Can your supercar survive the toughest rally on earth? If you happen to own a Porsche 959 than you can confidently answer, “yes.” Porsche took to the gruelling Paris-Dakar rally to develop and then showcase its 959 supercars in the 1980s. The resulting win helped build an unlikely rally pedigree for this coveted Porsche supercar.
The Porsche 959 supercar was built from 1986 to 1993 and during this time it revolutionised the world of supercars. This technically advanced vehicle introduced computer-controlled features and driver aids that were never seen on a road car before. This technology-first vehicle is said to be the genesis of modern supercars that follow this formulate of using technology for more usable performance.
Powered by a twin-turbo flat-6 engine, the Porsche 959 produced 444 bhp (331 kilowatts) and 369 lb-ft (500 Newton-metres) of torque. This impressive engine was mated to a 6-speed manual transmission that sent power to the ground via an electronically controlled all-wheel-drive system. This impressive system was a first for Porsche, and allowed both drivers and computers to determine how to manage the 959’s power output.
This unique drivetrain produced impressive performance both on and off the road leading Porsche to enter the 959 in the Paris-Dakar rally in 1986 where it produced a first and second place finish. Seeing these mud-covered lifted supercars on a rally stage is motorsports excellence and a perfect display of Porsche’s mastery of the integration of new technology in motorsports.
To pay homage to the Porsche 959 Paris-Dakar rally car, manufacturers should enter their latest supercars in these events to see if they can finish this difficult race. Imagine seeing a Porsche 918 rally car chasing down a McLaren Senna on dirt?