In the mid 80’s Porsche was shocking the world with the unveiling of the 959 supercar. Porsche by a 2849 c.c. flat-six engine with a total output of 450 hp, the 959 soon became the "World’s Fastest Car." But Porsche came with an even more exclusive version for those customer who were willing to pay more for an extra sporty package. This was the Porsche 959 S version, limited to only 29 units.
The 959 was a sensation by no doubt. From a technical perspective it was a racing car "nevertheless the result is a car which has all the comfort and smoothness and no more interior noise that we expect from a road vehicle along with a high safety margin", said the head of development of the time, Helmuth Bott, not without pride.
The S version featured a full roll cage, Sport seats with racing seat belts, and a race tuned suspension. It made the 0 to 60mph sprint in only 3.5 seconds and had a top speed of 198mph, and ran the quarter in just 11.8 seconds at a trap speed of 119 mph.
Because Porsche refused to crash up to 4 for testings, the 959 was never road legal for the US market. And this is where Canepa Design came in.
Canepa made modifications to the 959’s turbo, exhaust and computer-control systems and as a result the supercar passed emissions requirements and became road legal in the USA. But more than that the tuner was able to raise the car’s output to an amazing 575 hp and 540 lbs-ft of torque. The sprint from 0 to 60 mph was now made in 3,2 seconds, while the speedometer showed an incredible 220 mph.
When launched the car was priced at $225,000, but today people are paying more than half a million to buy one.