Porsche 959


Straight outta the eighties came the first true hypercar from Porsche

If you’re one of the folk out there who believes that the Porsche Turbo wasn’t necessarily a full-blooded supercar, then the 959 pushed the form firmly into the superlative.

But we reckon the 930 Turbo was the supercar. This was a hypercar.

Inspired by Group B rally monsters from Audi, Lancia, Peugeot and Ford, this extreme iteration of the 911 format came with 450 bhp and twin two-stage turbochargers and 4WD. Just over 300 were produced and this one, in period-perfect white on white, takes the biscuit for an essentially 1980s take on the concept of the supercar.

While the underpinnings of the 959 are essentially 911 961, there is a whole host of functional aero and structural tweaks which created in this something that screamed of the era’s design ethos.


The 959’s nose was extended and flattened and featured near-flush headlamps with extensive ducting for cooling the front brakes and oil radiator. The rear of the car was also stretched rearward and liberally ventilated, and it was topped with a full-width rear wing. Beneath the body shell, though, was a double-wishbone, racing-derived suspension with coil springs and double shocks, adjustable shock damping and ride height, and an electronically managed all-wheel-drive system. Porsche’s PSK system allowed the driver to vary the torque between the rear and front axles.


The flat six engine was derived from both the “Moby Dick” IMSA GT racer and Porsche’s Indy open-wheel project. This engine mounted a pair of intercooled sequential turbochargers. A small turbo began producing boost almost from throttle tip-in, while the larger unit came in at about 4,500 rpm, generating a seamless flow of power. It was, apparently, a relatively mellow machine around town, but could pull away to 100KMH in less than four seconds and do 12-second quarter mile.

This car is about to be auctioned at RM’s Arizona auction.
Yes, it’s going to be expensive.

Images: RM/Sotheby’s