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From the Editor…
UP FRONT… “The 959 might have been a technological white elephant at the time, but its potential was in the future”
The Porsches that inspire me are many and varied, but the one that’s always fascinated me more than any other is the 959. I well recall its launch in 1986 and managing to sneak a rendering of it into a graphics project at college. I was intrigued by its technology and its frankly other worldly looks. It looked like something from the future, which was pretty amazing given that it was based on something from 1963. Yes, I liked the other supercars of the era, like the Ferrari 288 GTO and the F40 of 1987, but they were crude by any comparison.
And the 959 seemed to come from nowhere. Sure, it was a Group B homologation special and Porsche was obliged to build 200 examples (they actually built 292), but unlike most manufacturers that built something vaguely road legal and tolerable,
“The Ferrari 288 GTO and ”the F40 were crude by any comparison”
Porsche developed a raw racer into a sophisticated road car that was quite unlike anything else it produced. Some of the tech trickled down into subsequent 911s, but it wasn’t until the arrival of the 996 Turbo that Porsche even started to get close to emulating the 959. It was almost a technical white elephant, its potential to be realised in the future.
Why do I mention this? Well, in this issue we’ve had a bit of fun pitching the 959 against the new 992 C4S. Incredibly they both put out 444bhp from near enough 3-litre, twin-turbo, flat-six engines, both have adaptive damping control, four-wheel drive and near 200mph potential. It’s just that one them had all that 33-years ago. And 33-years on, none of this is any great shakes and 444bhp isn’t even remarkable, which is a measure of how things have progressed. It’s taken a while, though!