The 1993-95 Porsche 928 GTS

It’s possessed.

June 30, 2000

There is no mistaking the banshee wail of the 32-valve V8 powered Porsche 928. American muscle sounds like some old industrial sample mixed with the muffled grunts of an outside linebacker lost in the throes of sexual ecstasy. What else would you expect from Dee-troit motorvation? It is only proper and quite lovely in its way.
The 928’s 32-valve V8 does not inspire thoughts of old Nine Inch Nails tracks or Dallas Cowboys post-game parties. The 928 needs an exorcist. What else can you say about this European-bred, American-fed asphalt-eater that, by every indication, feeds not on unleaded, but rather the ectoplasmic residue of damned souls. Helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Also, it’s the only muscle car I’ve ever seen that doesn’t look overly swishy slathered in a hue named “Champagne Pink.” That’s just not normal.

The GTS made its run as Porsche’s baddest-in-breed version of the 928 coupe, which was, incidentally, the very first Porsche thumper to run a water-cooled, front-mounted V8 engine back when it was introduce in 1983.The first GTS rolled off the line in 1993, the last, in 1995. There was always something funky about this car. Something not quite ordinary. Something, dare I say, supernatural?

So I’m exaggerating a little. Sue me. But the 928 GTS does not easily fit into categories. From looks alone, you’d guess that someone had taken an old 924, stretched it on the rack, and fed solely on raw meat and horse steroids. This is not so far from the truth. The 2-series look remains, particularly in the front fascia and classic Porsche peepers. But this is no lightweight four-banger. The seating feels very American, with low-set buckets that could swallow you whole. The big coupe tips the scales at almost 3,600 pounds—not exactly the kind of weight you’d want to throw around on ancient, tortuous European twisties.

The power plant, a normally aspirated 5.4 liter eight, is both big and extra-torquey by European standards. Official sources rate it at 345 ponies (at 5,700 RPMs), and 369 lb-ft (at 4.250 revs). You want Euro-beef of this caliber, you’ll have to hunt up Dolph Lundgren. But that’s your business.

The suspension’s fairly tame by European standards—nothing much to distinguish it from a ‘Vette or Viper of the same era: dual independent wishbones, vented four-wheel discs, 17" rollers, limited slip rear. It's par for the course. Gearbox choices included a five-speed manual and a four-speed automatic. For all it’s oomph—and that $90,000 price tag—the GTS seems just a little sluggish off the line—the Porsche needs 5.1 seconds to reach 60—that’s modern Firebird WS6 territory—and 13.7 seconds to finish the quarter. But man o’ man, once it starts poppin’, there’s no stoppin’. The demons start puttin’ the fork to the tortured souls who provide all that pony power and the GTS will keep on climbing to a nick or two over 170 mph, which is more than enough to get anyone’s license revoked.

Still, it's the sound of the engine that gets to you. Riding shotgun on a clear blue evening down unworked country roads, with the wail and the wind and a blacked-out forest providing back-drop, the 928 GTS makes for one mother of an eerie ride.

Graham Strouse is down with the demons. He knows what they drive.


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