The arrival of the Porsche 959 on the automotive scene caused quite the splash in 1987, and with good reason: it was unlike anything else on the market. It was, to put is simply, your average driver’s supercar, assuming that the average driver in question was very rich. Based on the 911, the 959 boasted an entirely new rear, and beefed up style, a very efficient four-wheel drive system, all the refinement you would except from a luxury sports car, and some new technological improvements, such as electronically adjustable ride height, and more. Despite its incredible power, the 959 was an easy car to drive by just about everyone, which caused some critics to complain that it ‘lacked character’.
At the heart of the 959 was Porsche’s traditional flat-six boxer engine, increase to a displacement of 4.5-liters and given the 24-valve treatment. Oh yeah, and a pair of brutal turbochargers that pushed power to an incredible 450 horsepower. Contrary to many of the day’s supercars, the Porsche 959 was relatively small and lightweight; it could thus reach a top speed of 197 miles per hour, and accelerate to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds, or less if you’re really handy with a stick!
The Porsche 959 remained in production until 1988, only 2 years, and was replaced by tamer, mass market versions, which still embodied the ease of driving and control that the 959 stood for.