Porsche got it wrong. Not horribly, terribly wrong, but just not quite right enough. And so the 959, once the world's fastest road-legal production car, and theoretically the greatest-ever iteration of the 911, isn't generally regarded as, well, the greatest-ever iteration of the 911.
Why not? Because Porsche tried to make the 959 too good, but then cut development before it was as good as it should have been. Developed partly as an exercise to see how far the rear-engined layout of the 911 could be taken, and eventually released to customers in 1987, the 959 ended up with aluminium and composite panels on a steel shell, torque-adjusting four-wheel drive, speed-sensitive height-adjustable suspension, improved aerodynamics, and a development of the air-cooled flat-six that used water-cooled cylinder heads with four valves per cylinder, titanium con-rods and gear-driven cams, plus twin sequential turbos with electronic engine management, to produce 444bhp and 369lb ft of torque.
The result was a true supercar capable (in Sport form) of reaching 60mph from rest in 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 197mph. The Gruppe B
Published Dec 7th, 2015
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