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The Porsche 959 is a 2 + 2 berlinetta, its form based aesthetically and structurally on the typ 911. It partly retains the latters mechanical lay-out and the boxed steel frame. This frame, whose central section has been reinforced with robust longitudinal side members, forms the "safety cell" of the 959 together with an integral roll-bar cage. Once the chassis has been built, it is degreased, washed, dried, treated for rust and finally painted. The bodywork panels, although they are similar to those of the 911, are composed of different materials and are assembled differently. The front bonnet and the doors are built in a special aluminum alloy (AlMg 0.4 Si 1.2), which reduces their weight by 57% compared to the steel components fitted on the 911.

The front end is the result of modeling a special plastic material previously tested on the Porsche 944 Turbo and the 928, an elastic polvurethane (PUR-RRIM), strengthened by the addition of 15% ground fiberglass. The other panels are made from six layers of fiberglass and aramide (commercially known as Kevlar, DuPont), immersed in a strong epoxy resin glue, giving the maximum strength with the minimum weight possible. Kevlar, widely used at the moment in Formula 1, has the highest tensile strength in ratio to weight, approximately 250/300 N/mm' , which makes it preferable to other composite materials even though it is very expensive. The roof has been strengthened with high rigidity expanded material, and the same end achieved on the floor by the application of sheets of Nomex.



The use of these sophisticated materials has meant the introduction of complex production methods. For example, Kevlar cannot be sanded once it has hardened. This led to the first ever application of certain high precision procedures to a road car; in particular each complete set of Kevlar bodywork parts for an individual 959, after modeling on the presses, is placed in an autoclave for three hours at 130 'C and a pressure of 2 Atm. Following this the roughed pieces are cut to their exact measurements using a high-pressure water jet, and then stuck to the steel frame using special adhesives. After the gluing, the frame/Kevlar panels complex is sprayed with a special epoxy base, and then, and then only, are the treated aluminum pieces fitted. This structure, which after the polyurethane bumpers have been added is the whole of the 959 monocoque, is then further treated with an intermediate epoxy base all over its surfaces, then painted with acrylic components (2-K) in normal or metallic colors, then dried in an oven at 80 'C. After all this the windows are added (a "Sekuriflex" windscreen is fitted at the front, with a sheet of plastic stuck to the inside windscreen face, so that in the event of a violent impact no glass splinters will land in the passenger cell).


Decklid covers the entire rear, not just the engine, as on typ 911


The resulting bodywork has demonstrated remarkable torsional rigidity and safety in crash situations, together with overall lightness. This is of particular importance in view of the demanding road use foreseen for the 959.