There are fewer and fewer places for sportscar owners to enjoy their machines. This probably explains why some automakers have been giving their cars a bit of a safari treatment, getting ‘Dakar ready’ as it were. Two prime examples are the Lamborghini Huracan Sterrato and Porsche 911 Dakar.

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But OEMs aren’t the only ones carrying out this treatment. Several private individuals have done the same. They have done so to some unlikely donor cars, which is what makes them so interesting. Check out this list of Dakar ready road cars converted for off-road use.

Nissan R32 GT-R “Safari Spec”

Picture this: the legendary Nissan R32 GT-R, Godzilla himself, no longer content with mere speed, stands tall with a lifted suspension, knobby tires gripping like claws, and a roof rack ready for any expedition. Could the king of tarmac tame the king of climbs? This “Safari Spec” beast rewrites the rules, transforming from asphalt terror to trailblazer.

Nissan 180SX “Rock Crawler”

Remember the Nissan 180SX, the undisputed drift king? Sideways action has been swapped for side-hilling crawls. A touch of suspension magic has unleashed a new beast beneath the sleek sheet metal. This dirt destroyer proves street cars can learn new tricks, reclaiming their crowns in the wild lands.

Mazda MX-5 “V8 Dirt Demon”

Safari Mazda MX-5 is Dakar ready

But the Nissan revolution is just the spark that ignites the fire. Even the plucky Mazda MX-5, once known for its playful bark, has embraced a throaty V8 growl. This lightweight beast conquers trails with surprising ease, proving size is just a number when it comes to off-road fun. It’s a testament to the adaptability of any machine with a spirit for adventure. More info on this off-roadster here.

Bentley Continental GT

Forget posh parking lots, this luxurious beast rocks a two-inch lift, like it traded champagne for mud baths. Chunky tyres glide over gravel while a roof rack groans under a full size spare and extra gear. This ain’t your grandma’s Bentley, folks. This one roars through canyons, engine bellowing, leaving dusty tracks and surprised gulls in its wake. Luxury chariot turned dirt king, it proves even the swankiest rides can get wild, one gravel track at a time.

Audi R8 LMS Ultra

From sleek supercar to off-road beast, the Audi R8 LMS Ultra is a rally weapon in disguise. Its 5,2L V10 engine pumps out enough power to propel it through mud, sand, and rocks with ease. Its quattro all-wheel drive system provides superior traction, while its long-travel suspension tackles any terrain.

Mercedes-Benz S-Class “Stofgevreet”

Dakar Ready Mercedes-Benz S-Class

This 1908s S-Class is a local creation, as you may have guessed from its name. The luxo-barge was given a new lease on life after its old engine was consigned to the scrap heap. A Ford 302 V8 from an XR8 resides under the bonnet. The 5,0-litre motor is still coupled with the five-speed manual transmission it left the Ford factory with. It rides on 30-inch all-terrain tyres that the owner says is ideal for powersliding The limo is a regular on the Bullrun, where it is a crowd favourite.

The streets aren’t the only playground anymore, and these Dakar ready beasts are proving that adventure lives where the pavement ends. The dust devils are rising, and the drift kings are trading sideways slides for side-hilling climbs. The future of automotive adventure is looking wilder than ever.