Forks in the road often dictate the course history will take, but it’s fun to speculate on the ‘what ifs’. So, what if the 928 had boasted the proposed V10?
The Porsche 928 was, and still is, a mighty impressive machine. This car was designed to take the company forward with new technology and new thinking – in fact, it was actually set to replace the 911. Yet as interesting as the 928 is, more thought provoking is the V10 928 that never was.
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Designed to have broader appeal than the niche 911, but to still uphold Porsche’s tradition of creating sporting cars, the 928 was a cutting-edge GT. Rear-wheel steering, lightweight aluminium parts and a coveted European Car of the Year win in 1978 made this the model of the future. It was also the first road-going Porsche with a V8 engine, although higher management was lobbying for a V10.
The loudest voice for the V10 engine was Ferdinand Piëch, grandson of Porsche’s founder and now technological engineering boss at Audi. His idea was to create a 4.6-litre V10 derived from Audi’s five-cylinder motor – itself based upon a Volkswagen unit. However, the Porsche board objected to the idea, not because putting such a large engine in the car was a bad move, but because it wanted to keep Porsche separate from Volkswagen to maintain prestige.
While the V10 928 dream was crushed by the executives, and further hampered by a fuel crisis, Porsche did eventually put V10 engine in one of its cars some 25 years later. The Carrera GT supercar made its debut sporting ten cylinders – although this engine came from motor sport, not a pair of Audi five-cylinders stuck together.
We can’t help but wonder what a V10 928 would have been like. Would that hefty lump have compromised the keen handling engineers wanted to preserve? Could the drivetrain cope with all of the power and torque? We’ll never know – that is, unless some engineering genius shoehorns a V10 into a restored Porsche 928… Hint, hint!