15 curiosities that will change your vision of the Porsche 959, the oracle of the supercar modern

When Porsche launched in 1986, the awesome 959, there was no supercar comparable in the market. Although the Ferrari F40 would be released a year after and it would be considered your opponent’s staunch, what is certain is that the Porsche 959 had no rival for years. It was a laboratory on wheels, an ode to the innovation in the form of a supercar. No car in the eighties was as advanced as the Porsche 959, that would forever change the of Zuffenhausen. These 15 curiosities will change your view on this oracle of the supercar modern.

1) Developed as a rally car, Group B

The Porsche 959 street was a pretext. Should occur to be able to homologate a Porsche 959 rally championship, competing in the Group B. The project was led by Helmuth Bott, who convinced the upper ranks of the Porsche viability of the racing program. Received carte blanche for a development that never came to enter in the race: the Group B was banned by the FIA before they could enter in competition. A Porsche 959 prepared for off-road competitions took victory in the Paris-Dakar of 1986.


2) Obsession for speed

When Porsche developed the 959, its goal was to manufacture the fastest car in the world. Based on the chassis of the Porsche 930 Turbo – with the same battle, and dimensions – they designed a huge body kit with a kevlar and polyurethane, designed to allow greater track width and an aerodynamic coefficient without equal: 0,31. The Ferrari F40 had a coefficient of 0.34 and it was considered exceptional in this aspect. The counterpart to a ratio of penetration so low was a low downforce.


3) A motor racing civilized

instead of developing an engine from scratch, Porsche took advantage of its experience in motorsport to develop an engine of high performance , using as a basis the six-cylinder boxer shorts premiered by the Porsche 956, also used by the Porsche 962 in competition. It would be equipped with two turbochargers KKK in parallel, setting a then very novel, alien in a vehicle in street. The result was that the block multiválvulas with electronic injection, Bosch developed nothing less than 450 HP from only 2.849 cubic centimeters.

porsche-959-curiosidades-7Its specific power was 157,9 HP/liter, still impressive today in gasoline engines high-performance. Today the Porsche 911 Turbo S develops 570 HP from a turbo engine of 3.8 liters, with a specific power of 150 HP/liter. In the time we had turbo engines very “tight”: the Ferrari F40 – that we’ve written an article of curiosities that does you should lose, ” he developed a whopping 478 HP from a block V8 of only 2.9 liters of displacement.

4) The first Porsche traditional water-cooled

The Porsche 959 was the first Porsche street – boxer engine – in using a water-cooled engine, much as they hurt the purists. the engine generated so much heat that it was impossible to use a traditional system of cooling by air without compromising your end power or reliability. On water-cooled engines still would take 10 more years to be the norm for Porsche, with the launch of the Porsche 911 996. Porsche has always been a firm conservative with the generalization of the technological advances.

Porsche 959

5) Was the fastest car in the world… for a year

When the Porsche 959 began to be sold in 1986, it was the fastest car in the world. Its top speed was 315 km/h versions Komfort, which opened its short production cycle. The crown of fastest car in the world some lasted to the Porsche 959, that the would be overtaken by the Ferrari F40 in the following year, with a peak speed of only 5 km/h higher. Versions Sport the Porsche 959 – equipped with an evolution to 530-HP engine, 2.85 liter – already achieved a tip speed much higher: no less than 336 km/h.


6) Porsche 961, the brother forgot the Porsche 959

Only one unit of the Porsche 961 was built. It was a racing car based on the Porsche 959, created for competitions of Group B in circuit – regulation allowed the coexistence with the machines of rally. The car won its category at Le Mans in 1986, imposing the BMW M1, the only competitors in their category. Interestingly, the rules allowed the all-wheel drive, which gave them great advantages in track. After a serious accident in 1987, and the absence of competitors, Porsche decided to cancel the program 961 to the full.


7) PSK: the all-wheel drive system the world’s most advanced

The Porsche 959 was endowed with the awd system more advanced of the moment. Called PSK (Porsche-Steuer Kupplung) was able to distribute the torque automatically between the front and rear axle. Instead of using a complex center differential, I used a set of clutches multi-disc hydraulic actuation, controlled by electronics. Completely automatically – without the need of loss of traction – was able to send up to 80% of the power to the rear-wheel drive, with the cast always favorable to the back train.

porsche-959-curiosidades-3In normal conditions, 50% of the power was transmitted to each axis. The allocation of power system PSK varied in real-time, based on the angle of rotation of the steering wheel, the position of the accelerator or the driving mode selected – yes, the Porsche 959 was driving modes, which begin to be generalized today. From the experience in the Porsche 959 – that was tremendously effective in any surface and situation, such as Porsche would start to mount systems of all-wheel-drive in other vehicles.

8) Suspension, height and hardness adjustable… in 1986

The Porsche 959 had suspension adaptive… in 1986. A technology that even today is considered innovative and complex, was of series in a Porsche before a server was born. The suspension of the Porsche 959 had three different heights possible, which left a space of 12, 15 or 18 cm free of the ground. I also had three possible hardness, selected at will of the driver. Now, they were the ones that were the wishes of the driver, from the 160 km/h, the suspension did not exceed 12 centimeters.


9) Its special tires were run-flat technology

As well said to my partner David Villarreal in his special on the Porsche 959 – that I recommend you to read this link – it was rare for a manufacturer to marry with a only manufacturer of tires in those times. Porsche partnered with Bridgestone, which developed the RE71 Denloc exclusively for the Porsche 959. It was the first street car in equip tire type runflat, which were mounted in a concavity special designed ex-profeso in the ligerísimas magnesium wheels of the supercar German.

10) The first production car with sensor tire pressure

, therefore, should Not surprise us that the Porsche 959 was the first production car to have tire pressure sensors mounted in your wheels. Although today it is standard equipment on new vehicles, was a big thing 30 years ago. In combination with tire with run-flat technology, the Porsche 959 could go a few more miles at a lower speed with the flat tire, avoiding to stay pulled. Interestingly, the rear tires had only 255 mm section, unless that rival peers.

10) Had a march special to come out of the asphalt

believe It or not, the Porsche 959 was more capable than many suvs in the field. Fact demonstrated by the winner of the Paris-Dakar of 1986, a Porsche 959 with a preparation off-road. Its high ground clearance of 18 centimeters associated with a march called “G”, visible on the knob of the shift lever. This “G” means “Gelande”, the German word for field. It was a march by ultra-short, almost a gearbox, which Porsche developed for their 959 not stay stuck in the mud or other low-grip situations.


12) Kevlar, magnesium, Nomex, aluminum

A laboratory of materials of the space age on wheels. The Porsche 959 needed to reduce its weight, hampered by the complex engine and its all-wheel drive system permanent. His 1.450 kilos of weight does not seem excessive today, but were almost 300 kilograms more than the Ferrari F40, without going any further. To reduce weight, Porsche installed tires hollow of magnesium, the body kit was built in a alloy of kevlar and aluminum, while the underside of the car were built in the very light Nomex.

Porsche estimated in less than 50% of the weight of the steel in the Porsche 959, while a conventional car of the era was built in a 72% steel.


13) Bill Gates and Porsche 959 that changed the laws of the U.S.

Many influential personalities of US were attracted by the Porsche 959. Bill Gates tried to import a unit without success, and spent years catching dust at the port of Seattle due to that Porsche never approved in the US: the costs were too high and Porsche have already sold their 959 for half of their cost of production. Before the pressure, the us EPA introduced a law called “Show and Display”, to allow the importation – not use – of vehicles of special significance, whether historic or technological.

porsche-959-curiosidades-8Today, it makes sense to this law with the Porsche 959, because yes authorizing the importation of vehicles not type-approved with more than 25 years of age.

14-proof “enormous hands”, not of monarchs

The Porsche 959 had the most advanced electronics of its time. Did not have items such as stability control or traction control, but it had a new ABS with distribution independent of braking. Attached to your system, traction integral permanent, was defined as “a supercar to the test of enormous hands”. You can test enormous hands, but the Porsche 959 was not created to test monarchs. Juan Carlos I had an accident with his Porsche 959 on the way to Baqueira, accompanied by the Infanta Cristina.

15) The six Porsche 959 built years later from spare parts

Of this story we have already spoken in motor, so I would suggest you to pass by this link to learn all the details. Porsche built six additional units – some sources speak of eight copies – Porsche 959 Komfort, four years after its production ended officially. Built from spare parts and leftover parts, they were commissioned by a collector of Macao, and it is estimated that the price of each unit almost doubled the price of the 959’s original.