What Do You Think About Porsche’s 700HP Limited-Edition 935?
Images courtesy of Porsche
If you’re going to show off a new rear-engined car that shares a name with of one of motorsports’ most beloved silhouettes, Rennsport Reunion is probably the best place to do it. While Laguna Seca’s infield paddock was crammed with everything from Porsche’s Pikes Peak hillclimb one-offs to Gulf 917s to a dozen 959s parked in rows for the sixth edition of the Porsche-only festivities, yesterday’s reveal of the new GT2RS-based 935 briefly sucked all attention to the main stage for a quick glimpse of this limited edition track car, of which only 77 will be produced (the number could be a nod to the fact that 1977 was the first year in which Porsche sold 935s to customer racing teams). Wearing radical composite bodywork and Martini graphics that evoke the mighty Porsche 935/78 “Moby Dick” built to take on Le Mans, the modern homage is nothing if not statement-making, but does the connection to the past extend past the long tail and turbofans?
Sort of. It’s a production-derived twin-turbocharged, flat-six-powered Porsche that you can’t drive on the street, so on the face of it things seem pretty similar. Obviously there’s a case of modern technology walloping what was possible 40 years ago, but even if it’s been optimized for the circuit and is quicker around it than the old car, it just wasn’t born from the same impetus as the originals, and it will never earn the status of those cars as a result. So perhaps you’ll call it a re-bodied GT2RS that’s being used to cash in on heritage, and while that cynical opinion isn’t wholly untrue, this is still a seriously cool car whatever its name may be.
Inside there’s just a single Recaro bucket with a six-point for the driver, the four-valve 3.8L twin-turbo flat-six produces a neat 700hp, there’s a welded-in cage, inboard air-jacks, a Cosworth instrument cluster, track-tuned suspension connected to massive brakes and serious rubber, the list goes on. It weighs 1,380kg (~3,042lbs), and without official acceleration times at the moment we’ll just call it Fast. It’s more or less a wilder clubsport version of the already-nutty GT2RS with a bitchin’ aero kit. Does it deserve the name 935? Why not? Even if the new car has a seven-speed PDK and doesn’t add to the legacy of victories earned back then, what’s the harm in an homage as cool as this one?
The original Porsche 935 took on many forms as it evolved over the years in both factory and privateer hands—the Le Mans-winning Kremer K3 and the JLP-1 for instance—so anyone who says there’s a single, definitive 935 is simply speaking nonsense. The factory continually tinkered with the Type 935 motors throughout their involvement with the car, playing with both single and twin-turbocharged setups before adapting the power plants to the next-gen platforms; the 935’s bodywork morphed season-to-season and oftentimes in the midst of them; and the car was raced by privateers nearly a decade after its debut in 1976, with retrofitting being the norm in its golden years. The point is, there’s no archetypal 935, but if you polled the car-loving world there’s a good chance the Le Mans-focused “Moby Dick” would win the popularity contest. It’s no wonder that Porsche chose that car for the inspiration for their new car. Pricing is set at €701,948 before VAT, with US pricing not yet determined. Most if not all are probably spoken for already, and deliveries are scheduled to being in June 2019.
Now that you’ve seen the car and gotten some basic information on it, what are your thoughts on the new 935?