The Porsche 914 Story
Porsche needed a car to replace the 912 and Volkswagen needed a car to replace its Karmann Ghia. They joined forces.
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The Porsche 914 was a joint development between Porsche and Volkswagen and was the new Porsche entry-level model as of model year 1970.The two-seater, also known as the "VW Porsche", was a mid-engine Sports Car. Striking design features included the very long wheelbase for the vehicle length, short overhangs, the removable roof centre panel made from glass fiber-reinforced plastic as well as the wide safety bar. The 914 also featured pop-up headlights. At the time of its launch, the 914 was available with two engines. 914: 1.7-liter flat-four engine with 80 hp from Volkswagen and the 914/6: 2.0-liter flat-six engine with 110 hp from the Porsche 911 T. These were followed by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 100 hp based on the 1.7-liter engine in model year 1973 and a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine with 85 hp in model year 1974.
Manufacturer: Porsche (Type 914/6), Karmann (Type 914/4) / Production Years: 1969 - 1976 / Body Style: 2-Door Targa / Layout: Rear mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout / Engines: 1.7 L Volkswagen Type 4 Flat-4, 1.8 L Volkswagen Type 4 Flat-4, 2.0 L Volkswagen Type 4 Flat-4, 2.0 L Type 901/36 Flat-6 (914/6) / Transmission: 5-speed manual or 4-speed Sportomatic / Premiere: 1969 September 11, IAA Frankfurt motor show / Predecessor: Porsche 912 / Successor: Porsche 924
This graphic breaks out the Porsche 914 in terms of timelines and how to tell all the models apart. Click on the image to see it in higher definition.
The standard 914 was powered by Volkswagen’s horizontal four-cylinder engine, producing a power output of 80 hp. Even with the lightweight Porsche body, acceleration suffered. The solution to this was to offer a second version: the 914/6, powered by a six-cylinder engine, total power output exceeded 100 hp. The latter engine was peaky and could be made to do great things–sixth overall at the 24 Hours of LeMans in 1970, for example–but its low take rate demanded a more suitable replacement. This came in 1973, when the fuel-injected variant of Volkswagen’s air-cooled Type 4 engine was dropped in behind the two seats, staying there through 1976, when series production ended.
In terms of special edition and race Porsche 914s, there were several iterations. The Porsche 914-6 GT was a race car built by Porsche, based on the 914 model with a 6-cylinder engine and GT package. The 914-6 GT was a race configured version of the 914-6. Porsche only built 2 914/8s. The first was a development mule that Piëch used to prove the concept of a 914/8. The second was built for Ferry Porsche as a birthday present. Both are very unique 914s still owned by Porsche and regularly shown at the museum in Stuttgart. They had a 300 HP 3.0L 908 engine and a 916 transmission, and was never registered for the street. This was a test bed and a prototype, with many unique features that did not end up on the production 914s. Porsche produced two limited edition 914 models: the Creamsicle and Bumblebee, the latter created to celebrate the Porsche's domination of the Can-Am series with the Type 917. There was also the Porsche 916 and Tapiro concepts.
The VW van engine in Porsche’s mid-engined 914 didn’t inspire enthusiasts like other Porsche models. Its humble roots divided the Porsche faithful who couldn’t agree on the 914’s purpose. While the performance numbers weren't spectacular, the Porsche was fun and a true Porsche in nature.
|Specs||Porsche 914/4 (1.7 L)||Porsche 914/6 (2.0 L)||Porsche 914/4 (1.8 L)||Porsche 914/4 (2.0 L)|
|Years||1970 - 1973||1970 - 1972||1974 - 1976||1973 - 1976|
|Engine||Flat, four-cylinder boxer engine||Flat, six-cylinder Type 901/3 boxer engine||Flat, four-cylinder boxer engine||Flat, four-cylinder boxer engine|
|Induction||Bosch D-Jetronic Fuel injection||Two 3-barrel 40 mm Weber carburetors||Bosch L-Jetronic Fuel injection||Bosch D-Jetronic Fuel injection|
|Displacement||1,679 cc (102.5 cu in)||1,991 cc (121.5 cu in)||1,795 cc (109.5 cu in)||1,970 cc (120.2 cu in)|
|Bore x stroke||90 mm × 66 mm / (3.5 in × 2.6 in)||80 mm × 66 mm / (3.1 in × 2.6 in)||93 mm × 66 mm / (3.7 in × 2.6 in)||94 mm × 71 mm / (3.7 in × 2.8 in)|
|Maximum power||80 bhp @ 4900 rpm||125 bhp @ 5800 rpm||76 bhp @ 4800 rpm||100 bhp @ 4900 rpm|
|Maximum torque||98 ft lbs @ 2700 rpm||131 ft lbs @ 4200 rpm||100 ft lbs @ 3400 rpm||116 ft lbs @ 3500 rpm|
|Compression ratio||8.2:1||8.6:1||7.3:1 (European-spec 8.6:1)||7.6:1 (European-spec 8.0:1)|
|Valvetrain||Single cam-in-block. 2 overhead valves per cylinder.||Single overhead camshaft (one per cylinder head). 2 overhead valves per cylinder.||Single cam-in-block. 2 overhead valves per cylinder.||Single cam-in-block. 2 overhead valves per cylinder.|
|Cooling||Air cooling (fan)||Air cooling (fan)||Air cooling (fan)||Air cooling (fan)|
|Transmission||5-speed manual transmission||5-speed manual transmission, 4-speed semi-automatic transmission (Sportomatic)||5-speed manual transmission||5-speed manual transmission|
|Front suspension||McPherson struts and lower A-arms. Longitudinal torsion bars.||McPherson struts and lower A-arms. Longitudinal torsion bars.||McPherson struts and lower A-arms. Longitudinal torsion bars.||McPherson struts and lower A-arms. Longitudinal torsion bars.|
|Rear suspension||Semi-trailing arms. Coil springs over tubular shock absorbers.||Semi-trailing arms. Coil springs over tubular shock absorbers.||Semi-trailing arms. Coil springs over tubular shock absorbers.||Semi-trailing arms. Coil springs over tubular shock absorbers.|
|Body/chassis||Steel unibody||Steel unibody||Steel unibody||Steel unibody|
|Track width (Front/Rear)||1,337 / 1,374 mm (52.6 / 54.1 in)||1,361 / 1,382 mm (53.6 / 54.4 in)||1,361 / 1,382 mm (53.6 / 54.4 in)||1,361 / 1,382 mm (53.6 / 54.4 in)|
|Wheelbase||2,450 mm (96.5 in)||2,450 mm (96.5 in)||2,450 mm (96.5 in)||2,450 mm (96.5 in)|
|Brakes (Front/Rear)||255 mm disc / 282 mm disc||282 mm vented disc / 286 mm disc||282 mm vented disc / 286 mm disc||282 mm vented disc / 286 mm disc|
|Tires||155 SR 15||165 HR 15 or 185 HR 14||165 SR 15||165 HR 15|
|Dimensions (L x W x H)||3,985 mm × 1,650 mm × 1,220 mm||3,985 mm × 1,650 mm × 1,220 mm||3,985 mm × 1,650 mm × 1,230 mm||3,985 mm × 1,650 mm × 1,230 mm|
|Curb weight||940 kg / (2,072 lb)||985 kg / (2,172 lb)||950 kg / (2,094 lb)||950 kg / (2,094 lb)|
|Maximum speed||109 mph||123 mph||108 mph||118.1 mph|
|0 - 60 mph time||13.9 seconds||8.7 seconds||12.0 seconds||8.8 seconds|
Porsche 914/4 (1.7 L):
Porsche 914/6 (2.0 L):
Porsche 914/4 (1.8 L):
Porsche 914/4 (2.0 L):
The Porsche 914 is definitely unique when it comes to looks. It is also small, fun and relatively fast. Enjoy our interactive galleries and awesome videos of the Porsche 914 below.
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