Porsche 928 S4

1989 Porsche 928 S4
Price: £SOLD

Exterior: Black
Interior: Black leather
Transmission: Auto
Mileage:116,000

Engine: 5.0 V8

Layout: RHD

Drivetrain: RWD

Power: 316 bhp

ABOUT THIS CAR

This particular car has been known to us for quite some time and has been the pride and joy of a Scottish businessman who is a true enthusiast. We have recently helped him source his next car for his collection and unfortunately for him that decision has left him saying goodbye to his Porsche 928 S4.

The car has been on one of our annual classic & supercar tours of Scotland where it drew plenty of interest from participants and locals of the whisky villages we visited.

The car has been serviced regularly and has been lovingly maintained locally as well as by Investor Classics. The wheels and bodywork are in very good condition and the car has benefited from a paint restoration by Autobath.

The engine pulls strongly with no issues from the 4 speed automatic box. The suspension and steering are tight and sporty and it was a pleasure to drive it from Glasgow to Edinburgh to reside in our workshop.

A nice addition is a Porsche Classic sat nav radio purchased at a sum of five figures.

Truly a pleasure to look at and own, this is one classic that is really starting to appreciate.

ABOUT THE PORSCHE 928

The Porsche 928 is a luxurious grand tourer produced by Porsche AG of Germany from 1978 to 1995. Originally intended to replace the company's well-known and famed 911, the 928 combined the power, poise, and handling of a sports car with the refinement, comfort, and equipment of a luxurious saloon to create what some Porsche executives thought would be a vehicle with wider appeal than the compact, quirky and sometimes difficult 911.

Since its inception in 1949, Porsche has manufactured only seven front-engined models, four of which were coupés, including the 928. The car has the distinction of being the company's only coupé powered by a front-mounted V8 engine, and the company's first production V8 powered model.

 

By the late 1960s, Porsche had changed significantly as a company, and executives including owner Ferdinand Porsche were considering adding a luxury touring car to the line-up. Managing director Ernst Fuhrmann was pressuring Ferdinand to approve development of the new model due to concerns that the then-current flagship model, the 911, was reaching the limits of its potential. Slumping sales of the 911 seemed to confirm that the model was approaching the end of its economic life cycle. Fuhrmann envisioned the new range-topping model as being the best possible combination of a sports coupé and a luxurious saloon, something well equipped and comfortable enough to be easily driven long distances and had the power, poise and handling necessary to be driven like a sports car. This set it apart from the 911, which was intended to be a true sports car.

 

Early Porsche 928

 

Ordered by Ferdinand Porsche to design a production-feasible concept for the new model, Fuhrmann initiated a design study in 1971, eventually yielding the 928. Several drivetrain layouts were considered during early development, including rear and mid-engined designs, but most were dismissed because of technical and legislative difficulties. Having the engine, transmission, catalytic converter(s) and exhaust all cramped into a small rear engine bay made emission and noise control difficult, problems Porsche had with the 911. After deciding that the mid-engine layout did not allow enough room in the passenger compartment, a front-engine, rear-wheel drive layout was chosen. Porsche may have feared that the U.S. government would soon ban the sale of rear-engined cars in response to concern over safety problems with the rear-engined Chevrolet Corvair.

 

Porsche engineers wanted a large-displacement engine to power the 928, and prototype units were built with a 5-litre V8 producing nearly 300 hp. Ferdinand Piëch wanted this car to use a 4.6-litre V10 with 88 mm bore spacing based upon Audi's five-cylinder engine. The five-cylinder unit is a derivative of the Volkswagen Golf EA827 engine, essentially an inline-four with another cylinder added. Several members of the Porsche board objected, chiefly because they wanted Porsche AG to maintain some separation from Volkswagen.

The resulting M28 engine has multiple unusual features. Its bore spacing is 122 mm, almost exactly the same size as a Chrysler 426 hemi or a big block Chevrolet engine. This engine uses thick aluminium cylinder barrels, hence the lower displacement. The engine was designed for air flow first, thus the spark plugs are located at the top of the head. The four-bolt bearings are sizeable, and are fed oil via grooves in the bottom surface of the block. The oil and water pumps are driven by the timing belt, and the design of the engine allows for sufficient air flow with a low hood.

 

The first two running prototypes of Porsche's M28 V8 used one four-barrel carburettor for initial testing. The cars were sold with the planned Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection system. When increasing concern within the company over price and availability of fuel during the oil crisis of the 1970s became an issue of contention, smaller engines were considered in the interest of fuel economy. A push began for the development of a 3.3 L 180 hp powerplant they had designs for, but company engineers balked at this suggestion. Both sides finally settled on a 4.5 L, SOHC per bank 16-valve V8 producing 240 hp, which they considered to have an acceptable compromise of performance and fuel economy.

 

The finished car debuted at the 1977 Geneva Motor Show before going on sale later that year as a 1978 model. Although it won early acclaim for its comfort and power, sales were slow. Base prices were much higher than that of the previous range topping 911 model and the 928's front-engined, water-cooled design alienated many Porsche purists.

Fuhrmann's replacement, Peter Schutz, decided that the models should be sold side by side, feeling that the 911 still had potential in the company's line-up. Legislation against rear-engined vehicles did not materialize. Although it never sold in the numbers Fuhrmann envisioned, the 928 developed an avid following and had an 18 year production run.

 

Design

The 928 featured a large, front-mounted and water-cooled V8 engine driving the rear wheels. Originally displacing 4.5 L and featuring a single overhead camshaft design, it produced 237 hp. This design marked a major change in direction for Porsche (started with the introduction of the Porsche 924 in 1976), whose cars had until then used only rear- or mid-mounted air-cooled flat engines with four or six cylinders.

 

Porsche utilised a transaxle in the 928 to help achieve 50/50 front/rear weight distribution, aiding the car's balance. Although it weighed more than the difficult-to-handle 911, its more neutral weight balance and higher power output gave it similar performance on the track. The 928 was regarded as the more relaxing car to drive at the time. It came with either a five-speed dog leg manual transmission, or a Mercedes-Benz-derived automatic transmission, originally with three speeds, with four-speed from 1984. More than 80% had the automatic transmission. Exact percentage of manual gearbox cars for entire production run is not known but it is believed to be between 15 and 20%.

 

The body, styled by Wolfgang Möbius under guidance of Anatole Lapine, was mainly galvanized steel, but the doors, front fenders, and hood were aluminium in order to make the car more lightweight. It had a substantial luggage area accessed via a large hatchback. The new polyurethane elastic bumpers were integrated into the nose and tail and covered in body-coloured plastic; an unusual feature for the time that aided the car visually and reduced its drag. Porsche opted not to offer a convertible variant but several aftermarket modifiers offered convertible conversions, most notably Carelli, based in Orange County, CA. The Carelli conversions were sold as complete cars, with the conversion doubling the price of the car. A reported 12 units were made.

 

The 928 qualified as a 2+2, having two small seats in the rear. Both rear seats could be folded down to enlarge the luggage area, and both the front and rear seats had sun visors for occupants. The rear seats are small (due to the prominent transmission hump) and have very little leg room; they are only suitable for adults on very short trips or children. The 928 was also the first vehicle in which the instrument cluster moved along with the adjustable steering wheel in order to maintain maximum instrument visibility.

 

The 928 included several other innovations such as the "Weissach Axle", a simple rear-wheel steering system that provides passive rear-wheel steering to increase stability while braking during a turn, and an unsleeved, silicon alloy engine block made of aluminium, which reduced weight and provided a highly durable cylinder bore.

 

Porsche's design and development efforts paid off during the 1978 European Car of the Year, where the 928 won ahead of the BMW 7 Series, and the Ford Granada. The 928 is the only sports car so far to have won this competition, where the usual winners are mainstream hatchbacks and sedans/saloons from major European manufacturers. This is regarded as proof of how advanced the 928 was, compared to its contemporaries.

 

Styling changes

Styling was the same in both 1978 and 1979, with the body lacking both front and rear spoilers. From 1980 through 1986, front and rear spoilers were present on "S" models, rear spoilers being integrated into the hatch. From 1987 through 1995, the front spoiler is integrated into the nose and the rear spoiler became a separated wing rather than an integrated piece, and side skirts were added. The rear tail-light configuration was also different from previous versions. GTS models had wider rear fenders added to give more room for 9" wide wheels. Another easily noticeable visual difference between versions is the style of the wheels. Early 928s had 15" or 16" "phone dial"-style wheels, while most 1980s 928s had 16" slotted "flat discs", CSs, SEs and 1989 GTs had 16" "Club Sport" wheels, later GTs had 16" "Design 90" style wheels which were also option on same period S4s, the GTS used two variations of the 17" "CUP" wheels.

 

Later variants

Porsche introduced a refreshed 928 S into the European market in 1980 model year. Externally, the S wore new front and rear spoilers and sported wider wheels and tires than the older variant, but the main change for the 928 S was under the hood, where a revised 4.7 L engine was used. European versions debuted with 297 hp, and were upgraded to 306 hp for 1984 model year, though it is rumoured [and proven on chassis dynamometers] that they typically made around 330 hp. From 1984 to 1986, the S model was called S2 in UK. These cars used Bosch LH-Jetronic fuel injection and purely electronic Bosch ignition, the same systems used on the later 32-valve cars, though without the pollution controls.

 

The 928 S4 variant debuted in the second half of 1986 as a 1987 model, an updated version of the 5.0 L V8 for all markets producing 316 hp, sporting a new single-disc clutch in manual gearbox cars, larger torque converter in automatics and fairly significant styling updates which gave the car a cleaner, sleeker look. S4 was much closer to being a truly world car than previous models as only major differences for North American models were instrumentation in either kilometers or miles, lighting, front and rear bumper shocks and the availability of catalytic converters in many other markets. The Australian market version was only one with different horsepower rating at 296 hp due to preparation for possible low grade fuel. Even this was achieved without engine changes.

 

A Club Sport variant which was up to 100 kg lighter became available to continental Europe and U.S. in 1988. This model was watered down version of the 1987 factory prototype which had a lightened body. Also in 1987 the factory made four white lightened manual gearbox S4 models for racecar drivers who were on their payroll at the time. These were close to same as later actual Club Sport models and can also be considered prototypes for it. An SE (sometimes called the S4 Sport due to model designation on rear bumper), a sort of halfway point between a normally equipped S4 and the more race-oriented Club Sport, became available to the UK. It's generally believed these Porsche Motorsport-engined cars have more hp than the S4. They utilise parts which later became known as GT pistons, cams and engine ECU programs. Some of them had stronger, short geared manual gearbox. The automatic gearbox was not available.

 

The S4 and GT variants were both cut at the end of 1991 model year, making way for the final version of the 928. The 928 GTS came for sale in late 1991 as a 1992 model in Europe and in spring of 1992 as an early 1993 model in North America. Changed bodywork, larger front brakes and a new, more powerful 5.4 L 345 hp engine were the big changes; what Porsche wasn't advertising was the price. Loaded GTS models could eclipse US$100,000 in 1995, making them among the most expensive cars on the road at the time. This severely hampered sales despite the model's high competency and long standard equipment list. Porsche discontinued the GTS model that year after shipping only 77 of them to the United States.

Total worldwide production for all years was a little over 61,000 cars.

© 2018 Investor Classics Ltd