Iconic Porsches grace Paris Motor Show
To celebrate 70 years of production, Porsche has brought along four of its high performance offerings to the Paris Motor Show
The Porsche Museum in Stuttgart, Germany, has sent four of its best models to this year's Paris Motor Show to celebrate 70 years of the brand's history in producing road cars.
A Porsche 959, 911 GT1, Carrera GT and 918 Spyder were driven across Europe to the centre of France, with each car representing a decade from the 1980s up to now.
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The 959, the oldest of the bunch, was designed and developed with Group B rallying in mind, and an example won the Paris-Dakar Rally in 1986. The road going version was revealed a couple of years after the Group B prototype, and went into production in 1986 after numerous delays. It wasn't until a year after that that customer deliveries started, but the limited run special (only 337 were built in total, incl. prototypes) became an instant classic.
A repertoire of spare parts in Porsche's factory meant they were able to build eight more in 1992 and '93, all to 'Komfort' spec. The car had originally come in two variants, the second one being 'Sport'. Both types included the same 2.8-litre twin-turbocharged flat-six engine, with air-cooled cylinders and water-cooled heads. Its rallying aim meant it included Porsche-Steuer Kupplung, Porsche's attempt at an all-wheel-drive system.
The 911 GT1 was another race-to-road creation, this time designed with the FIA's GT1 sports car rulebook in mind. People who bought the 911 GT1 Straßenversion, the road-going version of the car, were purchasing a car that was built purely to please the FIA and its stipulations on production models having to exist.
Although given the '911' name, similarities are minimal, with the racing car running a 3.2-litre flat-six water-cooled twin-turbocharged engine between the front and rear axles. The car evolved into the GT1 Evo and GT1-98, culminating in victory in the 1998 Le Mans 24 Hours. Its first win came in the 1996 Brands Hatch 4 Hours, and it was still winning over in Canada six years later. According to racingsportscar.com, 47 race wins were achieved by 911 GT1s.
Design and expertise from the 911 GT1 fed into the 2003 Porsche Carrera GT, which kept Porsche in the high-end sports car stakes with a 5.7-litre overhead camshaft V10. It was capable of producing more than 600bhp, and was an award winner upon release. Its top speed was north of 200mph, and was one of the first to have a electronic rear wing for high speed running.
Arguably the car that started the trend of supercar manufacturers venturing into hypercar territory, the 918 Spyder was one of the most anticipated vehicles at the start of this decade.
It was first shown in 2010 as a concept, and was at the forefront of Porsche's hybrid plans. In 2013 it finally went into production, with 918 cars being made in roadster and coupé styles. It only had a 4.6-litre V8, but had the same power output as the Carrera GT, a huge sign of progress, and utilised electric motors on both axles to provided a further 282bhp.
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