Only a total of 283 Porsche 959s were built, of which 83 were the “Sport” models used in competition with the other 200 cars designated as “Komfort” versions for street use. Even at the original list price of approximately $300,000, the cost to Porsche to build each car was double this figure, and the 959 was humorously referred to as the “Porsche factory’s gift to its favorite customers.”
Before the Ferrari F40, before the McLaren F1, and almost before the term “supercar” was invented, there was the Porsche 959, an expression of extensive development, technical excellence, and competitiveness that brought a new excitement to road-going automotive pursuits.
The Porsche 959 odyssey started in 1983 and involved many pioneering techniques, most notably molded composite bodywork. It was the first automotive production use of DuPont’s Kevlar aramid fibers. The suspension has three ride-height settings, as well as three dampening settings for the shocks. Its sophisticated antilock braking system is controlled by high-speed microprocessors augmented by run-flat Bridgestone tires.
The 2,849 cc twin sequential turbocharged and intercooled flat-six engine runs a maximum boost of one atmosphere and uses water cooling for the six individual cylinder heads. The result is a robust horsepower rating of 450 at 6,500 rpm. This power is transmitted through an electronically controlled all-wheel-drive system. Top speed is 198 mph, and 0 to 60 mph is achieved in only 3.6 seconds – mind-boggling figures then and now. The list of Porsche 959 specifications reads like the wish list for the world’s best and most advanced automobile, which was in effect what this GT missile turned out to be at the time of its mid-1980s introduction. Even today, no other road-going supercar is able to match or surpass the unique technology of the 959’s performance specifications.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in August of 2010 at the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California.
640 bhp at 6,500 rpm, Garret ball bearing twin-turbos, six-cylinder alloy engine, six-speed manual gearbox with all-wheel drive and active torque-split, three-stage traction control (dry, wet and snow) and electronically adjustable ride-height and shock absorber control, double wishbone front and rear suspension with four shocks per 17" diameter alloy wheel, four-wheel disc brakes with ventilated rotors and alloy and Kevlar body paneling.
Source: RM Auctions