The Porsche 928 cockpit was the most sumptuous yet seen from Porsche, with all the usual luxury-car features and a few that weren’t. Among the latter were a tilt-adjustable steering wheel that moved the entire instrument cluster with it, thus ensuring good gauge visibility at all times, and air-conditioning that cooled not only the interior but the glove compartment. And as for the back-seat sun visors, well, just put them down to Teutonic thoroughness. At the very least, they were perfect blinders for occupants who got nervous at 125 mph.
Befitting a grand tourer, the Porsche 928 interior elegant, stylish, and comfortable
Those rear seats were individual buckets and definitely of the “occasional” sort for adults; small children fit much better. As on previous Porsches, the backrests could be flopped down for extra cargo space. Between the rear seats was another glove locker, and each door had map pockets concealed beneath armrests that could be pulled in four inches for closer support in spirited driving (an idea from R&D director Professor Helmuth Bott). Nobody liked the “op-art” checkerboard cloth on seats and door panels, but it wouldn’t last, and hide upholstery was available from the start.
Instrumentation was Porsche-complete, with a large, central speedometer and tachometer flanked by oil pressure/voltmeter and fuel/coolant temperature gauges.
A vertical extension of the tunnel console swept up gracefully into the main panel, with a small clock at its base, surmounted by radio, climate controls, and, topmost, a large air vent. Additional vents were located in the upper front portions of the armrests, which also flowed into the dash. R&T complained about the air vents’ meager output but said “the heater, like the 911’s, will practically fry eggs and burn toast.”
Left of the center vent was a bevy of warning lights for a central monitoring system. This kept track of all the usual items plus fluid levels, exterior bulb failures, and brake-pad wear. A malfunction illuminated the appropriate lamp, which spelled it out in words (like “wash fluid”), plus a large red master light simply labeled “!”. One pressed a button to turn off the master, which was reactivated when the driver next switched on the ignition. If a fault was serious, the master light wouldn’t extinguish at all until the problem was fixed.
Also on the 928’s lavish list of standards were a vacuum-operated central locking system, power windows, headlamp washers (activated with the windshield washer when the lights were up and lit), cruise control, a rear-window wiper and wire-element electric defroster, electric remote-adjustable and heated door mirrors, and a four-speaker stereo radio/cassette. Besides the aforesaid leather trim (which would be progressively expanded over time to include door panels and headliner), buyers could add an extra-cost electric sliding sunroof, limited-slip differential, and factory-fitted burglar alarm.
Porsche initially promoted the 928’s structural safety, even claiming that the stout B-pillars functioned in the same manner as the 911 Targa’s rollbar. The 928 was indeed robust but, as noted, a little portly despite the use of aluminum for doors, hood, and detachable front fenders. The large, weighty hatch window did nothing to keep weight down.
No matter, for the 928 was built to go the distance. Reflecting Porsche’s early-Seventies research into “long life” technology, the steel body/chassis was protected on both sides with the new hot-dip galvanizing process then being applied to 911s. Moreover, brake lines were sheathed in copper-nickel iron alloy, and fuel lines were treated with chrome and then plastic-coated. By 1980, Porsche would offer a six-year warranty against lower-body rust in addition to its normal new-car warranty for all U.S. models, following a program inaugurated in Europe a few years earlier. The only requirement was that the car be inspected once a year at a participating Porsche dealer. Coverage remained in effect even if the car changed hands during the six years -- yet another expression of Zuffenhausen’s commitment to top-quality craftsmanship.
Check out the complete story of Porsche cars, including these fabulous models:
Tilting the steering column of the Porsche 928 also moved the instrument pod.
For Porsche prices and reviews from the auto editors of Consumer Guide, see:
- Porsche new cars
- Porsche used cars
- 2007 Porsche 911
- 1999-2006 Porsche 911
- 1995-1998 Porsche 911