic and exciting driving environments’.

Superlatives aside, there is no doubting the Sterrato’s bold looks.

Lamborghini teased the Sterrato’s arrival back in July – and the production version revealed today is almost identical to what was previewed earlier in the year.

It has a pair of LED lights in its nose, riveted-on flared wheel arches, a slab of aluminium under-body protection and chunky 19-inch off-road wheels wrapped in knobbly Bridgestone tyres.

The only key omissions from the concept shown in July are its roof-mounted light rail, the titanium roll cage and skid plates front and rear, which haven’t made the grade for the production car.

Lamborghini is a brand synonymous with creating shock and awe, but its new Sterrato might be its most bonkers model yet

Lamborghini is a brand synonymous with creating shock and awe, but its new Sterrato might be its most bonkers model yet

Sterrato is a jacked-up version of Lamborghini's Huracan supercar. It's designed to be used far away from the svelte tarmac of the race track - and will certainly appeal to the mega-rich in the Middle East who can take one into the desert

Sterrato is a jacked-up version of Lamborghini’s Huracan supercar. It’s designed to be used far away from the svelte tarmac of the race track – and will certainly appeal to the mega-rich in the Middle East who can take one into the desert

Lambo boss, Stephan Winkelmann, called it 'like an avant-garde work of art' and a 'radical and original interpretation of the super sports car concept' that 'belongs in the world¿s most dynamic and exciting driving environments'

Lambo boss, Stephan Winkelmann, called it ‘like an avant-garde work of art’ and a ‘radical and original interpretation of the super sports car concept’ that ‘belongs in the world’s most dynamic and exciting driving environments’

Lamborghini teased its arrival back in July with this extreme concept. The only key omissions are its roof-mounted light rail, the titanium roll cage and skid plates front and rear, which haven't made the grade for the production car

Lamborghini teased its arrival back in July with this extreme concept. The only key omissions are its roof-mounted light rail, the titanium roll cage and skid plates front and rear, which haven’t made the grade for the production car

Despite this, its design is like nothing else you will see on the road – even those around London’s Knightsbridge, which is considered the natural habitat of the most exotic vehicles. 

The unique suspension sees the Sterrato lifted 44mm higher from the ground than the Huracan Evo on which it is based, giving it a completely different look to a ‘standard’ supercar.

The track widths have also been increased by 30mm at the front and 34mm at the rear to give the car a broader surface area for traction, which only adds to its muscular presence.

Powering the unconventional supercar is the same 5.2-litre V10 fitted to the Huracan.

Boasting a maximum power output of 610bhp and 565Nm of torque, it’s the same performance specification you get if you ordered a rear-wheel-drive Huracan Evo.

The Sterrato will stand apart from a conventional Huracan with its pair of LED lights in its nose, riveted-on flared wheel arches, a slab of aluminium under-body protection and chunky 19-inch off-road wheels wrapped in knobbly Bridgestone tyres

The Sterrato will stand apart from a conventional Huracan with its pair of LED lights in its nose, riveted-on flared wheel arches, a slab of aluminium under-body protection and chunky 19-inch off-road wheels wrapped in knobbly Bridgestone tyres

The unique suspension sees the Sterrato lifted 44mm higher from the ground than the Huracan Evo on which it is based, giving it a completely different look to a 'standard' supercar

The unique suspension sees the Sterrato lifted 44mm higher from the ground than the Huracan Evo on which it is based, giving it a completely different look to a ‘standard’ supercar

Powering the unconventional supercar is the same 5.2-litre V10 fitted to the Huracan. Boasting a maximum power output of 610bhp and 565Nm of torque, it's the same performance specification you get if you ordered a rear-wheel-drive Huracan Evo

Powering the unconventional supercar is the same 5.2-litre V10 fitted to the Huracan. Boasting a maximum power output of 610bhp and 565Nm of torque, it’s the same performance specification you get if you ordered a rear-wheel-drive Huracan Evo

Even with all the off-road adaptions and increased weight from additional components, Sterrato is a mere 0.1 seconds slower to accelerate to 62mph than a conventional Huracan, capable of clocking the sprint in just 3.4 seconds. 

This is aided by the addition of a mechanical self-locking differential, which helps to deliver its power even when driving on loose surfaces. Weight has also been restricted with the use of lightweight materials in the chassis and bodywork.

However, Lamborghini has been forced to dramatically reduce its top speed, cutting it from the Huracan Evo’s eye-boggling 202mph to a relatively pedestrian 160mph, which is the maximum speed the all-terrain tyres can endure.

Importantly, the Sterrato is the swansong for Lamborghini’s pure combustion engine, with this being the final new model launched before the next-generation Aventador arrives featuring hybrid power.

It means Sterrato is the last un-electrified Lambo to leave its factory.

Even with all the off-road adaptions and increased weight from additional components, Sterrato is a mere 0.1 seconds slower to accelerate to 62mph than a conventional Huracan, capable of clocking the sprint in just 3.4 seconds

Even with all the off-road adaptions and increased weight from additional components, Sterrato is a mere 0.1 seconds slower to accelerate to 62mph than a conventional Huracan, capable of clocking the sprint in just 3.4 seconds

Lamborghini has been forced to dramatically reduce its top speed, cutting it from the Huracan Evo's eye-boggling 202mph to a relatively pedestrian 160mph, which is the maximum speed the all-terrain tyres can endure

Lamborghini has been forced to dramatically reduce its top speed, cutting it from the Huracan Evo’s eye-boggling 202mph to a relatively pedestrian 160mph, which is the maximum speed the all-terrain tyres can endure

The Sterrato is the swansong for Lamborghini's pure combustion engine, with this being the final new model launched before the next-generation Aventador arrives featuring hybrid power

The Sterrato is the swansong for Lamborghini’s pure combustion engine, with this being the final new model launched before the next-generation Aventador arrives featuring hybrid power

It will make only 1,499 Sterratos in total – and most of the production run has likely already been secured by customers. 

Each one will cost European buyers €263,000 before taxes, which works out at around £272,000 with VAT for UK customers – though this price is yet to be clarified for our market.

‘With the high-speed all-terrain concept of the Sterrato, we have uniquely combined the driving experience of a true super sports car and the fun of driving a rally car,’ explained Rouven Mohr, the brand’s chief technical officer. 

‘Lamborghini cars always deliver emotion: the Sterrato delivers a new degree of driving thrills.’

But is there another ultra-expensive off-road supercar that you could have instead, and save £100,000 in the process? 

Porsche 911 Dakar

It's not just Lamborghini that's at it: This is the new Porsche 911 Dakar, which is a stilted version of the brand's iconic sports car

It’s not just Lamborghini that’s at it: This is the new Porsche 911 Dakar, which is a stilted version of the brand’s iconic sports car

Like Lamborghini, Porsche has decided to put an off-road spin on its own sports car, the 911.

The 911 Dakar will be produced in slightly higher volume, with 2,500 models set to be built. However, it will cost a lot less than the Lambo.

It is priced from £173,000 in the UK, which is some £100,000 ‘cheaper’ than the Sterrato.

The German car giant has created it as a tribute to the Porsche 953 that won the 1984 Paris-Dakar rally – and you can even spec yours to have an optional ‘Rally Design Package’, arriving in a replica of the Rothmans livery used on the eighties endurance event winner.

The 911 Dakar will be produced in slightly higher volume than the Sterrato, with 2,500 models set to be built. However, it will cost a lot less than the Lambo

The 911 Dakar will be produced in slightly higher volume than the Sterrato, with 2,500 models set to be built. However, it will cost a lot less than the Lambo

The Porsche 911 Dakar is priced from £173,000 in the UK, which is some £100,000 'cheaper' than Lamborghini's Sterrato. Yet, on paper, it should be able to almost match it in terms of performance

The Porsche 911 Dakar is priced from £173,000 in the UK, which is some £100,000 ‘cheaper’ than Lamborghini’s Sterrato. Yet, on paper, it should be able to almost match it in terms of performance

The German car giant has created it as a tribute to the Porsche 953 that won the 1984 Paris-Dakar rally - and you can even spec it to have the 'Rally Design Package'. This will see it delivered in a replica of the Rothmans livery from the '84 machine

The German car giant has created it as a tribute to the Porsche 953 that won the 1984 Paris-Dakar rally – and you can even spec it to have the ‘Rally Design Package’. This will see it delivered in a replica of the Rothmans livery from the ’84 machine

Like the Lamborghini, it will use an engine from one of its existing 911 models – the twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre flat six petrol from the GTS. 

This develops 473bhp and 570Nm of torque, sending power to all four wheels via the brand’s tried-and-tested eight-speed PDK gearbox. 

While it is 137bhp down on the maximum power output of the Sterrato, it can still hit 62mph in just 3.5 seconds – only a tenth slower than the Lambo.

Like its rival, the top speed has been limited – mostly due to its off-road tyres – with Porsche trimming it to 149mph.

The Rothman's style livery also adds a 953 numberboard to reference the car that won the Dakar rally almost 40 years ago

The Rothman’s style livery also adds a 953 numberboard to reference the car that won the Dakar rally almost 40 years ago

Like the Lamborghini, the Porsche 911 Dakar uses an engine from one of its existing 911 models - the twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre flat six petrol from the GTS

Like the Lamborghini, the Porsche 911 Dakar uses an engine from one of its existing 911 models – the twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre flat six petrol from the GTS

The 911 Dakar's engine develops 473bhp and 570Nm of torque, sending power to all four wheels via the brand's tried-and-tested eight-speed PDK gearbox

The 911 Dakar’s engine develops 473bhp and 570Nm of torque, sending power to all four wheels via the brand’s tried-and-tested eight-speed PDK gearbox

In order to offer improved protection over varying terrains, Porsche has elevated the ride 50mm higher than that of a 911 Carrera S. And it can be raised by a further 30mm courtesy of a four-corner lift system.

The brand says this enables the 911 Dakar to tackle ‘ambitious off-road adventures’, though driving with the additional ground clearance means you can travel no faster than 106mph.

Porsche’s engineers have gone to great lengths to keep the Dakar’s weight low in an effort to offset the addition of a heavy roll cage, which also means there’s no rear seats like a standard 911.

While the 911 Dakar is 137bhp down on the maximum power output of the Sterrato, it can still hit 62mph in just 3.5 seconds - only a tenth slower than the Lambo

While the 911 Dakar is 137bhp down on the maximum power output of the Sterrato, it can still hit 62mph in just 3.5 seconds – only a tenth slower than the Lambo

Like its rival, the top speed has been limited - mostly due to its off-road tyres - with Porsche trimming it to 149mph

Like its rival, the top speed has been limited – mostly due to its off-road tyres – with Porsche trimming it to 149mph

The 911 Dakar has 50mm additional ground clearance compared to a Carrera S. And it can be raised by a further 30mm courtesy of a four-corner lift system

The 911 Dakar has 50mm additional ground clearance compared to a Carrera S. And it can be raised by a further 30mm courtesy of a four-corner lift system

To counter some of this extra bulk, the bodywork is made from carbon-fibre reinforced plastic and it also features the all-carbon bonnet from the 911 GT3. 

It also gets a fixed rear wing that’s unique to the Dakar, as well as bulkier wheel arches that cover 19-inch off-road wheels and tyres at the front, and 20-inch rims at the back.

There are also chunkier side sills, new underfloor protection, stainless steel guards for the front grilles and a totally redesigned front and rear bumper.

With the lift function operating, Porsche says the 911 Dakar can tackle all 'ambitious off-road adventures'. Though driving with the additional ground clearance means you can go no faster than 106mph

With the lift function operating, Porsche says the 911 Dakar can tackle all ‘ambitious off-road adventures’. Though driving with the additional ground clearance means you can go no faster than 106mph

Optional extras include a roof-rack with a 42kg load capacity and LED lighting, plus a 12-volt power outlet. It also comes with the option of a roof tent for those planning to use their 911 for expeditions

Optional extras include a roof-rack with a 42kg load capacity and LED lighting, plus a 12-volt power outlet. It also comes with the option of a roof tent for those planning to use their 911 for expeditions

Porsche's engineers have gone to great lengths to keep the Dakar's weight low in an effort to offset the addition of a heavy roll cage, which also means there's no rear seats like a standard 911

Porsche’s engineers have gone to great lengths to keep the Dakar’s weight low in an effort to offset the addition of a heavy roll cage, which also means there’s no rear seats like a standard 911

The 911 Dakar gets a unique fixed rear wing and bulkier wheel arches that cover 19-inch off-road wheels and tyres at the front, and 20-inch rims at the back

The 911 Dakar gets a unique fixed rear wing and bulkier wheel arches that cover 19-inch off-road wheels and tyres at the front, and 20-inch rims at the back

If owners do end up getting stranded while taking their 911 Dakar off the beaten track, there are towing lugs at the front and rear so it can be winched out of tight spot.

Optional extras include a roof-rack with a 42kg load capacity and LED lighting, plus a 12-volt power outlet. It also comes with the option of a roof tent for those planning to use their 911 for expeditions.

First deliveries are expected in spring, and demand is said to be extremely high among Porsche collectors and enthusiasts.  

If owners do end up getting stranded while taking their 911 Dakar off the beaten track, there are towing lugs at the front and rear so it can be winched out of tight spot

If owners do end up getting stranded while taking their 911 Dakar off the beaten track, there are towing lugs at the front and rear so it can be winched out of tight spot

First deliveries of the oddball £173,000 off-road sports car are due to arrive in the spring - and there's a lot of demand for the 2,500 models being made

First deliveries of the oddball £173,000 off-road sports car are due to arrive in the spring – and there’s a lot of demand for the 2,500 models being made

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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