Our featured automobile is the 1980 Porsche 928. This is a model that differed quite a lot from the Porsche 911.

porsche 928
1980 Porsche 928

The Porsche 928 was built alongside the popular 911.The 911 project began in the late 1950’s, headed by Ferdinand Porsche’s son, Ferry. It was designed to be a larger, faster replacement for the rear-engine 356 sport coupe which was introduced to the world back in 1950.

The Porsche 928 History and Design

The Porsche 928 is an automobile made by Porsche AG of Germany from 1978 to 1995, during which time it was their most expensive offering. The earliest 928’s featured a single-overhead-cam 4.5-liter, all-alloy V-8 that, with catalysts and an air pump for the U.S. market, produced 219hp.

There was a time when the Porsche 928 was the fastest street legal production car offered in America. The 928 has the distinction of being Porsche’s first mass produced V8 model, and it’s only coupe model with a front mounted V8 engine.

1980 porsche 928So why was this new liquid cooled engine introduced into the Porsche lineup?  Porsche designed it’s new front engine car to address some of the difficulties with air-cooled rear-engines. For one, the front engine Porsche made room for required catalysts and mufflers. It was subsequently decided that the two cars would be sold side by side.

So which model, the Porsche 911 or Porsche 928, was the company’s flagship model? There is not really universal agreement pertaining to the 928’s position as Porsche’s flagship model.  Some believe that the 911 has always been the Porsche’s flagship, even during production when both were produced side by side.

The Porsche 928 is considered a grand touring car, although it’s combination of a powerful V8 engine and 50/50 weight distribution made it a worthy sports car as well. The Porsche 928 position in the company’s lineup wasn’t made any more clear if you followed it’s advertising. By the fact that the 928 was really supposed to supplant the 911 and did not makes it hard to classify it.

Porsche 928 production was performed at the factory in Stuttgart – Zuffenhausen. Again, the 928 was built side by side with the 911.This fact eliminated any concern about build quality It is interesting to note that even given the 928’s pedigree, it has never gained the same reverence as the air-cooled Porsches.

The 928, first sold for the 1978 model year, was everything the 911 was not. As mentioned, the 928 featured a front-mounted, water-cooled V-8. The car had a 50/50 weight distribution and delivered maximum performance while still providing luxury. To give you an idea about the Porsche 928 performance, the car made 0-60 MPH in under 7 seconds and could deliver a top speed well over 140 MPH. By the time the last 928 came off the production line in 1995 as a highly popular GTS model. With the GTS,  power had increased from 219 all the way up to 350 horsepower and it’s top speed was over 170 MPH. It was considered by most as a rock-solid, user-friendly supercar by any name.

Porsche 928 Body Design

While the power was certainly there with the V-8 front mounted engine, many design changes were made with the 928. The new model’s headlights lay flush when not in use, and when activated, popped up to reveal bullet-shaped “snail-eyes”.

front mounted porsche engine
The Porsche 928 hatchback.

The Porsche 928 was engineered to offer high roof strength and crush resistance. Most of the body was made from galvanized steel, with doors, front fenders, and hood made from aluminum to help keep weight down. Impact-resistant bumpers were integrated into both nose and tail and covered in body-colored plastic. The rear cargo area was relatively large for a sports car as it was designed with a large hatchback.

Porsche did not offer a convertible 928.

1980 Porsche 928 Specifications

Engine for 1980 was a 273 cubic inch V-8 producing 231 HP.

Transmission options included a five speed manual and a three speed automatic.

Brakes were 4 wheel disc.

Suspension was four-wheel independent, with double A-arms in front.

Wheelbase 98.4 inches, length 175.7 inches, width 72.3 inches, height 51.6 inches. Curb weight 3,197 lbs.

Even with it’s performance and luxury attributes, the Porsche 928 was never successful enough to replace the 911. Built from 1977 to 1995, a total of 61,067 Porsche 928’s were built at the Stuttgart, Germany factory.

See additional Auto Museum Online articles found on the links below…

1973 Porsche 911T

1974 Porsche 914

Reference material for this article includes…Porsche: A History of Excellence by author Randy Leffingwell…The Complete Book of Porsche 911 by Randy Leffingwell…Porsche Archive Material.

The 1980 Porsche 928 Collector Car Values

porsche performance cars
Porsche 928 dash

As collector value and popularity are concerned, the Porsche 928 has not yet arrived at  the level of the 911. The 928 has risen in value steadily over the past ten years but is behind the 911. This may be changing and the time may come when you cannot get a real bargain on those front engine high performance 928’s, especially the later GT models.

Average values as of this writing for older Porsche 928’s such as the 1980 model range anywhere from about the $20,000 to $40,000 area. Overall condition, mileage, restoration if done, make a big difference as does the exact model. The GTS models from the early 1990’s can be six figure automobiles.

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)