Porsche 959 Prototypes (1983 – 1986)
The 1983 Frankfurt Motor Show was chosen for the unveiling of the Porsche Group B prototype. Even in the closing hours of October 9, finishing touches were being applied to the car to go on display the next morning. After the first two prototypes, the bodywork was modified to include air vents in the front and rear wheel housings, as well as intake holes behind the doors.
The first prototype receiving those modifications was code named “F3”, and was destroyed in the first crash test. A total of 37 prototypes and pre-production cars were used for testing and press activities. Most of these prototypes were dismantled and discarded, but several managed to survive.
In 1985, Porsche’s head of development Helmut Bott earmarked 29 930 Turbo chassis to be turned into 959 prototypes for testing. These were divided into F-, N- and V-series cars and each was unique in its specification.
- F-series. Served mainly for testing of electrical systems and hot weather testing
- V-series. Served predominantly as chassis and ABS development mules. Pre-production cars.
- N-Series. Pilot vehicles
The V-series 959s were the final development cars and closest to the production cars. One can clearly distinguish them from the earlier 930 Turbo mules. However, it is important to note that within the realm of 959 production, there was an even earlier group of development cars, as an ‘F-series’ prototype. These came before the ‘V-Series’ pre-production cars and ‘N-Series’ pilot vehicles. Twelve F-Series prototypes were built, and all are easily discernable from one another.
The road version of the 959 debuted at the 1985 Frankfurt Motor Show as a 1986 model, but numerous issues delayed production by more than a year.