Sportscars

2019 Porsche 935 – Moby Dick Returns

3 Mins read
2019 Porsche 935 NSF shot
Credit: Porsche A.G.

Porsche has unveiled the new 935 ahead of the historic “Rennsport Reunion” motorsport event at Laguna Seca Raceway in California.

The 700 hp racer featuring a body reminiscent of the legendary Porsche 935/78 will be produced in a limited number of 77 units.

“This spectacular car is a birthday present from Porsche Motorsport to fans all over the world,” says Dr Frank-Steffen Walliser, Vice President Motorsport and GT Cars.

“Because the car isn’t homologated, engineers and designers didn’t have to follow the usual rules and thus had freedom in the development.”

The race car’s technology for club sports events and private training on racetracks is based on the 911 GT2 RS high-performance sports car.

Porsche 935 NSR Shot

Credit: Porsche A.G.

Like its historic predecessor, most of the body has been replaced or supplemented by carbon-fibre composite parts (CFRP). With its streamlined extended rear, the 935 reaches a length of 4.87 metres and 2.03 metres wide.

The spectacular aerodynamics is an entirely new development and pays tribute to the Porsche 935/78 Le Mans race car, which fans dubbed “Moby Dick” due to its elongated shape, large fairings and white base colour. The distinctive wheel arch air vents on the front fairings, which also feature on the GT3 Porsche 911 GT3 R customer vehicle, increase downforce at the front axle. Measuring 1,909 millimetres in width by 400 millimetres in depth, the rear wing lends aerodynamic balance.

2019 Porsche 935 rear shot

Credit: Porsche A.G.

Many details of the exterior are a salute to winning vehicles from the company’s motor racing history: The aerodynamically capped rims echo those of the 935/78, with the LED rear lights on the rear wing endplates adopted from the 919 Hybrid LMP1 race car. The side mirrors hail from the current Le Mans-winning 911 RSR, with the exposed titanium tailpipes modelled on the Porsche 908 from 1968.

2019 Porsche 935 interior

Credit: Porsche A.G.

These references are carried through to the cockpit. The knob on the gearshift lever has a laminated wood design and is reminiscent of racers such as the 917, the 909 Bergspyder and the Carrera GT super sports car.

The carbon steering wheel and the colour display behind it have been taken from the 911 GT3 R from the 2019 model year. A massive safety cage combined with a racing bucket seat and a six-point safety harness ensure maximum safety. A second seat for the passenger is available as an optional extra. Air conditioning provides optimal cooling of the interior.

The new 935 is powered by a state-of-the-art 3.8-litre six-cylinder twin-turbo engine, which is almost identical to the high-performance standard unit mounted in the road-legal 911 GT2 RS.

Power is transferred to the rear engine via a seven-speed Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) with rigid gearbox suspension at the 310-millimetre-wide rear axle.

Like in the GT road models of the 911, the driver changes gears via conveniently positioned shift paddles on the steering wheel.

2019 Porsche 935 front shot

Credit: Porsche A.G.

Typical of the 911, the weight distribution ensures excellent traction and braking performances. Six-piston aluminium monobloc racing callipers on the front axle in combination with internally ventilated and grooved steel brake discs with a 380-millimetre diameter provide excellent deceleration values at the front axle. The rear axle is fitted with four-piston callipers and 355-millimetre discs.

Like the road-legal 911 GT2 RS, the 1,380-kilogram 935 is equipped with PSM (Porsche Stability Management) including traction control as well as an anti-lock braking system (ABS).

Thanks to a so-called map switch, these assistance systems can be adjusted separately or switched off completely, depending on the driving situation.

The new Porsche 935 can be ordered now from €701,948 plus country-specific VAT. Customers will receive their vehicles from June 2019 at exclusive delivery events.

1978 Porsche 935/78

Credit: Porsche Museum

The original 935 was introduced in 1976, to meet the Group 5 sports car regulations. Those rules allowed for ‘silhouette’ cars, although there was a limited definition of what that meant, allowing manufacturers to run bespoke racers that looked like road cars.

The first version of the 935 was very good, but it was continually developed by project engineer Norbert Singer, and by the following year featured several aerodynamic revamps.

By 1978 Porsche had taken that to extremes, with the 935/78’s elongated ‘whale tail’ designed to maximise airflow at the back of the car on the Mulsanne Straight.

Despite its popularity, the ‘Moby Dick’ 935/78 only took a single race win, in the 1978 Silverstone Six Hours, and struggled at La Sarthe with high fuel consumption and many technical issues.

In total, the various versions of the 935 won more than 100 sports car races. While a works Porsche 935 didn’t claim an outright Le Mans win, the Kremer team won the event in 1979, driving a customer 935 K3.

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