Classic Concepts: Porsche 928 H50
By 1987, Porsche loyalists had begrudgingly accepted the 928's egg-shaped styling and blasphemic front-engined layout; but Porsche had grasped that it would never gain the cult following of the 911 it was intended to replace. Rather than forging ahead along an ever-narrowing path, the Zuffenhausen marque instead decided to build upon the 928’s GT credentials by experimenting with a four-door version in the style of a shooting brake.
A new-at-the-time Series 4 model served as a basis, with its enlarged, now 5.0-litre V8 (tweaked to 330bhp) remaining front-mounted. The existing chassis was lengthened to give rear passengers more legroom and they were now also aided by the addition of half-sized coach doors. However, after 5,000 miles of developmental testing, the engineers decided that the chassis didn’t meet the required rigidity benchmarks in elongated form, and it was swiftly consigned to storage.
The development mule (which explains the ill-fitting rear screen and poorly finished bodywork) didn’t see the light of day for another 25 years, when it was finally revealed at Pebble Beach 2012. Its flaws might have extinguished any hopes for production, but the H50 928 certainly passed wisdom down to its spiritual successors – Porsche crafted a completely new (and adequately rigid) platform when cultivating the Panamera. So with the latter flying the nest and starting its own family, it seems only fair that the forgotten father gets a moment in the spotlight.