Porsche 928 1977 - 1995 - Model history
The Porsche 928 was the German vehicle manufacturer's answer to a problem that never came to light.
In the early 1970s, Porsche President Ernst Fuhrmann and his colleagues set out to think about the future of the company. Leaders of the German giant have begun to reflect on the company's situation in the event that sales of the famous model 911, which was then in its tenth year of production, unexpectedly fall without plans for a successor. The company had been in a similar situation before and Fuhrmann compared the position then with the 356, which had a lifespan of “only” 15 years. The aforementioned period was also quite difficult for auto companies. The 911s, for the first time, brought new standards for exhaust, safety and noise, especially in the US market where half of Porsche sales went, so there was a belief that the XNUMX engine with rear engine and air cooling would not last long bear with competition.
The reasons cited have led Porsche to start thinking about a successor to the 911, which was supposed to deliver the quality and performance of earlier Porsche models, but also to meet all the latest standards in the future. That meant the engine had to be put forward and be water-cooled - a technology that was heralded as the future of Porsche. The new car had to be more comfortable and luxurious than its predecessor, and it also had to have a better finish to combat Mercedesa i BMW. And finally, the car had to have a timeless design as in the case 911 since Porsche has planned the life span of this model to a minimum of ten years without major changes. At that point, Porsche had only three models in its history - the 356, 911 and 914, each of which was done in collaboration with Volkswagen or based on already existing projects of the largest German auto company.
This meant that it was the first brand new Porsche, but still the general idea was finished just days after Fuhrmann presented the idea to the company leaders. By 1973, Porsche had decided that this car would be powered by a larger water-cooled V8 engine, and that it would also have ILS suspension, disc brakes and even weight distribution. Although Porsche represents most of the new models at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the all-new 928 was presented to the audience at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1977, and the German carmaker chose the showroom to showcase the first Porsche, 356, 27 years old. earlier. The audience was surprised to see this car as something brand new.
It was a 2 + 2 hatchback coupe that closely resembled a major American competitor, a Chevrolet Corvette. However, although the two cars were quite similar, the 928 was significantly lighter (1,440 kg vs 1,575 kg) and provided a more exclusive interior. As with most models from the company, aerodynamics and safety measures played a big role. The 4.5L V8 engine was housed up front and was developing 240hp in Europe while the American model had only 219hp due to stricter exhaust laws. The weight was distributed 51/49 giving this car a sporty performance and on-road demeanor. The standard transmission was a brand new five-speed manual that was done in a similar style to the 911, while the only option was Daimler's three-speed automatic.
What distinguished the 928 from the competition was the suspension with which the buyer was getting a great combination of a sports car that was just as comfortable and luxurious as the most expensive Mercedes. The performance was also enviable. The 928 was able to accelerate to 100 km / h in just seven seconds and reach a top speed of 230 km / h. Despite the high price tag, which was as high as $ 28,000, reporters and buyers did not hide their enthusiasm and the sale turned out to be quite promising. As early as its first year, the 928 was named European Car of the Year, though it had more competition than the all-new BMW 7-Series and Ford Granada, making it the first sports car to be awarded this award. For 1979, Porsche also offered European customers a 928S model that had a maximum of 300 hp and with a few aerodynamic changes, such as a new bumper and a small spoiler, could reach 100 km / h in just 6.2 seconds.
American AutoCar magazine had the opportunity to test this car and concluded that at that moment there was no better choice if you wanted to combine the performance of the 911 with the comfort and elegance of the Jaguar XJ-S. Over the next few years, the 928 did not change significantly with the exception of the new engine. Sales were going as expected although by 1980 the price had risen to as much as $ 38,000 and solid results were also achieved in auto sports. This is especially true of endurance races such as the 24 Hours of Daytona and Le Mans, and great results were also achieved on acceleration tests at the famous Bonneville. That year, the audience was introduced to the new 4.7L V8 engine, which developed 300 hp and also had higher torque than the 4.5L engine, and in 1982 was offered a new four-speed automatic transmission.
In 1985, the 5.0L V8 engine with 306 hp debuted, which was more efficient and economical, and the 928 already began to make a significant difference in performance compared to the Corvette and Italian rivals, and for the first time, ABS came as standard equipment. Car & Driver magazine had the first opportunity to test 1985 928 and recorded acceleration to 100 km / h in 5.7 seconds with a top speed of 250 km / h. By the late 1980s, Porsche continued to upgrade the 928 with higher performance and more luxurious equipment bringing the price jump from $ 75,000. In the early 1990s, Porsche also introduced a new 5.4L V8 engine that developed 345 hp in a desire to compete with new rivals from Europe, Japan and America, but even with the new 928 engine it failed to hide its age.
By the mid-1990s, sales had dropped significantly in all world markets, and were particularly damaged in North America, where only 1995 copies were sold in 77. The 928 was quietly shut down after that year with no direct replacement, and interestingly, over its long history it was the only Porsche GT car and the only Porsche with a V8 engine to advance until the introduction of the 2002 Cayenne SUV. During its 18-year history, a total of 66,000 928 left the Porsche factory in Stuttgart. At the very beginning, the collector's specimens were those made in smaller specimens with more powerful engines, but in previous years, most 928s received the status of collector's cars.
Although the 928 began life as a replacement for the 911, Porsche's most famous model is still in production and it can be concluded that it is better than ever before. But 928 also smiles a bright future. Namely, it was recently announced that Porsche is considering the option to present a coupe version of the Panamera sedan that would carry the 928 designation…
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