The Porsche 959 is a sports car. On its own, a rather impressive standard to bear, but coupled to the tectonic shift in technology necessary to reach that milestone, the Porsche 959 stands as a true engineering masterpiece. The mythic beast that dominated many a boyhood bedroom poster wall came into being during a strange time in Zuffenhausen. Things were bleak for Porsche’s traditional rear engine layout—the 924 and 944 were chipping away at the paradigm—and many wondered quietly how much longer the 911 would remain relevant.
Some highlights of the Porsche 959 were AWD; the heavy use of Kevlar, Nomex, aluminum, and carbon fiber for weight savings; automatic ride height adjustment; water-cooled 4 valve heads; and sequential turbocharging. But perhaps the standout feature of the Porsche 959 was its high price and over-the-top approach to ultimate performance. In many ways, the 959 is the spiritual ancestor to the many extreme supercars that followed it, such as the Ferrari F40, Jaguar XJ220, McLaren F1, and Bugatti Veyron.
Despite its high price, Porsche was said to have lost substantial amounts of money with every car sold. But in retrospect, the Porsche 959 may have proved to be an outstanding investment. Extremely popular as an aspirational vehicle among sports car enthusiasts of its day, the 959 served as an excellent halo vehicle for the entire Porsche brand. In addition, the technological advances made during the 959′s development helped to ensure the continuing viability of the Porsche 959 rear-engine design