The latest vision of the 928 (image copyright by Larson). (2006).
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&DriverPorsche to put out a new front-engine coupe in 2011. The upcoming four-door Panamera spawns a two-door GT.
The 928, Porsche's front-engine entry in the coupe GT market, never quite enjoyed the success of the signature sports car, the 911. Since Porsche stopped producing the 928 in 1995 after an 18-year run, the German automaker has gone without a front-engine coupe to compete with the likes of the BMW M6, Jaguar XKR, Aston-Martin DB9, and Mercedes CL-class. The 911, which remains much more the pure sports car than any of the coupes, has gradually moved farther upmarket and provides a sporting alternative to those cars, but it now appears that Porsche is developing a more direct competitor for the front-engine GTs, a coupe that sources suggest will be in showrooms by 2011. Porsche might even name it the 928.
Built on the platform that will underpin Porsche's 2009 Panamera four-door sports sedan, the unnamed two-door will ride on a shorter wheelbase but will share at least 60 percent of its parts with the Panamera. The sedan's control-arm front suspension and multilink rear will likely get firmer tuning in keeping with the coupe's sporting pretense. The shorter wheelbase will reduce the coupe's weight and improve its handling, but the reduction will come at the expense of rear-seat space. As in the 911, the back seats will likely only be suitable for children, insolent teens, and mothers-in-law.
Coupe buyers will choose from a selection of Porsche's next-generation direct-injection-equipped V-8 engines. The Cayenne SUV will also get these new V-8s. Power is expected to be about 350 horses upward, with turbo versions making in excess of 500. There are rumors regarding a possible 6.0-liter V-10, which would reportedly make about 650 horsepower. Transmission choices should mirror those found in the Panamera, a seven-speed, dual-clutch DSG in the automatic role and a six-speed manual for those who insist on traditional shifting. There are no plans for an all-wheel-drive version. Like the 928 that preceded it, this coupe will be rear-wheel drive, with a transaxle helping to balance weight distribution.
Pricing for this front-engine Porsche will likely begin where the naturally aspirated 911's leaves off, a base version of the coupe going for about $100,000, with prices of higher-horsepower versions rising quickly into the rare $150,000-plus stratosphere, where the Bentley Continental GT rules.
(source: BY Tony Quiroga, Photo By Radovan Varicak, of Car).
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