The Porsche 914. The striking VW Porsche

Auto Motor Klassiek » History » The Porsche 914. The striking VW Porsche

Far in the mid-sixties, Porsche wanted to broaden its market position. The promising segment under the 911 offered space for a new sports car. Porsche found a partner in Volkswagen to work on this project. Kurt Lotz, CEO of VW, and Ferry Porsche came up with a solution. They founded the VW Porsche Vertriebsgesellschaft, and that led to the arrival of the Porsche 1969 in 914. In Europe, the model would be marketed as a VW Porsche, which was visible, for example, because early hubcaps were wearing the VW logo. A more important link was the technology with which the (four-cylinder) 914 / 4 was equipped. With its introduction, it was given the new 1.7 engine from Volkswagen. The Porsche 914 / 6 also received the six-cylinder boxer engine from the Porsche 911 T.

The Porsche 914 was given a self-supporting body and the engines were placed in the middle. In fact, the VW Porsche was the first German sports car with a mid-engine. The interaction with the chassis (independently suspended wheels, rear-mounted cantilever arms, transversely-placed front arms) ensured a well-balanced and sporty handling. In an external sense, the Porsche 914 was characterized by the targa roof, the short overhang and the folding headlights. The combination of appearance, construction and technology gave the Porsche 914 a lot of individuality and character. The four-cylinder VW engine was a new development. That distinguished itself by the application of D-Jetronic injection. The 1,7 liter four-cylinder developed 59 kW / 80 hp at 4900 / tmin. That resulted in appealing figures - at least for that time - such as an acceleration to 100 km / h in thirteen seconds and a top of 177 km / h.

914 / 6. Rare

The four-cylinder version was immediately joined by the Porsche 914 / 6 from the introduction. This version, produced between 1969, was equipped with an 110 PK-supplying 1.991 cc engine, a power source that was also installed in earlier 911 units. Although the configuration was sophisticated, not many buyers wanted to make the move to the six-cylinder Porsche 914. Porsche 3.338 / 914 variants produced with 6 were disappointing. And that development was partly due to the fact that the 911 Targa with the same engine (and slightly more power) was relatively not much more expensive. In 1971 and 1972 the number was even so low that Porsche decided to end the production of the Porsche 914 / 6. Nevertheless, the model did indeed provide a reason to release special versions of it. Porsche developed the 914 / 6 R (sports kit) and the Porsche 914 / 6 GT (homologation model for the FIA ​​GT class).

Two unique prototypes

The VW-Porsche concept offered space to develop legendary prototypes. Those cars were intended for Ferdinand Piëch and Ferry Porsche. The Porsche 914 / 8 with the 3,0-liter eight-cylinder from the Porsche 908 racer that dominated the circuits in the seventies was one of the exotics. Thanks to its injection system, the engine of the first car reached around 220 kW / 300 hp. Porsche provided the second car with an eight-cylinder carburetor, and that power source supplied 191 kW / 260 hp. Both specimens reached a top of about 250 km / h; they formed the basis for the 916, which was clearly derived from the 914 and was built only eleven times. Eight of them received an 2653 cc engine (six cylinder, 210 PK) and the other three were equipped with the 2311 cc engine that generated 190 PK.

Adjustments for recent years

For 1973, the Porsche 914 is dragged once again. The Porsche 914 / 6 was no longer available from the summer of 1972. And the 1.7 engine fell in favor of the 1.8 engine. That was a direct consequence of the changes Volkswagen made to the engines of the Type 4. The injection was canceled, two double carburetors returned. The 1.8 was available in addition to the also new Porsche 914 2.0 liter, which divided the 1.971 cc over four cylinders, and received fuel injection in contrast to the 1.8. The two liter version had a maximum capacity of 100 PK. Furthermore, the updated 914 stood out in the external sense due to the application of the black color scheme to the bumpers.

Successful

The distinctive VW Porsche with the characteristic Targa roof was primarily intended for younger buyers. With a basic price of the original 11.955 DM, the Porsche 914 series developed into a bestseller. 1969 copies of the Porsche 1975 / 115.631 were built between 914 and 4 at Karmann in Osnabrück. The six-cylinder version, which ran until the summer of 1972, also had a body from Osnabrück, but was finished in contrast to the four-cylinder versions at Porsche in Zuffenhausen. The Porsche 914 was especially loved in the United States - where the 914 was a pure Porsche at the dealer, so without the addition VW - loved. In the US he was named 'Import Car of the Year' in 1970.

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