Porsche revives the legendary 935

In 1976, Porsche introduced the 935, a homologation version of the 911 turbo. Porsche’s new racer dominated FIA sports car racing in the late-’70s. Over the next decade the 935 experienced some aerodynamic changes, including the installation of a massive whale-tail in ’78, which earned it the affectionate nickname “Moby Dick.” By the early 1980s the FIA sanctions were more successful in killing “Moby Dick” than Captain Ahab, and in 1984 the 935 won its last major race.

But now the whale is back.

As part of its 70th anniversary celebration, Porsche unveiled its new 935 tribute car during the first day of Rennsport Reunion at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in California. Hot on the heels of a similar announcement from Ferrari, the German brand debuted the car on a concert stage, in the middle of the track, to a Coachella-like atmosphere of thumping bass and drooling spectators.

New Porsche 935 interior

“This spectacular car is a birthday present from Porsche Motorsport to fans all over the world,” Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser, Porsche vice president of motorsport and GT cars, said in a statement. “Because the car isn’t homologated for any series, engineers and designers didn’t have to follow the usual rules and thus had freedom in the development.”

If you squint your eyes, the car looks like a 935 “Moby Dick” from 1978. Flat frunk, angled front valance, and a rear tale/diffuser that looks like it snagged its wedding dress on an errant nail. Powering the new 935 is a 3.8-liter flat-six-twin-turbo engine capable good for 700 hp, paired to a seven-speed dual-clutch (PDK) automatic gearbox. Throw in a carbon-fiber racing wheel from the 911 GT3 R, and this is one badass beluga.

The engine and structure are based on the 911 GT2 RS road car, but here Porsche has swapped out nearly all of the body panels with carbon-fiber reinforced polymer. With a curb weight of 3000 pounds and a substantial aero kit for major downforce, the 935 is ready to jump out of the history books and onto today’s race tracks.

The new 935 has a list price of €701,948 (about $812,000) before VAT, but Porsche will announce U.S. pricing later on. Only 77 will be produced, which means this taste of Porsche motorsport heaven will be a rare whale, indeed.

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