Porsche 928S

Porsche 928S side view
The Porsche 928S marked the first major revision to the five-year-old 928.

The Porsche 928S came to the U.S. for 1983, improving upon the original 928 with a V-8 bumped from 4.5-liters to 4.7 and a 12-horsepower increase. With manual transmission, the 928S did a claimed 7.0 seconds in the 0-60 dash, and hit 146 mph all out; the automatic’s numbers were 8.5 and 143 mph. As usual, magazine test results tended to bracket these official figures. Here’s what Car and Driver and Road & Track got with their five-speed models:

Test conducted

Car and Driver

Road & Track

Standing start 0-60 mph (seconds)

6.2

7.0

Standing start 0-100 mph (seconds)

17.8

19.3

Standing start quarter-mile (seconds)

14.7

15.4

Speed at finish of quarter-mile

94

92

Top speed (mph)

144

136

Lateral acceleration (g)

0.800

0.818


Discrepancies nothwithstanding, this was real Corvette and Ferrari stuff. But C/D’s Rich Ceppos rightly observed that mere numbers couldn’t capture the Porsche’s “double-agent, personality: a killer instinct coupled with luxocar civility and the kind of bulletproof solidity you’d normally associate with a Mercedes.... The feeling around these parts is that the 928S actually gives you your money’s worth in today’s inflated market.”

R&T mostly agreed: “The 928S is simply a marvelously competent car...as close as anything to being the complete automobile as understood in the year 1983.... It’s a judgment call to say a car this expensive is worth it, but at least the 928S gives you a good deal of substance to go with its costly image.”

And Porsche was about to add new substance. While the U.S. 928 was all but unchanged for 1984, Europe was treated to a Series 2 version fortified in more ways than one. Bosch’s advanced new LH-Jetronic injection teamed with electronic ignition and sky-high 10.4:1 compression to lift the 4.7-liter V-8 to 310 horsepower (DIN) and 295 pounds/feet of torque, gains of 10 and 12, respectively. Porsche claimed 10-12 percent better fuel economy, though you couldn’t prove it by Autocar, whose test S2 proved “patently” thirstier than previous 928s. But who cared? Top speed was now a thrilling 158 mph. “Even with all that luxury, you think the car is still too expensive?” the magazine asked. “Get behind the wheel of the 928S Series 2, drop the clutch, floor the accelerator...and think again.”

Even better was the arrival of an anti-lock braking system (ABS) as standard equipment. Subsequently adopted by a number of other manufacturers, ABS does what any good driver would at the first sign of a skid: “pump” the brakes to get a locked wheel rolling again. The difference is that ABS does this more rapidly than any human can -- up to 15 times a second in this case -- and only at the affected wheel (via electromechanical means in response to signals from wheel-mounted sensors).

That sort of braking is beyond human capability; the result is a virtual absence of skidding (except on hard-packed snow or gravel) no matter how hard the driver might push the brake pedal. Steering control is thus maintained. As past 928 brakes had been occasionally criticized for front-and/or rear-lock sensitivity, ABS was a worthwhile addition, mating beautifully with the Weissach Axle to set a new standard of active safety.

Porsche 928S
Some judged the 1983 Porsche 928S the world's top all-around performance car.

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

For Porsche prices and reviews from the auto editors of Consumer Guide, see: