Introduced in 1964, the new Porsche six-cylinder 911 was a revolutionary model that company management initially feared would alienate its loyal customers who were accustomed to the 356. To alleviate these concerns, the company introduced the 912 companion model which shared its body and chassis with the 911, but powered by a smaller, yet proven, four-cylinder engine of the outgoing 356. The 914 was the eventual successor to the 912, and wore a design that dates back to sketches by Hans Gugelot and developed under Ferdinand A. 'Butzi' Porsche. The distinct bodywork was built by Karmann of Osnabrück and had a mid-engine layout and a Targa roof.
The Porsche 914 made its debut at the 1969 Frankfurt Auto Show as a 1970 model and sold as the 'Volkswagen-Porsche 914' by VW-Porsche GmbH in Europe and as the 'Porsche 914' by Volkswagen of America. This new model re-affirmed Porsche's strong historical links with Volkswagen. At the time Volkswagen was in need of a car to replace the ageing Karmann-Ghia and Porsche was looking to replace its 912 and add a new model to the lineup. The resulting 914/4 was powered by the 1,679cc, four-cylinder, air-cooled motor of the Volkswagen 411 while the 914/6 was powered by the Porsche 911T's 2.0-liter six. Both versions had an all-independent suspension created from a mixture of 911 and Volkswagen parts, four-wheel disc brakes, and a five-speed gearbox.
The 914/6 was discontinued in 1972 and effectively replaced by the 1,971cc, 95 horsepower four-cylinder '914 2.0' from the company's fuel-injected Type 4 unit. These versions also came with forged alloy wheels, improved interior with additional instrumentation, and anti-roll bars in the front and back. Production ceased in 1976 after over 115,646 examples were built, making it Porsche's best-selling model by that time.
By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2020
In June of 1970, the Porsche 914 was crowned as Motor Trend magazine's Import Car of the Year.