Welcome to the 1983 Frankfurt Motor Show
Special exhibition at this year’s show recalls icons from 30 years ago…
Posted: 17 Sep 2013
Porsche ‘Gruppe B' design study
Looks very familiar, doesn't it? (the one on the right that is - the one on the left is a 1963 Opel Kapitän) After racking up Le Mans victories, Porsche wanted to taste the top spot in the rally world. So in 1982, decided to launch its 959 rally project: a vehicle based on the 911 SC, that needed to be road-ready to satisfy the FIA's Group B regs. So we come to the ‘Gruppe B' design study that made its debut at the 1983 IAA. And what a reveal that must have been. Imagine the faces!
The 2.9-litre six-pot engine produced a whopping 450bhp, with two water-cooled turbochargers connected in parallel to charge-air coolers (the first passenger car to do so), and of course, four-wheel-drive. It could hit 0-62mph in just 3.9 seconds (two tenths off the pace of Audi's modern Quattro Concept), had a massive top speed of 197mph, and was made from materials such as aluminium, Kevlar composites and Nomex. Hammond rather likes it too.
It cost 420,000 deutschmarks when it was launched in 1987. Wait, 1987? Despite being unveiled in 1983, strike action - and the sheer complexity of building the thing - meant production was delayed for a few years. But still.