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Porsche 959

The Porsche 959 is a sports car of the German Porsche company.

The 959 was created to dominate Group B rally racing, Porsche wanted to show its technical abilities in this arena at a time when the marque was seen more as a fashion accessory than a drivers tool.

The 959 featured a air/water cooled twin turbo charged engine displacing only 2.9 litres, nearly half a litre less than a contemporary 911. By using 24 valve water cooled cylinder heads with the usual air cooled cylinders, and by employing staggered response turbo chargers Porsche extracted 450 bhp from this compact, efficient and rugged power unit.

The 959 featured an aluminium and Kevlar body designed to offer not only bullet-proof ruggedness but also a significant weight saving over steel. Such light weight created a 0-60 mph time of 3.6 seconds and a top speed of just under 200mph. To reign in such awesome capabilities the aerodynamics were designed to increase stability, as was the automatic ride height adjustment. The 959 did not appear until 1989, by which time several catastrophes had outlawed Group B, thus the Paris-Dakar Rally which it won twice and Le-Mans at which it finished a creditable 7th were its only competitive arenas.

The adoption of so many of its innovations by so many other manufacturers, as well as styling that still looks current have made history the arena in which the 959 has excelled.