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Porsche 928 – The Story

A driver's car built for passengers

Porsche 928 - The Story

The Porsche 328 Story

“A driver’s car built for passengers”

In 1971, the design work started on the end-of-the-seventies 911 H-model (that would come after the 911 G-model which was to be launched in 1973). The first plan was to create a wedge-shaped slantnose coupé with a rear-mounted V8 with five to six litre capacity.

1971 Porsche 911 Progr. H (928)
1971 Porsche 911 Progr. H (928) Rear mounted V8 can be seen on this 1971 supercar drawing that depicts the future 911. © Porsche
1971 Porsche 911 Progr. H (928)
911 with 5-6 litre V8. © Porsche

By 1972 it was decided that the engine will be at the front and the new name for the 911 H project was 928.

Porsche 928 wooden buck.
Porsche 928 wooden buck. A buck made in 1972. ©
Porsche 928 wooden buck from 1972
Porsche 928 interior model from 1972
Porsche 928 wooden buck from 1972
Porsche 928 wooden buck from 1972
Porsche 928 prototype
Note the hidden headlamps on the first clay model in 1972. © Porsche
Porsche 928 prototype
Clay model outdoors. © Porsche
Porsche 928 prototype (clay model)
This clay model has different designs on the left and on the right side. The right side shows the design similar to the first clay model and the left side shows the newer flush front bumper. © Porsche
Porsche 928 clay model / mock-up (1973)
Clay model covered with silver film. © Porsche

The then futuristic and later iconic looks of the 928 were created under the supervision of head of design, Anatole Lapine. To streamline the car, it got flush-mounted bumpers and special headlights. The headlights were positioned high for better night visibility, but were lowered into the body during the day. The 180-degree reversed pop-up headlamp construction allowed to wash the lenses even when the lamps were stowed away into their sockets.

Ernst Fuhrmann and Anatole Lapine
Head of Porsche from 1972, Ernst Fuhrmann (in the fifties he created the 4-cam Porsche racing engine) and Anatole “Tony” Lapine, head of styling at Porsche from 1969. Lapine was born in Riga, Latvia, and got his design education in USA. He worked for General Motors in USA and in Europe (at Opel) before joining Porsche. © Porsche
Porsche 928 clay model / mock-up (1973)
The 1973 clay model almost looks like the later production 928. The rear bumper is a bit different. © Porsche
Porsche 928 clay model / mock-up (1973)
1973 911 and 1973 928 mock-up. © Porsche
Porsche 928 clay model / mock-up (1973)
928 mock-up compared to the real 911. © Porsche
Internal presentation of the Porsche 928 clay model / mock-up in 1973
1973 November. Ferry Porsche and Louise Porsche have approved the design. Anatole Lapine in the middle. © Porsche
Porsche 928 shooting brake mock-up (clay model)
Shooting brake mock-up (1:1 clay model). © Porsche
Porsche 928 mock-up interior
Testing of air flow. © Porsche
Porsche 928 interior mock-up
Interior mock-up. © Porsche
Porsche 928 prototype
The front lamps on this prototype are similar to those that Lapine had used on the Opel GT (they roll open longitudinally – see video). © Porsche
Porsche 928 prototype engine
5-litre prototype engine. One of the focuses was testing the extra long engine belt. © Porsche
Porsche 928 prototype
1974 prototype. © Porsche
Porsche 928 prototype
928 2+2. © Porsche
Porsche 928 prototype
Head of R&D, Helmut Bott, with a prototype
Porsche 928 prototype in crash test
Crash testing in 1975. © Porsche
Porsche 928 prototype in crash test
Crash testing in 1976 of a near production car. American market version can be told by the black rear bumperettes. © Porsche
Porsche 928 prototype in crash test
© Porsche
Aerodynamics testing of Porsche 928 in wind tunnel
In the wind tunnel. © Porsche
Porsche 928 prototypes in Africa
Testing in Africa. No Porsche crests on the cars tells they are prototypes. © Porsche
Porsche 928
Pre-production car (note the uneven front lid gaps). © Porsche
Porsche 928 engine production
V8 engine assembly. © Porsche
© Porsche
Porsche 928 assembly
Almost finished. © Porsche

The 928 press kits were unveiled in the beginning of 1977 and the car was publicly shown at the Geneva motor show in March. These were the days when Porsche company itself was still really active in marketing – for example, one of the Porsche AG ads said “Write numbers 9 2 8 on your business card and send it to us to have a 928 sales catalogue mailed to you”.

The 1977 Frankfurt IAA (International Motor Show Germany) was the second public showing of the new Porsche 928. It took place in September following the Geneva Auto Salon held earlier in March. The 928 appeared at the dealerships in the summer of 1977 as a 1978 model. The internal code for the right-hand-drive versions started with 927.

Porsche 928 factory
US version being finished. © Porsche

Thanks to front engine and rear transmission, the car was ideally balanced. The engine lid, front fenders and doors were made of aluminium, saving 35 kg/77 lb. The steel body was zinc-galvanized. The equipment of the luxurious grand tourer included steering wheel height adjustment and an instrument cluster that moved together with it, power windows, central locking, cruise control. The car was even engineered to have sun visors for the rear passengers. Optionally available was an additional air cooling for the rear of the car and cooling for the glove compartment.

Porsche 928
Despite the luxurious standard equipment, the passenger side mirror was a paid option for some reason. © Porsche
Porsche 928 engine room
The small container with the red cap in the early cars was for the windscreen washer detergent called “Porsche Special Silicone Remover”. © Porsche
Porsche 928
Headlamps out. © Porsche
Porsche 928 headlamps: early USA version vs European version
USA version headlamp vs European version (later also in USA). ©
Porsche 928
© Porsche
Porsche 928
© Porsche
Porsche 928
© Porsche
Porsche 928
© Porsche
Porsche 928
© Porsche
Porsche 928
A special paint had to be invented – first it had to be elastic to use on the soft bumpers and secondly it had to leave the same shade of color on different materials – steel, aluminium and polyurethane. © Porsche
Porsche 928 rear window wiper
Smart parallelogram linkage gives straight lateral movement to rear-window wiper. The motor is not in the rear hatch, but in the car (the wiper works only when the hatch is closed). © Porsche
Porsche 928 rear lamp
Lamp design contributed to the interesting look of the 928. © Porsche


Porsche 928
15″ Phone-dial wheels. © Porsche
Red Porsche 928
16″ Phone-dial wheels. © Porsche
Porsche 928 brown door panels
The 928 has timeless design everywhere. © Porsche
Porsche 928 interior
The 928 offered a completely new level of comfort, compared to the 911 for example. © Porsche
Porsche 928 prototype interior
The instrument cluster moves together with the steering wheel. © Porsche
Porsche 928 prototype interior
Early car shows rear ashtray in front of the lockable storage compartment. Upper portion of rear seat backs can be folded forward to extend the rear-deck luggage room. © Porsche
Porsche 928 see-through picture
© Porsche
Porsche 928 rear axle
Elasto-kinematic Weissach rear axle. © Porsche
Porsche 928 suspension, engine, transmission
Thanks to the front-mounted engine and rear-mounted transmission, the 928 has almost 50:50 weight distribution which makes the car’s handling predictable and in extreme situations better controllable. So, it’s a passive safety feature in addition to the handling advantages. © Porsche
Porsche 928 4.5 V8 engine
© Porsche
Porsche 928 4.5-litre V8 engine
© Porsche
Porsche 928 4.5 V8 engine, front view
The 4.5-litre V8 weighs 236 kg/520 lb which was light in the seventies. © Porsche
Porsche 928 4.5 V8 engine drawing
90 degree V. © Porsche
Porsche 928 engine components
The engine has 108 kg/238 lb of aluminium. © Porsche
Porsche 928 blueprint
In June 1977, the Porsche 928 was the pace car of the Le Mans 24 h race. The 928 was even voted as the Car Of The Year 1978 as it was so innovative. © Porsche
Porsche 928 - Car of the year 1978
© Porsche
Porsche 928 Auto Des Jahres, Car of the Year
“Car of the Year”. © Porsche
Porsche 928 poster
“Car of the decade”. © Porsche

Endurance test driver Gerhard Plattner planned a trip for the new Porsche 928. The car was shipped from port Emden, Germany, to New York. On February 12, 1978, Gerhard Plattner and racing driver Rudi Lins, both Austrians, started their test drive from New York. They drove via Chicago, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Seattle and Canada to Fairbanks in Alaska.

Then, a 4000+ mile non-stop leg back through the whole of Canada to Montreal. After the 10.000 mile trip in America, the car was flown to Frankfurt in Germany and driven via Stockholm in Sweden to Rovaniemi on the Arctic Circle in northern Finland. The next leg would take the test drivers to Moscow, but as the Soviet Union was afraid of spies, foreigners were allowed to drive only 400 km a day and banned from driving in the night. A special permission was organized, so these restrictions didn’t have to be followed. This 928 might have been the first Porsche car to drive on the soil of Russia, the main state of the Soviet Union.

After Moscow, the route took via Belarus (a state of Soviet Union at that time) to Warsaw in Poland and Berlin in Germany. Although there was another 1000 km to be driven before the finish in Paris, France, it was so close that the drivers felt they had already arrived. The total length of the test drive was around 30.000 km.

As the car was driven at high speeds, 7 litres of oil was consumed by the engine and the average fuel consumption was 15.2 L/100 km. The car was fitted with additional 80 litre fuel tank behind the driver in order to minimize the reliance on refilling and to be able to drive through the nights.

1978 Porsche 928 New York - Moscow - Paris endurance test
1978 New York-Moscow-Paris endurance test Porsche 928 had an aluminium panel installed under the engine and the gearbox. © Porsche
1978 Le Mans 24 h race start: European Car Of The Year, the Porsche 928, is leading the pack. While the 928 did not see much racing action, it served as a Le Mans pace car 4 years in a row from 1977 to 1980. © Porsche

After receiving the Car of the Year title for its innovative product, Porsche carried out a research project for BMFT (Bundesministerium für Forschung und Technologie), German Ministry for Research and Technology between 1978-1979. The focus was on fuel consumption. A low-power 3-litre V8 with cylinder deactivation and a 2.2-litre 4-cylinder 16-valve engine were suggested together with a double-clutch (!) transmission and ABS brakes. This Porsche study, number 995, doesn’t have much to do with the Porsche 928, but on the drawings it shows a car very similar to 928.

Porsche project 995 BMFT
BMFT-Porsche 995 study was just theorethical, no cars were made. © Porsche

In September 1979, at the IAA Frankfurt motor show, the Porsche 928 S was launched for Europe. The 221 kW (300 DIN hp) 928 S cost 26% more than the 177 kW (240 DIN hp) 928 in Europe.

1979 IAA Frankfurt motor show, Porsche 928 S
1979 IAA Frankfurt motor show, Porsche 928 S. This is a frame from the TV show where the German presenter also talks about Porsche developing an automatic stop/start system to save fuel under traffic lights. It was in 1979! Such a system went into production 30 years later, in 2009 with the Panamera.


928 S with its front spoiler lip and the original 928
928 S with its front spoiler lip and the original 928. © Porsche
Porsche 928 S front spoiler
928 S front spoiler. © Porsche
Porsche 911 SC, 911 Turbo, 924, 924 Turbo, 928 and 928 S
Porsche’s line-up: 911 SC, 911 Turbo, 924, 924 Turbo, 928 and 928 S. © Porsche
Porsche 928 S side view
928 S front and rear spoilers can be seen. © Porsche
Red Porsche 928 S
These strong 16″ forged wheels were made by Fuchs and called “Flat-dish”. © Porsche
Porsche 928 headlamp up
Headlamp up. © Porsche
Porsche 928 & 928 S
928 with original 15″ Phone-dial wheels and 928 S with side protection mouldings and 16″ Flat-dish Fuchs wheels. © Porsche
Ferry Porsche's 70th birthday.
1979 September 19. Ferry Porsche’s 70th birthday. The 928 S is probably a present from the factory – and if so, it must have had some special modifications for Ferry. © Porsche
Porsche 928 S, USA version
American version 928 S can be told by the side marker lamps and the rear bumperettes. © Porsche
Porsche 928 S poster
928 S poster. © Porsche

In October 1980, another research study based on the 928 was unveiled. Codenamed “960 PES” (Porsche Experimental Structure), the car was built using high-strength low-alloy (HSLA) steel and a full-aluminium front end (not just the skin).

Porsche project 960
960 P.E.S. research project. © Porsche
Porsche project 960
This is how aluminium has deformed in a crash test. © Porsche
Porsche project 960 child seat
Driver’s seat belt fixed to the seat and center mounted child seat. © Porsche
Porsche 960 logo
Interestingly, number 960 was a few years later used for the product code of the 928’s 4-speed automatic transmission. © Porsche
Porsche 928 aluminium body made by Alusuisse/Alusingen
The Alusuisse/Alusingen aluminium body weighed just 151 kg/333 lb. © Porsche

In 1981, “50 years of Porsche company” (1931-1981) anniversary edition Porsches (928 and 928 S among them) were made in Meteor metallic with Wine Red interior. These were 1982 model year cars and their most distinctive feature was Ferry Porsche’s signature stitched on the headrests.

Porsche 928
Option M406 “50 years of Porsche company” anniversary edition, Meteor metallic with Wine Red interior. © Porsche
Porsche 928
Wine Red interior. © Porsche
Porsche 928 Interior
M406 interior. © Porsche
Porsche 928
Ferry Porsche’s signature in M406 car. © Porsche

Another 1982 model year edition was the Weissach Edition (M462). These cars were painted in light bronze metallic and had medium brown interior plus a matching luggage set. 1982 model year saw the last 4.5-litre 928 made.

In 1982, a 24 hour world speed record for series production cars was set at Nardo ring in Italy with the 4.7-litre 928 S. Despite the around 30 refueling stops, the achieved average speed was an astonishing 156 mph/251 km/h.

1982 Nardo, Porsche 928 S record run
1982, Nardo ring in Italy, the team of drivers Gerhard Plattner, Peter Lovett and Peter Zbinden covered 3749 miles/6033 km in 24 hours. © Porsche
Porsche 928 S 24 hour speed record poster
The aerodynamic 928 S was used for the world record attempt instead of the little bit more powerful 911 Turbo. © Porsche

The 928 versions were different for Europe and for USA and Japan. The 928 S version was finally introduced in USA for 1983 model year, three years later than in Europe, but it was again a low-power car compared to the European 928 S. The 4.7-litre American market 928 S had approximately the same amount of power than the discontinued 4.5-litre 928 had had in Europe.

In addition to an aluminium body built by Alusuisse/Alusingen in 1981, Porsche built another body for an experimental all-aluminium 928 in 1983.

Aluminium Porsche 928
1983 Aluminium-928, internally called “D49”. © Porsche

At the initiative of Porsche’s test drivers, one 928 S was converted to a racing car. In addition to the suspension modifications, the engine was tuned from 221 kW (300 DIN hp) to 250 kW (340 DIN hp) and the weight was lowered from 1450 kg (3196 lb) to 1350 kg (2976 lb) – despite the safety cage that adds weight.

Porsche 928 S racing car
Porsche 928 S racing car
© Margus Holland
Porsche 928 S racing car, safety cage
© Porsche
Porsche 928 S racing car on Nürburgring
928 S at the Nürburgring in 1983. © Porsche

The 928 S racing car was used in a few races, but in 1983 it didn’t meet the European Touring Car Championship requirement of 5000 production cars sold in a year and that meant the 928 could not become an interesting choice for racing use.

There was a 24 hour race held for amateurs in stock cars at the Snetterton race track in England. In June 1983, a 928 S was signed up. Driven by Tony Dron, Win Percy, Andy Rouse and Phil Dowsett, the car won the race.

1983 Snetterton Willhire 24h race winner Porsche 928
The winner of the 1983 Willhire 24 hour race at Snetterton. © Porsche

Another 928 S racing car was privately built by Raymond Boutinaud for the 1983 Le Mans 24 hour race. He teamed up with drivers Patrick Gonin and Alain Le Page. After an incident on the track, the car needed a time-consuming solution to get back in the race. It finished the race with 234 laps, but this was not enough to get classified. The winning Porsche 956 had covered 370 laps and for classification 70% of the winners laps – 259 laps – were needed.

1983 Le Mans, Porsche 928 S
1983 Le Mans, 928 S that finished the race, but was not classified. © Porsche

While the 928 engines made for America and Japan had electronic fuel injection (EFI) from 1980 model year, cars sold in Europe were equipped with EFI at last in 1983 for the 1984 model year cars. At the same time, the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) was made available. The 928 S with EFI was called 928 S2 (928 S Series 2) in the UK.

Raymond Boutinaud entered his 928 S again at the 1984 Le Mans race, but the engine had an issue this time and it was not pushed to the limits. As a result, Boutinaud’s team covered 255 laps, which was 70.8% of the 360 laps of the winning Porsche 956. The 928 placed 22nd overall and 3rd in Group B.

1984 Le Mans, 928 S
1984 Le Mans, 928 S. © Porsche

In the beginning of 1984, the making of a special 928 for Ferry Porsche’s 75th birthday began in Weissach. The “928-4” was a stretched long wheelbase (LWB) 928 and it had a longer roof creating more space for the rear occupants. The 928-4 had the front and rear bumper design that the production 928 got two years later.

Ferry Porsche's 75th birthday present 928
1984 September 19, Ferry Porsche’s 75th birthday present is a one-off Porsche 928-4. Note the front fender shape of the later 928 S4. © Porsche
Porsche 928-4
he front lamps of the 928-4 were not the usual pop-ups, but unique projector lamps. In 1984! © Porsche
928-4 was extended by 10"/25 cm
928-4 was extended by 10″/25 cm. The B-pillars were reshaped for them to be more upright which eased the access to the rear seats. The roofline was modified in order to fit adult travellers on the rear seats. © Porsche
Porsche 928-4
Similar a rear bumper and rear lamps would appear in production 2 years later. Just that the rear panel would have the PORSCHE letters embossed on production cars. Actually, the 928-4 was later fitted with such a rear bumper. This is an early photo showing the original rear bumper of the 928-4.
Porsche 928-4 projector headlamps
The front bumper and front bumper lamps seen on this 1984 car went into production in 1986. © Porsche
Porsche 928-4 interior
The unique color of the 928-4’s interior. © Porsche
Porsche 928-4 rear seats
There’s 8″/20 cm more legroom and the rear seats are taller than in the normal 928. © Porsche
Porsche 928 telephone
Telephone as seen in the Porsche Exclusive catalogue issued in November 1984. © Porsche
Porsche 928 Exclusive seats and wood interior trim
Special Recaro seats and wooded interior trim (note the door panel) as seen in the Porsche Exclusive catalogue issued in November 1984. It must be said that only the wooden parts could be ordered and the seats must have been just experimental. © Porsche
Goodyear Eagle Porsche 928 & Porsche 962 poster
1984/1985 Goodyear poster showing 962 and 928 S. © Porsche

From 1985 model year, the USA and Japan market 928 S were equipped with 5.0-litre 4-cam 32-valve engines. Fans call these cars as S3. In the second half of 1985, from model year 1986, Australian market 928 S were also equipped with the S3 engine. The S3 could be ordered also in Europe, but despite larger capacity and double the valves, the S3 engines had less power because of the catalytic converter than the 4.7-litre European 928 S. Still, the S3 cars are one of the most collectable 928s as they have the original 928 body and a 5-litre engine that has “V8 4C 32V” proudly written on the intake manifold. From the end of 1985, the cars were equipped with brakes with aluminium callipers.

In October 1985, two Porsche 959 rallye cars were entered at the 1985 Pharaoh Rally in Egypt. One of them won the rallye, but second place was taken with the Porsche team support car, a Mercedes G-class fitted with the Porsche 928 S3 engine!

Mercedes G-wagen with Porsche 928 S3 engine
4WD Mercedes G, originally fitted with a 2.8-litre Mercedes engine, was fitted with a 5-litre 928 S3 engine. © Porsche
Mercedes G-wagen with Porsche 928 S3 engine
928 S3 engine can be seen in the off-roader. © Porsche

In 1986, for the 1987 model year, the 928 was fitted with the front and rear bumpers seen on the 928-4 concept car 2 years earlier, plus a new rear spoiler. Because of the new shape of the bumpers, the front and rear fenders had to be modified, too, like on the 928-4. The new car was called 928 S4. The reason for the naming was simple – before the S4, the 928 engine had already evolved to S, S2 and S3. The S4 basically inherited the S3 engine, just that it put out more power and had different intake manifold (now written “32V” on it, but not “V8 4C” anymore).

928 S4 and 928 S fenders
This photo shows why the 928 S4 and 928 S fenders are not exchangeable. © Porsche
928 S4
928 S4. © Porsche
aluminium on all 928 porsche
Front lid, front fenders and doors are of aluminium on all 928. © Porsche
Porsche 928 S4
Note the oval large singe exhaust pipe end and huge rear lamps of the S4 compared to the original 928. © Porsche
Porsche 928 S4, American market version
USA version can be told by the bumperettes. © Porsche
Porsche 928 S4/GT rear lamps
© Porsche
Porsche 928 S4 rear spoiler hinge
Only the early 928 S4 rear spoiler had hinges, but it was soon clear they are not needed for cleaning the window. © Porsche
Porsche 928 S4
Note the horizontal connection surface between the bumpers and the fenders – that’s completely different compared to the original 928. © Porsche
Porsche 928 S4, American market version
USA version can be told by the side marker lights. © Porsche
1986 Porsche 928 S4 Bonneville record poster
1986 August 7, Bonneville Salt Flats, Porsche Motorsports of North America director Al Holbert did 171 mph with the new Porsche 928 S4, a record for a stock production car. © Porsche
1986 speed run at the Bonneville Salt Flats
This is the car that Al Holbert used for the 1986 speed run at the Bonneville Salt Flats (it was red at that event, although it is originally a white car). The car was then prepared by Fabcar as the Rapid Response Vehicle for the next year’s IMSA GT events. VIN of this car is supposedly WP0JB092ZGS860062 which tells it is a 1986 model year prototype as the first production cars had 1987 model year VINs. This car doesn’t exist anymore in the form it is pictured here, in 2002 it was converted into a racing car.

In 1986, S4 engines were sold to marine industry. A newsletter from Wizeman Marine from September 1986 advertised a marine engine based on the new 928 S4 engine. Separately from that affair, Porsche experimentally even created bi-turbo racing boat engines called 928 S4 Offshore.

Experimentally, a 928 S4 cabriolet version was made in 1987, internally called “H21”.

Porsche 928 Cabriolet
A one-off beauty. © Porsche
928 S4 Cabriolet study
928 S4 Cabriolet study. © Porsche
Porsche 928 Cabriolet interior
No leg room at the rear. © Porsche
American version bumperettes
American version bumperettes. © Porsche

In 1987, the long wheelbase 928-4 concept was also pursued further and the result was a 4-door 928! Two cars were made, one based on European 928 S4 and the other on American market S4. The shape of the roof at the rear was different – the American version has a nicer flyline.

The European version 4-door 928, internally called "H50"
The European version 4-door 928, internally called “H50”. © Porsche
© Porsche
As there is no B-pillar anymore, the seat belts are integrated into the seat. Such a door concept was later used on the 2003 Mazda RX-8. © Porsche
Note the roof shape on the European version compared to the American version. © Porsche
The American version can be told by the side marker lights and polished wheels. © Porsche

Both the 4-door 928 and the 928 Cabriolet were made on Porsche’s order by Karrosseriewerke Weinsberg (soon to be acquired by ASC which provided convertible tops for Porsche 944 Cabriolets from 1989).

Although the first prototype of the 928 S4 Club Sport (initially called “Leichtbau”) was created already in 1986, the production cars were launched as 1988 models. The CS had wider 8″ front and 9″ rear forged “Club Sport” wheels, better tyres (Bridgestone), sports shock absorbers and a weight reduction program. It is not exactly clear how much weight was saved on the production cars, but the numbers were counted during the prototype building: deletion of air conditioning -35 kg/77 lb, manually adjustable seats -20 kg/44 lb, no underbody panelling -15 kg/33 lb, lighter exhaust, smaller battery, no rear window wiper, lighter alternator and lighter starter, no rear sun visors, lighter wheels.

Porsche 928 S4 CS
928 S4 CS (1987 prototype “H48” on the photo). Club Sport’s wider wheels can be seen. © Porsche

One of the S4 SC prototypes (“H53”) was experimentally equipped with the PDK double-clutch transmission that Porsche tested on its racing cars.

1980s PDK transmission
Group C racing PDK tested on 956, 962, 944 and 928. © Porsche

A few 928 S4 Sport Equipment cars were sold in UK. They can be positioned between the S4 and the CS.


In 1988, for the 1989 model year, the 928 cars were equipped with digital trip and warning displays in the instrument cluster (PIDS, Porsche Information and Diagnosis System) and with tyre pressure monitoring (RDK, Reifendruck-Kontrolle). For the 1989 model year, the 928 GT version was introduced. It was basically a S4 with a bit more power and available only with manual transmission. There wasn’t much special about the GT version, but as the 928 was a special car already, then every touch that made it more special, put more icing on the cake. In January 1989, Porsche dealers were informed that it was planned to produce 200 cars in the GT trim (option M639). It was probably just a marketing trick to get more sales. Despite the introduction of the GT version, Porsche sales were dropping (they had been dropping after 1986). Soon it was decided that the GT will not be a limited edition car and it will stay in production as a separate version. At the same time it was decided that the S4 will be offered only with automatic transmission.

Red Porsche 928 GT
© Porsche
Porsche 928 GT logo
© Porsche
Porsche 928 GT 2-color interior
928 GT with 2-tone interior. ©
Porsche 928 GT 2-color door panel
2-tone door panel. ©
Porsche 928 rear hatch opening button
There are such pull-buttons on both sides for opening the rear hatch. © Porsche
<a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">© Porsche</a>
© Porsche
Porsche 928 GT rear seat folded down
© Porsche
Porsche 928 GT tool set
On-board tool set. © Porsche
Porsche 928 door pocket open
Two-position armrests were a cool feature from the start of the production of the 928. © Porsche

In the end of the eighties there was a plan to make all Porsche models a bit similar to each other, so, 911-style front fenders were proposed for the 928. A scale model was made, but it didn’t look good and the idea was dropped.

Porsche 928 scale model with different front fenders
Scale model shows a new proposed front fender design. © Porsche

In 1989, Porsche Exclusive played with the idea of hidden pop-up headlights like on the 928’s first clay model in 1972. These hidden headlamps made it to the Porsche Exclusive brochure, but it is not known if anyone actually ordered them. The other new feature from Porsche Exclusive was the rear wheel arch widening modification, option XC1. Only around 10 cars were done with XC1.

Porsche 928 with Exclusive hidden headlights
Hidden headlights by Porsche Exclusive. The photo also shows the super rare rear wheel arch widening together with increased track (option XC1) and accordingly modified rear part of the side sills (XB4). © Porsche

Instead of the XC1 rear wheel arch widening, from 1990 the complete rear fender widening option XX8 came from Porsche Exclusive. Around eighty model year 1991 cars were made with XX8 rear fenders with more than half of the XX8 cars going to a single country – Japan!

Porsche 928 XX8/GTS rear fenders
Porsche Exclusive option XX8 rear fenders for 1991 model year. The first car with XX8 was built in July 1990. © Porsche
Porsche 928 Exclusive rootwood shift knob
Exclusive rootwood parts: shift knob (option XC8 for light rootwood, XC9 for dark rootwood) and interior trim consisting of central console, ashtray cover and door panels (option XL4 for light rootwood and XL5 for dark rootwood. © Porsche
Porsche 928 GT 1991 model year interior
928 GT gear stick as of 1991 model year can be seen. © Porsche
Porsche 928 rear seats and sun visors
Rear sun visors were a cool feature from the beginning of 928 production in the seventies. © Porsche
Porsche 928 with trailer hitch
928 with a trailer hitch (spare part code 928.722.003.00). The car has Design 90 (D90) wheels which were available on 1990 and 1991 model year cars. © Porsche

The trailer hitch on a 928 sounds weird and rare, but there were even more strange items officially available, like the special mirrors in case you towed a caravan (spare part code 928.731.051.02 for left and .052.02 for right side). Compared to this, a roof rack sounds like a usual thing, but it didn’t end there – you could order a luggage rack, roof suitcase box, ski box, surf board carrier, canoe carrier, regular bike carrier and race bike carrier – all these were officially offered items with 928 spare part codes!

The final change in the appearance of the 928 came in 1991 for the 1992 model year, when the 5.4-litre GTS replaced the 5.0-litre 928 S4 and GT. The GTS was unveiled at the Frankfurt motor show in September 1991. The 5.4-litre engine capacity was achieved thanks to a new crankshaft. The GTS got aerodynamic mirrors, bigger brakes, 17″ wheels with 255 mm wide rear tyres, wider rear fenders and a reflective rear panel with PORSCHE-lettering. Nice!

Porsche 928 GTS
© Porsche
Porsche 928 GTS
The 17″ diameter 964 Cup-look wheels are 7.5″ wide at the front and 9″ wide at the back. © Porsche
Porsche 928 GTS
The 964 Cup-look wheels were used on 1992 and 1993 model year GTS. The car looks more modern without the side trim strip.
Porsche 928 GTS
993-style wheels were used on 1994 and 1995 model year GTS. Side protection trim strip on the rear fender is very short because of the new shape of the fender. © Porsche
Porsche 928 GTS
The so much nicer exterior mirrors got their deisgn from 964 Turbo. © Porsche
Porsche 928 GTS Euro version vs USA version
European version vs American version (with its rear bumperettes and side marker lamps). © Porsche
Porsche 928 GTS
Note the side turn signal light on the front fender – it tells it is a European/Rest of World version. © Porsche
Porsche 928 GTS
American version can be told by the side marker lamps and no turn blinkers on the side. © Porsche
Porsche 928 GTS
European and RoW (Rest of World) version. © Porsche
Porsche 928 GTS headlamps up
Headlamps up. © Porsche
Porsche 928 GTS engine room
5.4 V8. © Porsche
Porsche 928 GTS interior with manual transmission
Less than three thousand 5.4 V8 engines were made making its special crankshaft an expensive part. © Porsche

As a marketing trick, the GTS became available in America as a 1993 model, although it was still the very beginning of 1992. These cars have 1993 model year VIN and build code M718 which tells that the car is equipped with the next model year VIN (the car is older than the VIN shows).

The 928 GTS beat the 24 hour world speed record that the 928 S had hold for 11 years. The new average speed record set in 1993 at Nardo ring was 165 mph/265 km/h. This is average speed over the 24 hour period that included the frequent pit stops for refuelling and also the driver changes!

1993 Nardo circuit, Porsche 928 GTS
1993, Porsche 928 GTS at the 7.8 miles/12.5 km long Nardo high-speed ring. © Porsche
Nardo test track
Nardo ring located in the “heel” of the Italian “boot” was opened in 1975 by FIAT. It belongs to Porsche Engineering since 2012.

From 1994, Porsche Exclusive offered flared front fenders and 8″ wide front wheels with option X38. These were regular shape front fenders, just a bit wider, not to be confused with the front wheel arch add-ons used on Japanese market cars.

The 928 was a unique model in a sense that Porsche made so many concept cars on it or used its engine elsewhere. The luxurious 928 was as expensive as the 911 Turbo and it never sold in big numbers – around sixty thousand were sold in 18 years.