Porsche 914/6: The cornering artist

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The 9 14 did not become. 'It looks like he's already had his accident behind him,' says former BMW sales manager Paul G. Hahnemann, who was feared because of his cheeky comments. The BMW salesman is silent on the technical concept of the new car. There is also something to be said about this, but nothing derogatory. The 914, which made its debut in 1969 and was soon to be known as the Volks-Porsche, was the first German production car with a mid-engine.

Sports car with the coati boxer

In the base, this is directly behind the two-seater cabin rumbling aggregate a good, 1.7 liter, 80 hp four-cylinder boxer, which usually drives the even uglier mid-range VW model called 411 - soon popularly dubbed a coati.

But Porsche wouldn't be Porsche if it weren't for something even hotter in the hindquarters. It is the air-cooled six-cylinder from the 911 T. Here it has a volume of 2.2 liters and 125 hp, in the 914/6 it offers 110 hp with the original displacement of exactly 1991 cubic centimeters. The power reduction also has hierarchical reasons. The 911 series has to be stronger than the hybrid. In terms of price, the difference between the upgraded 914 and the original 911 with the basic engine is amazingly small. The 914/6 costs just under 20,000 marks, the 911 T 21,000.

So in the debut year of 1970, it takes a little enthusiasm to opt for the far less attractive Porsche 914/6. Understatement may also play a role - or simply enthusiasm for technology. Because the mid-engine design is considered the most consistent when it comes to the best possible driving characteristics. The six-cylinder VW-Porsche has these, and they make the first German representative of this concept into a sports car of high agility and driving safety, even in the straight-line stability, which is a sensitive criterion for mid-engine cars.

Safe handling with a tendency to roll

The test car is equipped with Boge shock absorbers and thus offers clearly more comfort than the pre-series cars tasted before. Some caution should only be taken in veryquickly driven alternating curves, where the Porsche 914 tends to rock and roll. From today's point of view, the side tilt appears to be quite pronounced, at that time nobody complained, not even about the tendency to oversteer, which only sets in at very high lateral acceleration. The safe handling of the 914 is also supported by the fact that releasing the accelerator when cornering has only a minor influence on stability.

The Porsche 914/6 is as fast as the 911

driving characteristics is what the Porsche 914/6 needs, because it has become a fast car. Top speed 207 km /h, just as fast as the 911 T, which is posted in the hierarchy above, and when it comes to acceleration, Porsche obviously cannot prevent the new Volks-Porsche from not only acoustically failing the 911, which is already on the way to becoming a classic. The 914/6 weighs just 985 kilograms with a full tank, takes 8.5 seconds to reach 100 km /h, one second longer for the 911 T, and 22.3 seconds to reach 160. Again, the real Porsche is a bit behind with 24.3 seconds.

The far more harmless motorized basic 914 with its good and unspectacular VW four-cylinder is best characterized in a direct comparison with the fashionable term of deceleration. Tired and with insignificant noises, it lets itself up to country road speed of 13.3 seconds, no more spirited than an NSU TT, up to 160 km /h the six-cylinder takes 15 seconds from it. The real Porsche 914 must have the famous six-cylinder behind the cabin, also and especially for acoustic reasons.

Back to back with the air-cooled howler

The age of sound engineering has not yet begun, the motors just sound like they sound, some boring and sleepy, others exciting and powerful. The hoarse, natural roar of the Porsche six-cylinder has an inimitable peculiarity and, in the 914/6, is particularly intense due to its installation position. You live with the air-cooled howler back to back, at nominal speed 1320 liters of air blow over its cooling fins per second, unimaginable what comes together in an hour. In any case, the phonometers have plenty to do; at 160 km /h they register 85 d (B) A including wind and rolling noise, long motorway journeys in the upper speed range are deafening.

The fourth gear goes up to 180 km /h if necessary, the fifth is there, where the fourth is usually positioned. As with the old 911, the first is beyond the usual H-scheme on the far left - an old Porsche peculiarity, but with the 914 it is associated with an unpleasant hookiness.

The large, easily legible instruments also show the classic Porsche style - the tachometer for the committedMachinists right in the middle, the speedometer reaching up to 250 km /h with the arrogant rough division in fifties next to it.

Air cooling There are no storage spaces for the driver

in the spacious interior for two people, even a coat or handbag has to be stowed in one of the two luggage compartments, whereby it is up to you whether you prefer the front or the rear. At the rear there is also shelter for the removable roof, which is very light at nine kilograms. Now, not only does the engine have air cooling, but also the driver.

Ferdinand Piëch once answered the question of which music he preferred to listen to with an eight-cylinder boxer engine. The 914, which he built as a one-off piece at Porsche in the 1970s, has such an exotic engine. It comes straight from the 350 hp three-liter racing flounder 908 and catapults, somewhat tamed in terms of performance, the visually good 914 into the group of super sports cars. Unfortunately, you can't hear Piëch's favorite music.

VW-Porsche 914/6 in ams, issue 8/1970

A full edition with 180 pages that contains many exciting cars in addition to the Targa Volksporsche. For example the Mercedes C111 with a four-disc rotary engine and 350 hp, the only true successor to the Gullwing. Or the comparison between the Mercedes 300 SEL 3.5 and the Opel Diplomat V8, in which the drive comfort of the Americanized Opel sets standards.

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