Just like carburetors on an old flat-four, plans need adjustment all the time. Back in the eighties, following the FIA's announcement to ban Group B, Porsche had to turn its rally concept into something that would prove that despite having spent two decades on the market already, the 911 still had a bright future ahead. The resulting 959 was part race car, part speed recorder, and as a daily driver, all fantastic in Komfort tune. It also cost them a fortune, which put Porsche in a delicate position by the early nineties.
Not unlike a modern Carrera 4, the 1986-88 Porsche 959 has all-wheel drive and a twin-turbo flat-six. It also came with central-lock hollow magnesium wheels with built-in tire pressure monitoring, Bridestone's run flats, an ABS system rated for 200mph, and a hydraulic suspension with adjustable ride hight. All so that the originally 444-horsepower engine could push this 0.31 Cd Kevlar/aluminum body beyond Ferrari F40 speeds.
The 959's features included drive modes that would change the torque split of the six-disc central differential, while its four-cam 24-valve engine (with a water-cooled head inspired by the 956's) produced well over 500 horses before Porsche was done with the model in 1993. Today, thanks to the work of Bruce Canepa's team, it can be a 763-horsepower affair.
Back when new, Bill Gates famously waited 13 years for his 959, thanks to the United States Customs Service at the Port of San Francisco. Despite the celebrity interest, Porsche never made money on the car, yet today, even a standard Komfort model with a wracked nose can be worth half a million dollars. In prime condition, you're looking at well over a million, because while it may look like one, the 959 is no 911. The complete lack of brightwork says it all: this is an engineers' car.