Before you start braggin’
Being Benchmark Motors Inc, we get to see the progression of automotive technology first hand. The author of this article can even remember a time where having 5-10 computers (or modules for you technically minded folk) in a car could mean that you were working on an ultra high end, very complicated car. These days, it’s not terribly un-common to have 80-100 modules in a car all communicating on serial data lines or fiber optics with any number of layouts or communication strategies. In the end, all of these extra computers and wires lead to cool features like seats that will inflate the seat opposite from the direction from which you’re turning to basically support your body to lessen the apparent g-forces when driving spiritedly.
Who really needs that? It’s cars like this Friday’s selection that really bring driving purists to a happy place.
In 1986 the world almost ended. Well, maybe not that bad, but Porsche AG did create one of the most bad ass “street cars” ever. (I say “street car” because it was basically just a Gruppe B race car with headlights and turn signals) The 1986 Porsche 959. The 959 made approximately 444 horsepower and only weighed somewhere in the neighborhood of 3000 lbs, and it was all wheel drive, with an auto biasing center differental called the Porsche-Steuer-Kupplung (PSK). The car had a reported top speed right around 200 mph!
Today the newest iteration of the 2012 991 (Newest Porsche 911 Carrera S) probably has the aforementioned fancy seats and heated and cooled cup holders (just conjecture, for the record), but it still makes less horsepower, and less torque. And, is only a tenth of a second faster in a 1/4 mile sprint, and has the exact same 0-60 time as a…
1986 (!) Porsche 959.
So remember, before you start braggin’ about your new 991, there was a car that was almost as fast, and quite likely much more fun to drive in 1986.