Rally racing was the birthplace of many great supercars. Ferrari engineered the 288 GTO and the F40 to compete on the world’s roughest terrain, and Porsche needed to beat them at all costs. Chief Engineer Hemuth Bott was given a blank check to build the ultimate Porsche 911, and this is the result. Only 345 cars were built, so it is rare to see Jay Leno driving a Porsche 959 Komfort.
Built in two versions, the 959S used traditional suspension to perform on the track. But the 959 Komfort used a high-pressure active suspension that could leap through the woods if needed. After all, many Group B races took place on the worst possible roads, so it was built with three distinct modes of ride height.
The 2.8L flat-six has air-cooled cylinders and water-cooled heads. It is nearly identical to the 956 and 962 race cars, offering 444 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. The manual transmission has a granny gear for offroad fun, and 5 normal gears for the street. It is coupled to an AWD system years ahead of its time. It sends 80% of torque to the rear wheels at wide-open throttle, and it constantly changes the split based on wheel slip sensors.
The body is made of Kevlar and Nomex for safety and strength, not to mention incredible weight 3,140 lbs. Because every aspect of the car was revolutionary, our Federal Government forbid its sale in the U.S. Thankfully, the cars are aging out of the 25 year ban. The 959 was designed to compete in the world’s roughest races, so it needs to be driven. We applaud the owner for running errands in such a valuable car, and we have a few examples for sale in the link below. Stay with us for more updates from Jay Leno’s Garage.