To any car lover over the age of 30, the Porsche 959 holds a special place. The car is without any exaggeration, a legend. It was first built in 1986 and continued production until 1993. Some news has now come to fruition that a modern-day version is under development.
Many of our readers will not need to be told why the Porsche 959 is so fondly remembered but let’s cover a few of its best points all the same. The incredible car was not actually created as a sports car at all, but a rally car. It was created to compete in the Group B rally races of the 1980s. Yet it would go onto be the defining sports car for an entire era. The 959 marked a new level for Porsche and the car would influence future 911s more than any 911 ever has.
The reason is that it focused on leading technology and sought to derive the best performance possible through an all-wheel-drive system. In terms of technology, it was the first car to have tire pressure monitors, it had active suspension (something that Ferrari was only dreaming of at that point), it had adjustable drive height and had a twin-turbo system that was far more complex than what the 911 had, making it a far superior car. Today these twin-turbo systems are commonplace but it was new ground for the 959.
All of these incredible innovations made it a car with a performance to match. The car won the famous Paris- Dakar rally race across North Africa. This showed it was able to perform in tough conditions with sand and hot weather over long distances. Perhaps more surprising is that the sport version then went on to win Le Mans making it the only car to win both Dakar and Le Mans, a remarkable achievement. The car was the first in history to reach 190mph and briefly held the record as the fastest car in the world.
While all of these innovations and achievements were remarkable in the 1980s, over time other cars came and overshadowed the 959, seeing it retired in 1993. The Ferarri broke the 200mph record only one year after the 959 and other technologies that the car used became outdated. Yet it was still an incredible car that changed the future of racing and sports cars forever.
When the news broke recently that Marc Phillipp Gembella GmbH was taking on a project to release 40 cars that were modern reinterpretations of the 959, we got more than a little excited. The firm tune cars to high performance and the owner is the son of Uwe Gambella, one of the greatest tuners the world has seen.
The project will see a redesign of the 992 generation of the 911 in the idea of the 959. While the project has no involvement from Porsche it still has plenty to get excited about. At the moment we know very little about what this finished car will look like. The mechanics and the tuning of the car are uncertain but based on the firm doing the project we can assume they will be very high spec. Even the design and look of the car is unknown, although with the incredibly beautiful 959 as inspiration it will likely be incredible.
The previous 959 was in such hot demand that Bill Gates famously lobbied for American laws to change so that he could drive one. We wonder whether the rich and famous of today will be in line to be one of the 50 to own this incredible beauty. Elon, get your checkbook ready.