The Porsche 928 appeared forty years ago as the supposed successor to the 911. The V8 possessed powerful thrust and modern technology. When it was discontinued in 1995, no one gave it a second thought, but today Porsche fans seem to have forgiven it and are increasingly discovering that the 928 may not be a true sort-of-car, but it is a granturismo with a high level of everyday practicality, as evidenced by the rising second-hand prices.
Presented forty years ago at the Geneva Motor Show, the 928 with its mighty V8 was intended by the management in Weissach to take over from the 911 in the long term. Although the plan didn’t work out, the 928 has survived in 18 years of production 61.291 units sold. This meant that it was always well below the figures for the 911. At the time, Porsche had made the crucial error in thinking of the 928 as the successor to a thoroughbred sports car, when in fact it was a Gran Tourismo and, due to its weight alone, never came close to the handling of the rear-wheel-drive 911. The 911 fans’ criticism of the 928 was wrong, because it was an excellent car for everyday use – even with a reasonably large trunk and practical tailgate – and it was also suitable for the racetrack, and it has lost none of its fascination to this day.
Supposed 911 successor
The starting signal for the development of the 928 was given as early as 1971 and the specifications included a V8 at the front and the transaxle design, which was also used in the Porsche 924. The gearbox and differential on the rear axle were connected to the engine via a rigid transaxle tube. The result was a paritatic weight distribution on front and rear axle, at the same time the interior gained space.
Porsche had designed a water-cooled, short-stroke V8 made of aluminum with two camshafts per cylinder bank and hydraulic bucket strokes. With 240 hp and 350 Nm torque, the 4.5-liter engine was one of the top powerhouses in 1977. But throughout its construction it had to carry a heavy load, with the first model weighing in at 1450 kg. After all, it catapulted the 2+2 seater from a standstill to 100 km in 6.8 seconds. Even at high speeds it was unshakeable on the track, thanks to the so-called Weissach rear axle, which automatically went into a stabilizing toe-in under load (thrust or braking).