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Porsche 928 (1977-1995)

Premiere: 1977 March 16, Geneva motor show (Salon international de l'auto) press day

Porsche 928 original
© Porsche

"A driver's car built for passengers"

(quote from the 1977 sales brochure)

MY
1978
MY
1979
MY
1980
A
MY
1981
B
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1982
C
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1983
D
MY
1984
E
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1985
F
MY
1986
G
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1987
H
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1988
J
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1989
K
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1990
L
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1991
M
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1992
N
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1993
P
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1994
R
MY
1995
S
928 America Japan 4.5 169 kW (164 kW SAE) 170 kW (165 kW SAE) 928 S America Japan 4.7 178 kW 5.0 215 kW
928 Euro 4.5 177 kW 928 S Australia 4.7 202 kW Sweden Switzerland
928 S Euro 4.7 221 kW 928 S Euro 4.7 228 kW
928 S Australia 5.0 212 kW S4 Australia 5.0 221 kW
S4 5.0 235 kW
S4 CS 5.0 235 kW
GT 5.0 243 kW GTS 5.4 257 kW
K-Jetronic
L-Jetronic

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 rear-mounted five to six litre V8.

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1971 Porsche 911 Progr. H (928)
Rear mounted V8 can be seen on this 1971 supercar drawing that depicts the future 911. © Porsche
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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 prototype
1972. Note the hidden headlamps on the first clay model.© Porsche
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Clay model outdoors © Porsche
Member content. Log in or sign up.Porsche 928 prototype (clay model)
This clay model has different designs on the left and on the right to make it easier to decide which looks better. The right side shows the design similar to the first clay model and the left side shows the newer flush front bumper.© Porsche
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

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.

Member content. Log in or sign up.Porsche 928 clay model / mock-up (1973)
Clay model covered with silver film © Porsche
Member content. Log in or sign up.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
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1973 911 and 1973 928 mock-up © Porsche
Member content. Log in or sign up.Porsche 928 clay model / mock-up (1973)
© Porsche
Member content. Log in or sign up.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
Member content. Log in or sign up.Porsche 928 shooting brake model
Design models with different rear ends © Porsche
Member content. Log in or sign up.Porsche 928 shooting brake mock-up (clay model)
Shooting brake mock-up (clay model) © Porsche
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Testing of air flow © Porsche
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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
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1974 prototype © Porsche
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928 2+2 © Porsche
Porsche 928 prototype
Helmut Bott, head of R&D, with a prototype © Porsche
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Crash testing in 1975 © Porsche
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Crash testing in 1976 of a near production car. American market version can be told by the black rear bumperettes. © Porsche
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© Porsche
Member content. Log in or sign up.Porsche 928 prototypes in Africa
Testing in Africa. No Porsche crests on the cars tells these are prototypes. © Porsche
Porsche 928 engine production
V8 engine assembly © Porsche
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Porsche 928 production
© Porsche
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Porsche 928 assembly
928 production © Porsche
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Porsche 928 factory
US version being finished© Porsche
Porsche 928
Pre-production car (note the front lid gaps)© Porsche
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Porsche 928
© Porsche
Porsche 928
© Porsche
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Porsche 928 engine room
The small container with the red cap is for the windscreen washer detergent "Porsche Special Silicone Remover"© Porsche
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Porsche 928
Headlamps out © Porsche
Porsche 928
© Porsche
Porsche 928
© Porsche
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Porsche 928
© Porsche
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Porsche 928
Large doors allow better access to rear seats © Porsche
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Porsche 928
© Porsche
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Porsche 928
© Porsche
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Porsche 928
Bumpers were painted with elastic paint so that every small touch would not crack the paint© Porsche
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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
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Porsche 928 rear lamp
Cool lamp design © Porsche
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Porsche 928
15" Phone Dial wheels © Porsche
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Red Porsche 928
16" Phone Dial wheels © Porsche
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Porsche 928 interior
The 928 offered a completely new level of comfort, compared to the 911 for example© Porsche
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Porsche 928 prototype interior
© Porsche
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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
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Porsche 928 see-through picture
© Porsche
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Porsche 928 rear axle
Elasto-kinematic Weissach rear axle © Porsche
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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.© Porsche
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Porsche 928 4.5 V8 engine
© Porsche
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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 considered light in the seventies© Porsche
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Porsche 928 4.5 V8 engine drawing
90 degree V© Porsche
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Porsche 928 engine components
The engine has 108 kg/238 lb of aluminium© Porsche
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Porsche 928 blueprint
© 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.

Thanks to front engine and rear transmission, the car was ideally balanced. In addition to the aluminium V8, the engine lid, front fenders and doors were made of aluminium. 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.

1977 IAA Frankfurt Motor Show

The 928 was launched in 1977 as a 1978 model. It was so innovative that it was voted as the Car Of The Year 1978.

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Porsche 928 Auto Des Jahres, Car of the Year
"Car of the Year" © Porsche
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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 Rudi Lins 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 was probably the first Porsche car to drive in Russia, the largest 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, the drivers considered the last leg as a walk in the park. The total length of the test drive became near 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.

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1978 Porsche 928 New York - Moscow - Paris endurance test
1978 New York - Moscow - Paris endurance test 928. As can be seen, an aluminium panel was installed under the engine (and the gearbox). © Porsche
1978 Le Mans 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 in 1977, 1978, 1979 and 1980. © Porsche

In 1979, the 221 kW (300 DIN hp) 928 S was made available for Europe. It was seriously more expensive and cost 26% more than the 177 kW (240 DIN hp) 928 in Europe.

1979 September 19. Ferry Porsche's 70th birthday and the 928 S that was just released to the markets. The 928 was probably a present from the factory - and if so, it must have had some special modifications for Ferry.© Porsche
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Porsche 928 S, USA version
928 S can be told by the black rubber front spoiler lip and the rear spoiler. American version can be told by the front and rear side marker lamps and the rear bumperettes.© Porsche

In 1981, "50 years of Porsche company" (1931-1981) anniversary editions Porsches were made in Meteor metallic with Burgundy interior. These were 1982 model year cars.

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Porsche 928
Option M406 "50 years of Porsche company" (1931-1981) anniversary edition, Meteor metallic with Burgundy interior© Porsche
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Porsche 928
Burgundy interior © Porsche
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Porsche 928
M406 interior © Porsche
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Porsche 928
Ferry Porsche signature in the 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.

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

1982 Nardo, Porsche 928 S record run
1982, Nardo circuit in Italy, the team of drivers Gerhard Plattner, Peter Lovett and Peter Zbinden covered 3749 miles/6033 km in 24 hours© Porsche
1984 September 19, Ferry Porsche's 75th birthday present is the one-off Porsche 928-4 (942)© Porsche
The front lamps of the 942 were not the usual pop-ups, but unique projector lamps. It was a wow in 1984.© Porsche
The bumpers seen on the 942 were 2 years later introduced on the 928 S4© Porsche
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942 was extended by 10"/25 cm. The B-pillars were reshaped for them to be more upright. It eased the access to the rear seats, which were bigger than in the normal 928. The 942 was not something Ferry thought Porsche has to be.© Porsche
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The roofline of the 942 was also modified in order to fit adult travellers on the rear seats© Porsche

One of the most important improvements with the 928 were the ABS brakes that became optionally available from model year 1984 and standard in 1986. For the 1987 model year, the 928 received new looks and the 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.

928 S4© Porsche
1987 IMSA GT events saw a 928 S4 Rapid Response Vehicle prepared by Fabcar. This car was originally red and on August 7, 1986, racer and Director of Porsche Motorsports of North America, Al Holbert had done 171 mph / 275 km/h on the Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats. VIN of this car is supposedly WP0JB092ZGS860062 which tells us that it is one of the very first S4 cars and a 1986 model year car, so built probably in summer 1985. The VINs of normal production cars started with 0061 (earlier numbers were reserved for ptototypes). This car doesn't exist anymore in the form it is pictured here, in 2002 it was converted into a race car.© Porsche

The a bit sportier versions of the 928 S4 were the ClubSport and the 928 GT. The final change in the appearance of the 928 came for the 1992 model year, when the 5.4-litre GTS replaced the S4 and GT.

Porsche 928 GTS
The GTS got aerodynamic mirrors, 17" wheels with 255 mm wide rear tyres, wider rear fenders and a reflective rear panel with PORSCHE-lettering. Nice!© James Herne

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 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 driver changes.

1993 Nardo circuit, Porsche 928 GTS
1993, Nardo high-speed circuit, 928 GTS © James Herne

Engine codes

Code Engine Power Model Model years Remarks
M28.01 4.5 16V 177 kW 928 Euro, manual 5-speed 78 79
M28.02 4.5 16V 177 kW 928 Euro, automatic 3-speed 78 79
M28.03 4.5 16V 169 kW (164 kW SAE) 928 America Japan, manual 5-speed 78 79
M28.04 4.5 16V 169 kW (164 kW SAE) 928 America Japan, automatic 3-speed 78 79
M28.09 4.5 16V 177 kW 928 Euro, manual 5-speed 80 81 82
M28.10 4.5 16V 177 kW 928 Euro, automatic 3-speed 80 81 82
M28.11 4.7 16V 221 kW 928 S Euro, manual 5-speed 80 81 82 83
M28.12 4.7 16V 221 kW 928 S Euro, automatic 3-speed 80 81 82 83
M28.13 4.5 16V 170 kW (165 kW SAE) 928 America Japan, manual 5-speed 80
M28.14 4.5 16V 170 kW (165 kW SAE) 928 America Japan, automatic 3-speed 80
M28.15 4.5 16V 170 kW (165 kW SAE) 928 America, manual 5-speed 81 82
M28.16 4.5 16V 170 kW (165 kW SAE) 928 America, automatic 3-speed 81 82
M28.17 4.5 16V 170 kW (165 kW SAE) 928 Japan, manual 5-speed 81 82
M28.18 4.5 16V 170 kW (165 kW SAE) 928 Japan, automatic 3-speed 81 82
M28.19 4.7 16V 178 kW 928 S America, manual 5-speed 83 84
M28.20 4.7 16V 178 kW 928 S America Japan, automatic 4-speed 83 84
M28.21 4.7 16V 228 kW 928 S Euro, manual 5-speed 84 85 86
M28.22 4.7 16V 228 kW
202 kW
202 kW
928 S Euro, automatic 4-speed
928 S Australia, automatic 4-speed
928 S Sweden Switzerland, automatic 4-speed
84 85 86
85
86
M28.41 5.0 32V 235 kW
221 kW
235 kW
928 S4, manual 5-speed
928 S4 Australia, manual 5-speed
928 S4 Club Sport, manual 5-speed
87 88 89 90 91
87 88
88 89
M28.42 5.0 32V 235 kW
221 kW
928 S4, automatic 4-speed
928 S4 Australia, automatic 4-speed
87 88 89 90 91
87 88
M28.43 5.0 32V 215 kW 928 S (S3) America , manual 5-speed 85 86 S3: 32V engine in a pre-S4 body
M28.44 5.0 32V 215 kW 928 S (S3) America Japan, automatic 4-speed 85 86
M28.45 5.0 32V 212 kW 928 S (S3) Australia, manual 5-speed 86
M28.46 5.0 32V 212 kW 928 S (S3) Australia, automatic 4-speed 86
M28.47 5.0 32V 243 kW 928 GT, manual 5-speed 89 90 91
M28.49 5.4 32V 257 kW 928 GTS, manual 5-speed 92 93 94 95
M28.50 5.4 32V 257 kW 928 GTS, automatic 4-speed 92 93 94 95

Transmission codes

Code Transmission Model Model years
A22.01 3-speed automatic 928 Euro
928 all markets
78 79
80 81 82
A22.02 3-speed automatic 928 America Japan 78 79
A22.04 3-speed automatic 928 S Euro 80 81 82 83
A28.01 4-speed automatic 928 S America Japan 83 84
A28.02 4-speed automatic 928 S Euro 84
A28.03 4-speed automatic 928 S Euro 84
A28.04 4-speed automatic 928 S Euro CAT, America, Japan 85
A28.05 4-speed automatic 928 S Euro (14:33) 85
A28.06 4-speed automatic 928 S Euro (13:33 shorter gear ratio M251) 85
A28.07 4-speed automatic 928 S America Japan 86
A28.08 4-speed automatic 928 S Euro (14:33) 86
A28.09 4-speed automatic 928 S Sweden Switzerland Australia (13:33 shorter gear ratio M251) 86
A28.11 4-speed automatic 928 S Euro CAT 86 87
A28.12 4-speed automatic 928 S4 America Japan 87 88
A28.14 4-speed automatic 928 S4 Euro 87 88
A28.16 4-speed automatic 928 S4 all markets 89 90 91
A28.18 4-speed automatic 928 GTS 92 93 94 95
G28.03 5-speed manual 928 all markets 78 79 80
G28.05 5-speed manual 928, 928 S
928 S
80 81
82
G28.07 5-speed manual 928 S Euro 83 84
G28.08 5-speed manual 928 S America 83 84
G28.09 5-speed manual 928 all markets 82
G28.10 5-speed manual 928 S Euro
928 S Euro CAT
85 86
86
G28.11 5-speed manual 928 S America, Euro CAT
928 S America
85
86
G28.12 5-speed manual 928 S4 Euro
928 S4 all markets
87 88
89
G28.13 5-speed manual 928 S4 America 87 88
G28.55 5-speed manual 928 S4 M637 Club Sport
928 GT
88 89
89 90 91
G28.57 5-speed manual 928 GTS 92 93 94 95

The 928 was a unique model in a sense that Porsche made so many concept cars on it or used its engine elsewhere. For example, in 1983 a 928 with the full aluminium body was created, in 1984 an extended wheelbase body with long roof was made (such a full size clay model was made already in the seventies). In 1985, Porsche installed the 928 S3 engine in a Mercedes G-wagen off-road rally car and in 1986, S4 engines were sold to marine industry. Porsche experimentally even created bi-turbo racing boat engines called 928 S4 Offshore. In 1987 4-door 928 was made in two examples and a S4 CS was experimentally equipped with PDK transmission (a PDK was considered for 928 as early as 1979). In 1988 a one-off 928 Cabriolet was built.

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Article © James Herne / Stuttcars.com


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1978 model range USA: 911 SC, 911 Turbo, 924, 928

1977 · English

911: "More than 130.000 have been built...”
“Porsche engineers its cars to stay on the road, where they belong”

924: “Only its owner needs to know how affordable it is”
“Body details were carefully studied to reduce wind noise and keep the windows and taillights clear of rain and road dirt”

928: “It has self-adjusting hydraulic valve lifters which, like the breakerless transistor ignition and CIS fuel-injection system, needs no periodic maintenance”
“Entering turns, the rear-wheel alignment self-adjusts to decelerating forces to maintain ideal tracking”
“Possible problems are signaled by an On-board Warning System...”

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928 USA technical data, 1979 model year

1979 · English

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928 USA technical data, 1981 model year

1981 · English

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Coloring pages

928

1978

  • Vector drawing 594 mm x 420 mm (A2), B/W
  • Format: PDF
  • Author: Margus Holland

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More coloring pages

Continue to 928 marine engine or to 989 concept

Anniversaries
Sep, 28 – 32nd birthday of the 964 (1988)
Oct, 11 – 33rd birthday of the 2708 (1987)
Oct, 29 – 80th birthday of Hans-Peter Porsche (1940)
Nov, 15 – 45th birthday of the 924 (1975)
Nov, 19 – 12th birthday of the Boxster 987.2 (2008)