This stunning 1990 Porsche 928 S4 was kindly provided for feature by Road and Race Automotive.
Around the world in 80 days. A perfect demonstration of how old-school, Luddite thinking can sometimes stand in the way of progress. When Phileas Fogg announced that he could travel around the world in 80 days, scientists proclaimed it couldn’t be done. Even trying would be considered madness. He proved them wrong.
In the late 70’s when Porsche announced that their new car was going to be a front engine, V8 grand tourer, the world thought they were mad. There is no way that the makers of the 911 could ever build anything other than a rear engine sportscar that looks a bit like a squished beetle. When it was announced that this new car is intended to replace the 911 entirely, Porsche very nearly lost their entire fan base.
the 928 was ahead of its time
However, much like Phileas Fogg, the 928 was simply misunderstood. It was ahead of its time. Only recently have people really started to understand just how brilliant this car really is. People cried that Porsche could only ever build the 911. The 928 proved them wrong.
Looks are always going to be a subjective thing. For me, though, the 928 is a stunning looking car. A beautiful blend of 60’s curves and 80’s straight lines. The shape of the glass-house may have been somewhat “inspired” by the humble Ford Sierra, but the 928’s shape is instantly recognisable. The long bonnet and sloping glass back make it look very sleek and powerful. Meanwhile the rounded sides give the otherwise masculine appearance a little softness.
The interior is very typical early 80’s sportscar. Some early attempts at digital displays in the gauge cluster, a sloping centre console and lots of black plastic, vinyl and leather. In typical Porsche style, decades later, nothing in the 928 looks worn or broken. Nothing rattles or shakes and everything still works 100%. It’s a very well made and comfortable place to spend your time.
There’s ample room for luggage
There are also signs all over the car that Porsche really thought about the comfort of the passengers. The back seats for example actually have enough room for someone to sit in. Not only that, but rear passengers have little sun visors that fold down from the roof. This is obviously to stop the sun roasting the back of their necks through the large glass hatch. There’s ample room for luggage, sufficient little storage bins in the front for wallets and phones. Not to mention the ice cold air conditioning.
In the nose, the V8 fires up at the first turn of the key. Not a thundering loud lout of an engine, just a silky-smooth whisper letting you know it’s there. Slot the auto-box into Drive and push the firm accelerator pedal down a little and the car makes very relaxed progress down the road. Exactly how a GT car should be – it never feels like it has to work hard.
The engine has lots of torque from low down in the rev range and as a naturally aspirated engine should, gets stronger in a very linear fashion when the revs climb. The gearbox is as good as can be expected from an old slushbox, but it does make for a very relaxed and comfortable cruiser.
The 928 is a car you really can do long road trips in
With reasonably wide tyres on it, the 928 grips and holds the road extremely well. The ride is firm but not uncomfortable, which means you can go around corners reasonably well, but not get tired after 20 minutes of rattling around in it. This is a car you really can do long roadtrips in as much as you can take it for a quick blast over a mountain pass on a weekend.
In every measurable way, the 928 was a far superior car to the 911, but due to the backwards thinking of some 911 fans, it was never really the success that it should have been. Today, it’s a little bit of a bargain. It is a fantastic car, especially this later S4 model. It’s a very useable classic you can enjoy every day, on weekends, on roadtrips or even doing the daily commute. Best of all is that Porsche fans have finally started to acknowledge just how good it was. Meaning values are on the rise. I’ve never thought of cars as an investment, and I would never advise someone buy one as an investment…. But it may just be enough of an excuse to convince your wife to let you have one.
Thanks again to Road and Race Automotive for supporting Carbs and Coffee and for letting us borrow this incredible car. If YOU would like to support what we do here at Carbs and Coffee, please consider picking up a nice T-shirt from our store, or booking a photo shoot for your car.