Date and place of world premiere: September 11, 1969 IAA Frankfurt Motor Show
|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|
|4-speed Sportomatic (914/6)|
|Adjustable passenger seat|
|US: front bumperettes||US: rear bumperettes||New bumper design|
|New steel wheel design|
- Kugelfischer fuel injection
- 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.
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.
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.
Technical specifications of 1970 European models (status 9/1969)
|Engine||1.7 L mid-mounted flat-4||2.0 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
Windshield washer electrically operated with lever on the steering column
|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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Article © James Herne / Stuttcars.com
“It’s as close as we could get to building a mountain goat. It’ll take you to the most dizzying heights, thanks to electronic fuel injection that feeds the engine the exact amount of gas it needs at all times.”
“There’s a bigger engine with more horsepower. It makes you feel as good as you look. It has forged light alloy wheels. They make you look as good as you feel.”
“For one thing, it’s very peppy. It goes from 0-60 in 12 seconds. /.../ Up till now we have been talking about the Porsche 914 with a 2-litre engine. But some people don’t require so much power, so we built a 914 with a 1.8-litre engine.”