Porsche (Type 914/6)
Karmann (Type 914/4)
1969–1976, 118 978 in total
914/4: 115 646
914/6: 3 332
Rear mid-engine, RWD
Flat 4: 1.7, 1.8, 2.0
Flat 6: 2.0
- 2.450mm (96.5 in)
3.985 x 1.650 x 1.230mm
Type 34 Karmann Ghia (left) and Porsche 914 (right)
The Porsche 914 or VW-Porsche 914 is a mid-engined, targa-topped two-seat roadster designed, manufactured and marketed collaboratively by Volkswagen and Porsche from 1969 to 1976. By the late 1960s, both Volkswagen and Porsche were in need of new models; Porsche was looking for a replacement for their entry-level 912, and Volkswagen wanted a new range-topping sports coupe to replace the Karmann Ghia. At the time, the majority of Volkswagen's developmental work was handled by Porsche, part of a setup that dated back to Porsche's founding; Volkswagen needed to contract out one last project to Porsche to fulfill the contract, and decided to make this that project. Ferdinand Piëch, who was in charge of research and development at Porsche, was put in charge of the 914 project.
Originally intending to sell the vehicle with a flat four-cylinder engine as a Volkswagen and with a flat six-cylinder engine as a Porsche, Porsche decided during development that having Volkswagen and Porsche models sharing the same body would be risky for business in the American market, and convinced Volkswagen to allow them to sell both versions as Porsches in North America.
On March 1, 1968, the first 914 prototype was presented. However, development became complicated after the death of Volkswagen's chairman, Heinz Nordhoff, on April 12, 1968. His successor, Kurt Lotz, was not connected with the Porsche dynasty and the verbal agreement between Volkswagen and Porsche fell apart.
In Lotz's opinion, Volkswagen had all rights to the model, and no incentive to share it with Porsche if they would not share in tooling expenses. With this decision, the price and marketing concept for the 914 had failed before series production had begun. As a result, the price of the chassis went up considerably, and the 914/6 ended up costing only a bit less than the 911T, Porsche's next lowest price car. The 914/6 sold quite poorly while the much less expensive 914-4 became Porsche's top seller during its model run, outselling the Porsche 911 by a wide margine with over 118,000 units sold worldwide.