Senin, 05 September 2011
The Porsche 928 was a sports-GT car sold by Porsche AG of Germany from 1978 to 1995. Originally intended to replace the company's iconic 911, the 928 attempted to combine the power, poise, and handling of a sports car with the refinement, comfort, and equipment of a luxury sedan 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 six front-engined models, four of which were coupes, including the 928. The car has the distinction of being the company's only coupe powered by a front-mounted V8 engine, and the company's first mass-produced V8 powered model.During 1983 the 928S was the fastest car sold in North America, with a top speed of 146 mph (235 km/h).
By the late 1960s, Porsche had changed significantly as a company, and executives including owner Ferdinand Porsche were playing with the idea of adding a luxury touring car to the line-up. Managing Director Ernst Fuhrmann was also pressuring Ferdinand to approve development of the new model in light of concerns that the current flagship model at the time, the 911, was quickly reaching its maximum potential where it could soon no longer be improved upon. 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 coupe and a luxury sedan, something well equipped and comfortable enough to be easily driven over long distances that also had the power, poise and handling prowess necessary to be driven like a sports car. This set it apart from the 911, which was a pure sports car.
Porsche engineers wanted a large-displacement motor to power the 928, and prototype units were built with a 5.0 L V8 producing close to 300 hp (220 kW). Ferdinand Pieche wanted this car to use a 4.6 liter V10 with 88 mm bore spacing based upon Audi's five cylinder engine. This five cylinder is a derivative of the Volkswagen Golf EA827 engine, basically a four with another cylinder added. Several members of the Porsche board objected; their official objection was because they wanted Porsche AG to maintain some separation from Volkswagen. The possible reason was that they didn't want their crowning car to be powered by a variant of the lowly VW Golf engine. Interestingly, this same proposed engine [albeit with greater displacement] was eventually built and installed in a production sports car— the Lamborghini Gallardo. To this day, no Porsche has ever used an EA827-based engine. Until 2011 they used a version of the VW VR6 engine in the Cayenne , but that motor is not related to the EA827 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 219 hp (163 kW/222 PS) for the North American market and 237 hp (176 kW/240 PS) in other markets. Porsche upgraded the engine from mechanical to electronic fuel injection in 1980 for US models, although power remained the same. 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.
The body, styled by Wolfgang Möbius under guidance of Anatole Lapine, was mainly galvanized steel, but the doors, front fenders, and hood were aluminum 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.
Porsche's design and development efforts paid off during the 1978 European Car of the Year competition 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.