The Porsche 928 was the first front-engined car the German firm produced. Up to that point, the motors had been rear-mounted ... with the exception of the 924, which was as much Audi as it was Porsche. The 928 was marketed as a supercar. Indeed, Porsche were banking on it being the new 911. That was not to be. 911 fans stuck stoicly to what they had loved and cherished for years. Porsche took the hint - and started to target the 928 squarely at the GT market.
That landmark front-mounted engine was a brand-new 4.5-litre V8. Smooth and tractable, as it was - in some drivers' eyes, it would always have a flaw. It was not as fast as the 911! In its first iteration, the 928 pulled a top speed of 143mph. And that figure would climb over time to 171. Certainly, not to be sniffed at ... but not enough to keep it alongside the 911. Transmission was a 4-speed, rear-mounted manual - or, more often, a 5-speed Mercedes automatic. Output was 240bhp. The 928S would up that to 300.
Styling-wise, the 928 was on solid ground. Its profile, in particular, was as pure as a coupé gets. The interior, too, was more than impressive. Its most striking feature was the fascia - which 'echoed' the steering-wheel, in front of it. In every respect, it was a cosseting cockpit. The 928's ride and handling, too, were never less than reassuring. Over time, there would be S4, GT and GTS versions of the 928 - all ushering in incremental improvements. The 928, then, was a substantial addition to Porsche's roster ... even it was never quite in the same league as the legendary 911!