Today, we have the Porsche 918 Spyder. Before that, there was the Carrera GT. While both of those cars are dramatic departures from the traditional, rear-engine Porsche formula, they owe their very existence to another wild child of the iconic German brand – the 959.

Like so many of the great performance cars of yesteryear, the 959 was a homologation special, built just so Porsche could go racing in the clinically insane Group B rally series. Fewer than 400 959s hit the streets, but those that did were some of the most advanced cars of the 1980s. A rear-mounted, twin-turbocharged flat-six sent its power through a still-rare all-wheel-drive system, creating a race-inspired rocket that was, for a short time, the fastest production car on the planet.

Xcar has the story of the 959, from its inception to its conquest of the Paris-Dakar rally, which is interspersed with a drive of the legendary coupe. Scroll down for the full video.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Months Ago
      I totally agree with him. The 911 has never done anything for me, but the 959? Oh man does it ever! As someone born in the late '70s and growing up in the '80s, this was definitely poster material here. A lotto win would have me a 959, Countach, and F40, just so I could be a kid again.
      • 6 Months Ago
      Still my favorite!
      • 6 Months Ago
      My Carrera S is the best car I've ever owned. Never a breakdown or disappointment. A better investment than a few of my wives.
      • 6 Months Ago
      Four-Wheel Steering? Did the 959 also have --- in addition to four-wheel drive --- four-wheel steering? I love the 959. My friend had a Honda Prelude (I know, it's not the same thing) with four-wheel steering ---- it handled like a dream.
      • 6 Months Ago
      I suppose it was the fastest until it ran up against the Ruf CTR Yellowbird. And yes the Ruf was a production car, not a tuner product. The thing I loved about the Yellow bird was it looked like a normal 911. No outlandish flares or wings, just 217 mph in 1987, in a production machine. Don't get me wrong, the 959 was a wonder, but it did not capture my attention like the Ruf.
      • 6 Months Ago
      Mechanically amazing, but to be honest that body kit is quite ugly.
      • 6 Months Ago
      I have a 1987 959. It is the most beautiful Porsche ever built. It is street legal and was modifed by Bruce Canepa. With it's modern day Turbos is will do 0 to 60 in 2.9 sec and has a top end of over 220MPH. Look Canepa up on the internet; I'm sure he has one for sale. I believe there are 10 street legal 959s in the US. What is amazing is that the 2014 Porsche Turbo is as fast 0 to 60 just doesn't have quite the top end.
        • 6 Months Ago
        You have the silver one? if that's the one, had a brief chat and saw your car in person at your Docs in Los Altos..really awesome p-car!
      • 6 Months Ago
      nine five nine...
      The 959 has fallen off my "What's hot" leader board long ago. It's too bulbous, rounded, not edge; the lines are not properly drawn. IMO. It was good for what it did when it did it. We move on.
        Plan B
        • 6 Months Ago
        For its time its was arguably THE best made car in the world. The numbers it was putting up 25 years ago is still incredible for today. So you could at least show a little respect for "what it did when it did it".
      • 6 Months Ago
      I still have my 959 poster. It first graced my wall in College. The corners are well worn as I have moved around in life because not matter where I lived, it always went up on the wall ;)
      • 6 Months Ago
      • 6 Months Ago
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