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The Real Reason America Banned the Porsche 959
With an overhauled 911 engine, all-wheel drive, and an ultralight aerodynamic body, the 959 became not only world-famous for being the fastest car in production but also the most advanced Porsche. So, why was it banned in America?
One legitimate, albeit incorrect, guess would be due to the car’s speed: The 959 was a beast with 450 horsepower, did 0 to 60 in 3.7 seconds, and had a top speed of 198 miles per hour in its 959 Sport version. In reality, the 959 did not actually fail U.S. safety tests because it never took them.
Porsche lost about $500,000 for each 959 sold, due to the complexity of the car, so it only produced 292 of them and concentrated on the European market. Plus, to approve a car for the U.S. the safety tests required 4 cars to be crashed, and Porsche did not want to sacrifice any of the expensive machines.