Porsche 914

Premiere: September 11, 1969 IAA Frankfurt Motor Show

Ferdinand Piëch's 914/8 (prototype chassis no. 914111)© Porsche
1969 prototypes MY1970 MY1971 MY1972 MY1973 MY1974 MY1975 MY1976
914/4 1.7 53 kW California 914/4 1.8 56 kW USA
914/4 1.7 59 kW 914/4 1.8 63 kW Euro
914/4 2.0 70 kW USA 914/4 2.0 65 kW USA
914/6 2.0 81 kW 914/4 2.0 74 kW Euro
914/6 2.0 M471 widebody 81 kW
914/6 2.0 M491 racing version 162 kW
914/8 3.0 221 kW
914/8 3.0 Coupé 191 kW
MY1970 MY1971 MY1972 MY1973 MY1974 MY1975 MY1976
5-speed manual
4-speed Sportomatic (914/6)
Adjustable passenger seat
US: front bumperettes US: rear bumperettes New bumper design
New steel wheel design
Kugelfischer fuel injection
Carburettor
D-Jetronic fuel injection
L-Jetronic fuel injection

Porsche needed an entry-level car to replace the 912 and Volkswagen needed a sports car to replace its Karmann Ghia, so the forces were joined to build a sports car that would be an affordable Porsche and a modern Volkswagen. Given the type 914 designation, the targa-topped roadster was designed over the autumn of 1966. The design group was led by Heinrich Klie and Ferdinand Alexander Porsche. Ferdinand Piëch, as the head of development at Porsche, was also the 914 project leader. On March 1, 1968, the first 914/4 prototype was driven. The car had the flat-4 engine mounted in front of the rear axle. The mid-engine layout meant the 914 could achieve higher cornering G-forces than the 911.

As a project leader, Ferdinand Piëch had his technicians fit one of the prototypes with the 3-litre flat-8 fuel injected 16 spark plug engine from the Porsche 908 racing car.

The Piëch's Blood Orange 914/8 3.0 prototype (chassis no. 914111) had wider headlamp housings which showed the quad lamps when popped out. Compared to the production cars, in the nose there was an oval opening for oil cooler and the front wheel arches were modified for the wider tyres not to touch the body under heavy cornering.© James Herne / Stuttcars.com

Agreed in January 1969, the marketing company VW-Porsche Vertriebsgesellschaft mbH was founded in April. Both parties had a 50% share. From now on, the sales operations for the 911, 914-4 and 914-6 were carried out by the marketing company. Key positions were held on an equal authority basis by Otto-Erich Filius of Porsche (formerly Vice-President Porsche of America) and Klaus Schneider of VW. Naturally, the establishment of the joint venture started the rumours of the merger of VW and Porsche. Porsche even had to emit a special press release to convince that Porsche and Volkswagen are independent companies.

VW-Porsche Vertriebsgesellschaft mbH in Ludwigsburg© Porsche

Introduced on September 11, 1969 in Frankfurt, the 914 could be seen both on the VW-Porsche exhibition stand and on the Karmann stand. As agreed, the 914 will be sold in Europe as a VW-Porsche and in the USA as a Porsche. The 914/4 was equipped with the 1.7L 4-cylinder Volkswagen 411E engine with Bosch electronic fuel injection and the car was fully produced at the Karmann plant in Osnabrück. The 914/6 had its body made at Karmann and then shipped to Stuttgart for the marriage with the 1969 model year 911 T 6-cylinder 2-litre carburetor engine (911s already got 2.2-litre engines for model year 1970). Despite the Porsche body and the Porsche engine, the European 914/6 was called the VW-Porsche according to the agreement. The wheels, hubs and brakes for the 914/4 came from the VW 411 family car and for the 914/6 from the 911. The production of the 914/4 started in 1969 (as model year 1970) and the production of the 914/6 in 1970.

The front and rear sections of the body are formed as easily deformable crumple zones. The passenger compartment is a deformation-rigid safety cell. The safety steering column provides the driver with better protection. Saving the cost, the passenger seat was not adjustable (until the end of model year 1971). On some markets the optional central seat cushion and seat belt for a child were available, making it a 3-seater. The hand brake lever was placed to the left of the driver. Despite the Porsche's entry-level model wasn't a 4-seater anymore and despite its performance figures not better than of the outgoing 912, in cooperation with Volkswagen the car is priced so well that it becomes Porsche's best seller.

Porsche was really concerned about its image now when the 914 was made in cooperation with Volkswagen and stressed on journalists in the August 25, 1969, press release that the car should not be called as "Volksporsche" ("People's Porsche"), nor 'VOPO' (called as the "fatal synonym" in this press release). The press release marks the 914 1.7 to cost 12.000 DM and the 911 2.2 S 30.000 DM, so a 2.5 times difference between the entry-level and the top-of-the-line Porsche.

Production at the Karmann factory in Osnabrück© Karmann
Karmann factory in Osnabrück, in front row US-model 914/4s (note the side lamp on front fender)© Karmann
© Karmann

Technical specifications of 1970 European models (status 9/1969)

  914/4 914/6
Engine1.7 L mid-mounted flat-42.0 L mid-mounted flat-6
Power 59 kW 81 kW
Fuel feeding system Bosch D-jetronic electronic fuel injection Weber carburetors with idle lever in the cockpit
Engine lubrication system pressure-circulation (wet sump) dry sump
Brakes 4 disc brakes 4 disc brakes, front ones internally vented
Wheels 4-bolt, 4.5x15 steel wheels as standard with tubeless 155 tyres (cast alloy and forged wheels optional) 5-bolt, 5.5x15 steel wheels as standard with 165 tyres (cast alloy and forged wheels optional)
Windscreen tempered glass (laminated optional) laminated safety glass
Bumper finish painted (chrome optional) chrome
Rollover bar finish in body colour (optionally covered with black vinyl) covered with black vinyl
Chrome trim strips optional standard
Steering wheel ornament Wolfsburg crest Porsche crest
Tachometer scale 7000 rpm 8000 rpm
Speedometer scale 200 km/h 250 km/h
Oil temperature gauge optional with centre console integrated with fuel gauge
Ignition lock location on the right (on steering column) on the left (on dashboard)
Windshield wiper system 2-stage
Windshield washer pneumatically operated by push button in the wiper switch on dashboard
3-stage
Windshield washer electrically operated with lever on the steering column
Two-tone horn optional standard
Empty weight 900 kg (1984 lb) 940 kg (2072 lb)
Acceleration 0-40 km/h 3.0 sec. 2.6 sec.
Acceleration 0-60 km/h 5.8 sec. 4.8 sec.
Acceleration 0-80 km/h 9.0 sec. 7.0 sec.
Acceleration 0-100 km/h (62 mph) 13.0 sec. 9.9 sec.
Acceleration 0-120 km/h 19.4 sec. 14.0 sec.
Acceleration 0-140 km/h 27.2 sec. 19.2 sec.
Acceleration 0-160 km/h (100 mph) 43.2 sec. 26.5 sec.
Acceleration 0-180 km/h 37.0 sec.
Top speed 177 km/h (110 mph) 201 km/h (125 mph)

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Search for a 914 or continue to 916 or 924

Anniversaries
Mar, 05 – 14th birthday of the Carrera GT (2003)
Mar, 06 – 5th birthday of the Boxster 981 (2012)
Mar, 12 – 48th birthday of the 917 (1969)
Mar, 13 – 56th birthday of Ferdinand Oliver Porsche (1961)
Mar, 16 – 40th birthday of the 928 (1977)