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  • Writer's pictureAbhishek Deshmukh

Porsche 959 - A Revolutionary Icon of the 1980s

The Porsche 959 is a race car with an off-roading capability. It is a predecessor of the CGT and one of the rarest Porsche models ever built. Only 345 units were ever built for the entire world.

Porsche wanted to build the 959 to compete in Group B Rally Racing which was one of the most famous races of the ‘80s. There was a rule to be eligible for competing in Group B Rally Racing which said that the participating manufacturer should also build road versions of their rally cars. The original 1983 concept was called the Gruppe B concept. Group B Rally Cars needed an all AWD (All Wheel Drive) system while the other Porsche 911s were RWD (Rear Wheel Drive. Therefore, the 959 was built with a computer-controlled variable AWD system.

The 959 was the most technologically advanced car of that era. Developing the Group B Concept took so long that by the time the 959 entered into production in 198the Group B Racing category had ended in 1986. Therefore, Porsche decided to race the 959 in other race series like Paris - Dakar Rally and Le Mans. In Le Mans, Porsche competed with the race version of the 959 which was called the 961. Only one unit of 961 was ever built.

The 959 was available in two versions - Komfort and Sport. The Sport version was lighter and rarer than the Komfort version. It was equipped with a 2.85-litre Twin Turbocharged Flat-6 engine which delivered 444 HP and 369 lb-ft of torque.

The 959 came equipped with a six-speed manual but the shift pattern lists only five numbers. Porsche named the gear above first "G" which stood for "Gelände", meaning terrain. Yes, an off-road gear in a race car.

The top speed of the Komfort version was 196mph (315kph) and 198mph (318km/h) of the Sport version which was insane back in the day.

The current market value of this machine is between US$1.5 million - $2 million which makes it one of the most valuable Porsches ever.

It was one of the toughest projects for Porsche and it took so long to engineer that it debuted 2 years late. That is the reason why I feel that the 959 will always be one of the most iconic and spectacular cars in the automotive industry ever.


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