German Flag Porsche 914 ~ 1969-76

Porsche 914/6In the early 911 days the 356 customer base requested a cheaper 911 model to equal the 356 price point. Porsche replied with the 912, basically a 911 with a 356 engine. The 912 was cheaper, but it still missed the mark and Porsche knew that developing a new car would be cost prohibitive so they asked to partner with Volkswagen to reach their goal. VW was smitten by the idea of offering a sports car developed by Porsche with VW parts, so a deal was struck and the VW-Porsche 914 was introduced in September 1969.

Porsche 914/6Simply named the Porsche 914 in the USA, this little two-seater, mid-rear engine, rear wheel drive with a “Targa” top (removable top panel) was all built by Karmann. The Porsche 914 had an awkward look, but it screamed sports car with its very low to the ground stature, pop-up headlights, and width for its size. The front fenders were raised and finished slanted with turning signals by the headlights. Behind the occupants was a short roof line serving as a roll bar and the flat rear lid ended straight with two rectangular tail lights.

Porsche 914/6 interior dashboardInside the Porsche 914 the interior space was just adequate for two adult. Three dials with the rpm dial right in the middle fitted into a wide rectangular binnacle welcomed you. No center console could be found and the gear shifter came straight out of the tunnel console with no more special treatement than the usual rubber acordeon at its base.

Porsche 914/6The 914 flat 4-cylinder overhead-cam engine came from VW, this one had a 1.7 liter (102 cu in) capacity at first producing 80 hp at 4900 rpm matted to a painstaking 5 speed dog-leg gearbox. Performance was in the VW department with a 0-60 mph time in 13 seconds and a top speed of 109 mph (175 km/h).

Porsche 914/6Alongside the flat-4, VW/Porsche introduced the 914/6, this model had a Porsche 911 T flat-6 two liter (121 cu in) motor developing 110 hp at 5800 rpm and moved the game higher with 9 seconds to reach 60 mph and a new top speed of 127 mph (205 km/h).

Porsche 914/6The Porsche 914/6 was also better equipped with vinyl on the “roll bar”, chromed bumper with fog lights, leather steering wheel and Porsche wheels. The 914/6 didn’t sell much though with just over 3300 cars sold in three years due to its high price tag approaching 911’s money.

Porsche 914/6The 914/6 was dropped in 1972 in favor of the 1973 two liter (120 cu in) VW flat-4 engine making 95 hp at 5000 rpm in US and 100 ps in Europe. Performance was better than the 1.7 liter flat-4 with now 10.5 seconds needed to reach 60 mph and 118 mph (190 km/h) in top speed, but aside from the improved VW engine figures, this 914 was much easier to operate with a new and less sloppy 5-speed transmission.

Porsche 914Also in 1973 a center console with gauges found its way in the cabin, then in 1974 the 1.7 liter got replaced by a 1.8 liter (109 cu in), mainly to compensate the catalytic converter in the USA. It developed 76 hp in the US and 85 ps in Europe, again in 1974 rubber pads appeared on the US model’s rear bumper and in 1975 US 914s received ugly front and back rubber bumpers.

Porsche 914The end arrived in 1975 in Europe and 1976 for the US, and while the 914 and 914/6 never caught up with the snob Porsche crowd, it still sold almost 119,000 units and could handled better than a 911.

JJP.

Porsche 914 - 914/6 Specifications. 1969-76
Model/Year Porsche 914 1.7 L
Sept 1969-73
Porsche 914/6
1970-72
Porsche 914 2.0 L
1973-74
Porsche 914 1.8 L
1974-76
Designer Gugelot Design GmbH      
Engine Type Flat-4, SOHC. 2V Flat-6, SOHC    
Capacity 1679 cc / 102 cu in 1991 cc / 121 cu in 1971 cc / 120 cu in 1795 cc / 109 cu in
Fuel Feed Bosch FI Weber Carburetor
2 triple-choke
Bosch FI Bosch FI
Power 80 ps @ 4900 rpm
79 hp (USA)
110 ps @ 5800 rpm
108 hp (USA)
100 ps @ 5000 rpm
95 hp (USA)
85 ps @ 5000 rpm
76 hp (USA)
Torque 100 lb-ft @ 2700 rpm 118 lb-ft @ 4200 rpm 118 lb-ft @ 3500 rpm 102 lb-ft @ 3400 rpm
Transmission Dog-leg 5 speed - RWD
Optional "Sportomatic"
    New 5 Speed
Top Speed 109 mph - 175 km/h 127 mph - 205 km/h 118 mph - 190 km/h 109 mph - 175 km/h
"0-60" mph - 0-100 km/h 13 sec 9 sec 10.5 sec 12 sec
Chassis Unitary Steel      
Weelbase 2450 mm / 96.46 in      
Front Suspension Mac Pherson struts, torsion bar
Tube Shocks, Anti-roll Bar
     
Rear Suspension Semi-trailing arms, Coil Springs,
Tube Shocks
     
Brakes Disc all around      
Front Tires 155 SR-15 185 HR-14 or
165 HR-15
165 HR-15 165 SR-15
Rear Tires 155 SR-15 185 HR-14 or
165 HR-15
165 HR-15 165 SR-15
Steering Rack & Pinion      
Weight 2072 lb / 940 kg 2183 lb / 990 kg 2094 lb / 950 kg 2094 lb / 950 kg
Country of Origin Germany      
Production Num. 118 992 Total
(1.7, 1.8, 2.0, 914/6)
3351 118 992 Total
(1.7, 1.8, 2.0, 914/6)
118 992 Total
(1.7, 1.8, 2.0, 914/6)
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Porsche 914/6 -
... As well as its front cargo space, and as
the Boxster will have in the mid-late 90's.
Porsche 914/6 -
As a mid-rear engine proposition, the Porsche 914
still offers plenty of cargo space in its rear trunk...
Porsche 914/6 -
Placed in mid-rear position, the VW flat-4
or Porsche flat-6 engine (911 T) were able
to dissipate heat from this cleverly designed
rear mesh screen.
Porsche 914 -
Due to increasingly stricter Federal
safety laws appearing in the 60s & 70s,
" Targa-top" panel roofs, as well as "T-top" roofs
became more and more popular with car
manufacturers who still wished to offer an
open top motoring experience to their customers,
while still complying to tougher safety regulations.
Porsche 914/6 -
The 914's chisled front fenders with
their slanted turning signals are
one of the 914's design trademarks.
Also the beautiful pop-up headlights are
representative of the 70s-90s sports car era.