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Ferrari 412 and Porsche 928: 2 Power Gran Turisme from the 70s

Hardy Mutschler
Ferrari 412 and Porsche 928
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D as posing on the racetrack was also alien to this GT like the spectacular appearance in traffic. 'Strong performance, subtle appearance' could be the motto of the two 2 + 2-seater. But the history of their origins separates the two GTs.

Ferrari relied on evolution for its coupé: The drive technology for the car, initially known as the 365 GT 4 2 + 2, came from its predecessor, the 365 GT 2 + built from 1967 2. For this purpose, Pininfarina designer Paolo Martin designed a timelessly beautiful body that, in its simplicity, underlined by the notchback and the stately length of 4.81 meters, has the features of a sedan.

In 1972, the France- Importer presented the new Ferrari on the Parisian for the first time Automobile show. The body remained in the range until 1989 - for 17 years: a small eternity for Ferrari standards. In the last version, the GT, which many viewers rated as the most beautiful Ferrari at the time, was simply called 412.

The Ferrari flagship was the first Italian car to have 412 about ABS. The most attractive element is under the long front hood: the V12 engine with 315 hp. The injection now controls a Bosch KE-Jetronic, the choreography of the ignition sparks is played electronically.

The basis of the aluminum engine with a bank angle of 60 degrees comes from the Formula 1 engine from 1950, the Aurelio Lampredi developed. In the 1970s, a Weber carburetor battery was still mixing the gasoline-air cocktail. From 1979 a Bosch Motronic took over the preparation of the mixture according to the Swabian style.

Concessions to the US market

Not least the US emission standards ensured that the modern age made its way into the pinstripe Ferrari. Die-hard brand fans let this diplomatic move get away. About the optional automatic transmission - also a concession to the important overseas market - they turned up their noses.

Due to the three-speed automatic transmission from General Motors, the Ferrari noticeably loses its sporty joie de vivre. The long wheelbase and the relatively high weight of 1.9 tonnes do not identify it as a sports fan anyway. Compared to the Porsche , the Ferrari looks surprisingly cumbersome due to the tendency to understeer in corners.

The Porsche lacks the incomparable trumpeting of the twelve-cylinder and the exotic luxury of its Italian rival. In addition to the Italian couture from Turin, the shape of the German looks more like a sober business suit from Boss. But in Zuffenhausen, the decision-makers were more likely to target customers from local competitors Mercedes-Benz and BMW who were willing to switch than from rivals on the racetrack.

No legacy of the legend

Originally, the 928 inherit the 911. We have long known that this shot backfired: the classic Porsche customers would have run away in droves if they had to swap their icon with the six-cylinder boxer in the rear for the large coupé with a V8 engine installed in the front.

With around 61,000 units that Porsche delivered to customers between September 1977 and spring 1995, the four-seater transaxle coupé missed out on sales. However, the 928 is the calling card for the Stuttgart development team like no other project before: 'It was the first series model in Porsche history that you could design from scratch,' emphasizes automobile historian Karl Ludvigsen.

During the development of the 928, the engineers led by project manager Helmut Flegl and head of development Helmuth Bott demonstrated the speed they have trained in motorsport: it only took a good five years from setting the key data at the end of 1971 to the presentation in early 1977.

The V8 -Motor, in contrast to the Ferrari engine, initially had to make do with only one overhead camshaft. In the first version, the unit, made entirely of aluminum, had a rather modest 240 hp. By increasing the displacement up to 5.4 liters in the GTS offered from 1991 and the DOHC cylinder head with four valves, it ended up with 350 hp.

This power is Ferrari format, and thanks to the 20 Centimeter shorter wheelbase and the much better chassis, the Porsche is more pleasant to drive than the Ferrari. But the Zuffenhausen station wagon coupé does not come close to the charisma of an Italian Gran Turismo. He's simply too perfect an engineering work for that.

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