1979 Porsche 928

For 1979, the 928 began the inevitable Porsche process of logical, progressive evolution to higher levels of comfort, performance, and refinement.

The monitor warning lights moved to the instrument cluster on all models, but the big news was a more potent new 928S for Europe. A 2-mm bore stretch (to 97 mm) brought the V-8 to 4,664cc (284.6 cid); with dual exhausts and an interim compression boost to 10:1. Horsepower swelled to 300 (DIN) at 5,900 rpm and torque to 283 pound/feet at 4,500 rpm.

Also new were flat-face wheels with circumferential slots for better brake cooling, a front “chin” spoiler beneath the large under-bumper air intake, a small black-rubber spoiler at the base of the rear window, and bodyside rubbing strips.

Autocar had found the original 928 slightly lacking in the “real raw performance which the 911 Series had taught us to expect” but had “no doubts now.” The S’s 0-60 mph time was just 6.2 seconds, top speed 152 mph, and the standing quarter-mile a 14.3-second 97-mph trip.

Noting that Britons had a choice of 300-horsepower Porsches that year, the magazine advised: “If you want raw excitement...there is still nothing to touch the [911] Turbo -- a truly fantastic car..... If it’s refinement that matters, then there is no alternative to the Jaguar XJ-S. If refinement doesn’t matter too much, and you can bear the road noise, then the 928S offers a tremendous amount of marvelous motor car which has restored our faith in Porsche’s abilities to adapt their formidable skills to the ways of the front-engined Grand Tourer, for that is what the 928S most certainly is.”

Porsche 928
The Porsche 928 received most of its improvements beneath its sheet metal.

The action shifted to America for 1980. A half-point compression increase, improved emissions control (via an oxygen sensor and a three-way catalyst), revised valve timing, repositioned sparkplugs (moved 4 mm closer to the combustion chamber centers), and adoption of more sophisticated L-Jetronic injection yielded only one extra horsepower but 20 more pound/feet of torque: 265 at 4,000 rpm.

Top speed was harder to measure on the feds’ new 85-mph speedometer, but Road & Track estimated 140 mph for its automatic-equipped test car. It also reported small gains in economy and off-the-line performance (0.3-second faster to 60, for instance) -- nothing to write home about, but at least they weren’t losses. Some 220 pounds were lost via a lighter alumimum torque tube and a hollow (instead of solid) transmission mainshaft and front anti-roll bar.

Check out the complete story of Porsche cars, including these fabulous models:

Porsche 356

Porsche 911

Porsche 914

Porsche 924, 944, 968

Porsche 928

Porsche 959

Porsche Boxster

Porsche Cayenne

Porsche Cayman

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