How come I never thought of posting the 959?!?!
I always feel that I don’t have enough cars to feature for Teutonic Tuesday, turns out I was just an idiot. But come to think of it, I’m glad I held off on sharing a legend til this special day.
The Porsche 959 was Porsche’s answer among other manufacturers
such as Ferrari that wanted to compete in what many considered as the “golden
era of rallying” the Group B. Sadly expectations fell short when the Group B
came to an abrupt and tragic end, but that didn’t stop the Stuttgart marque to make
the 959 their Concord moment of automobile of its time as well as salvaging the
broken hope of competing in motorsport.
In the 80’s it was not only the fastest road legal production
car for a short period but also the most sophisticated production car ever
made. It was manufactured in the same factory and by the same people that
manufactured BMW’s first supercar, the M1. Body panels such as the doors were
made of lightweight Kevlar, magnesium wheels with hollowed spokes with the
world’s first tire pressure monitors integrated in it. There are a total of 7
computers that cost as much as a current Mitsubishi Mirage controlling
everything from how much power each wheels get from the super advanced all-wheel
drive system to controlling the world’s first adaptive suspension system that even
F1 teams at the time were struggling to make it work. The car’s special “brains”
also modulate the twin turbos by controlling the wastegates to allow exhaust
flow through just one turbo at low revs and only allow exhaust to spin both
turbos under high loads to provide a smoother transition of power and remove
the reputation of being a “Widow Maker” that the Porsche Turbo at the time is
Porsche didn’t gave up on wanting to show the world the 959 was
engineered to tackle the roughest terrains and entered it in one of the toughest
race on Earth, the Paris-Dakar rally and a won 1-2 finish in 1986. That
off-road potential is evident in the road going car with the complex suspension
system that included a lift feature that can raise the car by 2 inches by the
touch of a button which is still impressive in today’s term. The gearbox have
an extra gear between First and Reverse indicated with a “G” for Gelande on the
shiftknob that serve as a low-range gear.
The Porsche 959 was a quantum leap for both Porsche and for automobile
alike, all its technological innovations accelerated development for all future
Porsche models that came after it and some of those features are just starting
to appear in some mainstream cars 20+ years after. It’s incredible to think how
much time and especially money Porsche invested into developing the 959, it’s
no wonder that Porsche refused to simply donate four 959s to the NHTSA so they
could be filled with dummies and get smashed into a concrete wall to be
This HW example I have here wasn’t this pretty at first, it started life with obscene tampos that covered about 3/4 of the car, this is what the car looked liked before:
It is without a doubt, the 959 is one of the greatest cars in history.