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Rocket Sled Redux: A New Porsche 928?

July 14, 2011 by Matt

Porsche 928

Autoblog reported rumors yesterday that a next-generation Porsche 928 might be in the works in Stuttgart:

[I]t’s not surprising that rumors of a Porsche 928 revival have been spreading like wildfire across the dry plains of the internet over the last several years. The logical reasoning sees Porsche shortening its Panamera platform and ejecting the rear seat to make such a grand touring coupe, which would leave the manufacturer with a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive machine in the tradition of its old 928.

According to the Brits at Autocar, such a beast could be christened, rather imaginatively, 929 and be ready for the market as early as 2014, coinciding with the launch of the second-generation Panamera.

I would be very pleased if such a car saw the light of day. It would, as reported, fill a hole in Porsche’s model range, and would add interest to the big, RWD GT coupe segment. Granted, some would say that segment is oversaturated as-is, but it is a personal favorite, so I say the more the merrier. Such cars are often the best-looking offerings in a manufacturer’s lineup, and who out there wouldn’t like a little more beauty surrounded by Camrys and Accords on the commute home? Bring it on, Porsche.

On a related note, the report made me wax nostalgic for the old 928. It’s fascinated me for years, ever since I saw my first one in Europe in the late ’80s. Even as a kid, the styling made an impression on me, with its exotic, bumper-less contours and combination wedge/bean shape. It looked like a spaceship, like the alien craft on the ’80s Disney classic The Flight of the Navigator, and I’m happy to observe that its looks have hardly aged, if at all. To my eye, it still looks fresh, clean and striking even 30 years after its introduction. The pre-facelift 928, especially the rear, is my vantage point of choice. The taillights looked, and still look, like nothing else:

Porsche 928 Rear View

They inspire an expression which really could be said about most Porsche styling: So weird, but yet so right. I remember thinking the same thing about the 911 the first few times I saw it—it was undeniably odd-looking, but there was something weirdly pleasing about its bugeyes, upright windshield and tapering back. Like the 928, it’s offbeat, but it works.

The 928 wasn’t all show, either. Porsche equipped it with a specially-designed 4.5l (eventually increased to 5.4l) V8, SOHC at first, but quickly progressing to DOHC. The final output was of the 5.4l version was a substantial 345 hp, enough to move the big coupe with some alacrity.

Porsche 928 Interior

I’ve heard the car can be a maintenance hog—the valvetrain of the big V8 as well as the rear-mounted transaxle being particularly troublesome—but I would still like to own an early 5-speed. As much as I like grease under my fingernails, the labor aspect of maintenance wouldn’t bother me, but the legendarily steep Porsche parts price would. I’ll probably have to relegate this one to the category of pipe dream, but I remain a fan.

Filed under: Aesthetics, News, Porsche

2 Comments

  1. John D says:

    This car always appealed to me, as well. Mostly because it was front engine, RWD, and had some guts to it. Until I knew any better, I thought it more of a REAL sports car than the 911 (mainly because it had some decent power under the hood).

    I also like the 944 turbo for many of the same reasons. It’s styling has held up over the decades and I didn’t realize how well until I was able to get in one a couple of years ago and found the interior straight from the early 80s (as in, feeling extremely dated). It’s not a car I would want to sit in, but one that I would want to see myself in from the outside. The later models also had some decent power, though I hear the maintenance is a pretty atrocious.

    • Matt says:

      I’d like the 944 better if it weren’t just a 4-cyl. I know it’s as good as 4-cyl as anyone has made, but it’s just too few cylinders for a high-end sports car. The car may go like stink and stay stuck to the tarmac, but the presence of that cylinder count just seems, well, cheap. Don’t really have an issue with the interior, but then, as you know, I’m the world’s biggest ’80s car fan. :)

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