Automakers usually take great pride in unveiling concept cars and while most of them don’t even see the light of production, they make for interesting talking points on what kind of car they could’ve been if they were produced en masse. Very rarely do you see a concept version get sent back under the covers without being seen by the public for the next 25 years.
But that’s exactly what happened last weekend at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance when Porsche brought out what can only be described as the evolutionary concept predecessor of the Panamera, the 928 H50 Concept.
It must be noted that the 928 H50 Concept bears a striking similarity to the 928s that were produced from 1978 to 1995. The overall profile is similar, including the long, sliding hood that harkens back to the aesthetic profile of the 928. There are some awkward lines in there and the front-rear balance appears to be skewed to the former, but for all of its resemblance to the old 928, the 928 H50 Concept has one thing the other doesn’t have: two extra doors.
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Maybe that’s why people have taken to say that the current Panamera may have been a reincarnation of the 928 H50 Concept. Whatever the case may be, it is pretty interesting to know that Porsche was already working on a four-door saloon 25 years ago. As a matter of fact, the automaker reportedly made two of these models back in 1987, one that carried a hatchback-style rear while others had more of a station wagon look.
What we do know is that the 928 H50 Concept packed quite a wallop under that long hood in the form of a V8 engine that produced an impressive 330 horsepower, a little less than the 341 horsepower of the production 928. Even the top speed of the concept version is in the same vicinity as the old 928s, hitting 168 mph compared to 171 mph top speed of the Porsche model that carries the title of being the fastest car sold in the US.
The reasons behind Porsche’s decision to cover up the 928 H50 Concept for the past 25 years appears to have stemmed from their observation that the car’s body didn’t meet the company’s standards.
Take that for what it’s worth, especially when you take into account the fact that 25 years later, one of their most popular models, the Porsche Panamera, was built in the spirit of a concept car that took 25 years to have its covers lifted from it.