Long before the 918 Spyder came to take over as Porsche’s range-topping supercar , the Stuttgart-based automaker had the Carrera GT . But the roadster built between 2004 and 2007 wasn’t the first road-legal supercar offered by the German automaker. The saga began as early as 1986, when the Porsche 959 was introduced.
Born as a Group B rally car in an era dominated by monstrous WRC machines, the 959 developed into a production car when FIA’s homologation regulations required at least 200 street-legat units to be built for a rally car to become a contender in the sport. Although it shared many of its internals and the rear-engine configuration with the 911, the 959 was offered with standard four-wheel-drive, becoming the first Porsche to carry such a configuration. Later on, Porsche used the technology to build its first all-wheel-drive 911.
Hailed as the most technologically advanced vehicle of the 1980s, the 959 boasts impressive performance figures. The range-topping 959 Sport model needs only 3.7 seconds to sprint from 0 to 62 mph and just 13 seconds to accelerate from naught to 124 mph. Its quarter-mile time stands at 11.9 seconds and reaches a top speed of 209 mph.
Although short-lived, the 959’s racing career was equally successful. A rally version went on to win the Paris-Dakar Rally in 1986, while a Le Mans-spec variant finished first in its class and seventh overall at the 24-hour event the same year. Sadly, the 959 never got to compete in the World Rally Championship, as the Group B class was abolished at the end of the 1986 season. Nevertheless, the 959 earned its place among the world’s greatest supercars and in the hearts of petrol-blooded enthusiasts, myself included.
Paying tribute to the 959 never gets old, which is why various publications and online magazines keep rolling out extensive articles and videos on the German masterpiece. The folks over at XCAR are the latest to join the ranks of those who worship the 959 by putting together the review-like, 10-minute video above.