I am, of course, talking about the 959. Born as a Group B homologation special, it was briefly the fastest car in the world, hitting a top speed of 197 mph (317 km/h), before the Ferrari F40 overtook it.
That said, the Porsche 959 is now for one reason or another frequently overlooked by the harsh industry of today, forever in the shadow of the raw and unforgiving F40.
The 959 was fast, but in a civilized way, with leather seats, air conditioning, and a ride that wouldn’t give you scoliosis.
The 2.85-liter (174 ci) twin-turbo flat-six took you on a fast but smooth ride, completing the sprint to 60 mph (96 km/h) in under four seconds. A respectable number even for today, and it was accompanied by an even more respectable power output of 444 hp (450 ps).
One of the big issues with the 959 is the production numbers – only 292 of them were made. That makes them incredibly hard to find, so they rarely pop up for sale.
The Komfort trim level is essentially the standard version, and what most of them came quipped with, but you could also get it in a Sport trim. The names are pretty self-explanatory.
The Komfort had more options to make this supercar easier to live with, while the Sport was the more track-oriented version, but few people opted for the latter.
In 1988 someone at Porsche decided that the standard 959 wasn’t fast enough, so they built the 959S, of which there are only 29. A modified version of a 959S, with an upgraded Turbo, hit 211 mph (339 km/h) – that number, in the ‘80s, is comparable to Bugatti’s 304 mph (489 km/h) top speeed record.
The 959 is often forgotten, and that’s sad, as I think it strikes the perfect balance between retro feeling and what Porsche is all about – advanced vehicles that are fast enough to tear your face off.
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