Would You Do This to a 928 Porsche?
The 928 Porsche is a seminal touring car influencing automotive design for years. With the oversight of Tony Lapine, it marked a new design and platform direction for Porsche. It is only now starting to attract collectors with its timeless design. This was part of the stimulus for this “retro-futurism” collaboration between designer Daniel Arsham and Porsche.
What’s wrong with the 928 Porsche?
Some Porschephiles still dismiss the 928 as a non-Porsche. Some of this is because it’s large, and has a water-cooled V8, with a transmission in the rear. All of those criticisms justify their dismissive stance toward it but are shallow at best.
They don’t like the flip-up headlights, the sunken taillights, the width of the 928, and more. If it’s not a variation of the 911, not air-cooled, with an engine out back, it’s not a Porsche. It’s the same narrow-mindedness that beset the 912 and 924/944, which is a shrunken 928 that addresses some of the naysayers’ 928 complaints head-on.
What is the “Nebula 928” for?
Since the 928’s design is still polarizing among some Porschephiles, Arsham pushed it some more. This is the second Porsche collaboration between the Stuttgart manufacturer and Arsham. Its first showing is at the 2023 South x Southwest festival starting today.
Called Nebula 928, the 1978 touring coupe is described as an “homage to the early 2000s, looking back twenty years to harness its Y2K aesthetics to step into the future of car design,” according to Designboom. Huh? While the explanation puzzles, it actually is a 928 that has a redesigned front fascia and rear bumper cover to help lift it into today’s Porsche designs. In some ways, it utilizes modern cues, but they’re a bit quirky. The design is aided by help from designer Khyzyl Saleem.
In the rear, the “Nebula” name replaces the indented Porsche identification found on stock 928 bumper covers. Arsham’s logo is in the tangent parking lights front and rear. This partially justifies the adjacent lights to the main parking lights and taillights.
The quirkiness extends with the color. It is the “Y2K Purple.” Then, it extends various tones of purple into the interior. The updates continue with a billet aluminum steering wheel and shift knob. There are also those 1990s tuner car wheels.
Good or bad, it’s good
A darker shade of purple is applied with the ByBorre fabric and purple Ultrasuede and leather. The fabric has a repeating design of Arsham’s logo. It’s all very Arsham-y. But that is part of Porsche’s entré into the hip design realm.
But notably, the 928 sheet metal is stock. It hewes to the original design’s subtle and soft surfaces. But the paint color we suspect no 928 has seen. As to the rear wing, well, it’s a bit over the top, and probably another attempt to expand on the quirkiness.
It’s one of those concept car exercises that if it elicits bad responses, it’s a success. If it elicits praise, it’s a success. So either way, as long as the Nebula 928 elicits a response, it personifies what design is all about.