The Incredible Tales Of The Porsche 959: The Greatest Car Ever Created

Yes I just said that

7w ago
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Initiation

Porsche desired to build a high-performance, ahead of its time sports car that would be inspired to dominate the successfully famed 911, only the 959 would become an off-road capable supercar. It was produced from 1986 to 1993 with only 345 being built making it far more exclusive than the inferior Ferrari F40. It would even go on to succeed in the ever so challenging 1986 Paris-Dakar Rally placing first being driven by René Metge. It's time to dive into the depths of the incredible German masterpiece.

Petrolicious

Petrolicious

Technical Specifications

Talking technical is my favorite thing to do in my articles. The Porsche 959 was the most technologically advanced car in the 1980s and it took years for other cars to share similar technologies. Just like the fabled 911, the 959 has a flat-6 behind the rear axle. The motor has a displacement of 2.8 L and uses two sequential turbochargers. Sequential turbochargers spool up at separate RPM times for maximum efficiency and to cut down on turbo lag. Unlike the 911 at the time, the 959 was partially air-cooled and partially water-cooled. The cylinder themselves were chilled by air and the heads were breezed with water. Of course, a motor wouldn't be high-tech without dual overhead camshafts and 4-valves per cylinder. And once again with modern engineering techniques, the 959 uses fuel injection developed by Bosch. Now at this point, you are probably thinking "Zakk knock it off with these complicated mechanical terms". Okay, I'll now explain the performance figures we all can understand. The mill can produce 444 horsepower which is the same as a brand new 911 Carrera, proving how advanced in performance the 80s 959 was. As for torque (more important during the driving experience) at max, it can produce 369 lb-ft of torque, which makes for a decent power to torque ratio. Mated to the flat-6 is a 6-speed manual transmission that you proudly shift yourself. The 959 can't reach 959 mph, but the sport model can reach 198 mph as if the Komfort wasn't sporty enough. The Komfort (Standard) 959 could propel from 0-60 mph in just 3.6 seconds, still insanely quick. And it could reach 197 mph, just 3 away from 200.

Motor1

Motor1

Further Technological advancements

The 959 is partly so quick because of its all-wheel-drive system. The radical retro machine also included adjustable hydraulic suspension that could perform perfectly on the road or off-road. Yes, you could take your $300,000 Porsche off-road if you really wanted to. Especially since it was equipped with two adjustable differentials. Which sure made it slightly heavier, but the car still only weighs just above 3,100 lbs. After all, its kevlar body panels and hollow-spoke magnesium wheels took weight out of the car. The flooring within the interior is made of Nomex. A flame-resistant and light material. Expensive too. Would you have taken the 959 off-road or kept it on asphalt?

Bilstein

Bilstein

How did Bill Gates Sneak His Into America?

Many companies such as Mercedes and BMW were unhappy with people importing their cars into American and then converting them to US-spec as they weren't making as much revenue this way. Eventually, the Imported Vehicle Safety Compliance Act was published in 1988 wouldn't allow cars that didn't comply with America's automotive safety requirements to be imported into the States, this also Included strict emissions standards, and then came the 25-year-old import rule that many of us know of. Bill Gates desired the high-tech 959, especially since he was a high-tech man himself. Porsche didn't want to destroy multiple 959s to pass compliances for US safety standards since they were only making 345 cars. Bill Gates with is an astronomical success (even then) he was sure to have connections and lots of money to persuade and of course had great lawyers and they convinced the government to create the Show and Display Amended which allowed non-approved cars to be imported under tight and strict conditions. The cars could only be driven so much and you would have to prove the car's significance historically. Even less than 500 had to exist to pass. Even once this was passed, the tech mogul genius also had to pass emissions and the 959 was never produced with a catalytic converter to decrease emissions because it wasn't a requirement where the 959 was built in Germany. Porsche eventually would provide a catalytic converter system for US owners if you sent that car back to Germany for installation. Finally, Bill Gates could own his incredible Porsche 959 that he knew was superior to the Ferrari F40.

Hot Cars

Hot Cars

Success at the 24 Hours of Le Mans

Not only did the 959 race and dominate the Paris-Dakar rally, but it also entered the prodigious 24 Hour race at Le Mans held in France and would be called the 961. It would even claim first place. In 1987 the 961 struggled with one crashing and another lighting ablaze.

Goodwood

Goodwood

The Struggles Of Development

The Porsche 959 was originally planned to compete in Group B rally racing, but by the time the car was ready, group B was over and done with. And it took far longer to develop the technologically advanced supercar than the Porsche engineers expected. During development and brake testing, the 959 would suffer from brake fade. When brakes become overheated lose functionality. This can lead to poor handling and can give the driver a heart attack causing a crash leading to a cruel death. ABS was equipped, but the brakes weren't prepared for such a quick accelerating and fast-moving supercar when Porsche was building the sports car 911. Porsche discovered that the brake fluid was boiling. Yeah. Not good. Eventually, they came up with a valve idea to keep the brake fluid from reaching dangerous temperatures. With two turbochargers, double intercoolers, and a radiator for the water-cooled cylinders crammed in a tight space behind the rear axle factors into causing overheating struggles and even fires, which is not something you want a valuable performance car to feature. But Porsche never gave up. And they knew that they could succeed at producing the greatest car they could possibly craft.

Motor Authority - Destroyed in Mecum trailer crash

Motor Authority - Destroyed in Mecum trailer crash

Finale

Of course, I could dive even deeper into the ocean of 959 related stories and it would be amazing to hear and read about more. The Porsche 959 is the greatest car ever made in my opinion for the effort that went into producing it despite the incredible struggles. It was so far advanced and still can't be considered far dated. It is a much more driveable supercar than many others and provides the perfect balance of handling on the open road and the adventurous off-road that not many people endured. I hope you enjoyed the article and I appreciate everyone reading it. Have a fantastic day!

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Comments (19)

  • Better than an F40 imo and I think Porsche's best ever (which is no mean feat), but not as good as the F1.

      1 month ago
    • Definitely agree with this!

        1 month ago
  • Here are three reasons why you are wrong about the 959 being the greatest.

      1 month ago
    • I’m not wrong. I just have a differing opinion. Accept it. I’m not changing it.

        1 month ago
    • I cannot accept it because I am always right (of course my wife disagrees).

        1 month ago
  • Great car, not the best ever. Probably the best that year though.

      1 month ago
  • Good car, but not the best one. Might go on the list of the Top 3 best Porsches ever. Only I wished if it looked a bit better

      1 month ago
  • Here’s your chance to own one. For sale at Curated in Miami, FL.

      1 month ago
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