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“Incredibly modern”

The thought came from Porsche. Ferry Porsche wanted an entry-level Porsche that would give immature drivers inexpensive entrance to a universe of Porsche. This alone creates a 914 a standard Porsche. Because he was perplexing something new. Because a heart of a car, a engine, is mid-mounted. And given a form follows a function. The 914 is typically Porsche, even nonetheless it doesn’t demeanour like it during initial glance. But a initial famous pattern breeze quotes a Porsche that could frequency be some-more standard and steeped in story – a 550 Spyder.

An thought takes shape: a complicated Leitz folder shows a beginning, …

… a unpainted indication on a proceed to a prolongation vehicle.

Ferdinand Alexander Porsche and his organisation were obliged for a pattern of a 914. The final pattern implemented for a array was grown by Heinrich Klie, one of his many critical staff members. A male devoted by Ferry Porsche’s eldest son when he took over shortcoming for pattern during his father’s company. Although a tangible start of growth dates behind to Aug 1966, a Porsche AG Historical Archive contains comparison drafts, titled: “914, Model 1, Aug 1964, design: Klie”. He describes a growth of a automobile via a lifetime as an iterative routine in that a government mostly gave a designers giveaway rein. Changes were usually discussed after a presentations of a 1:5 scale models. For Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, a proceed brazen was clear: “The 914 was always a totally eccentric pattern that was also a grave success.”

Michael Mauer has been obliged for Porsche pattern given 2004, origination him usually a third Head of Design after Ferdinand Alexander Porsche. Here, he talks about a vicinity of a initial breeze to a 550 Spyder purpose model, a pattern routine afterwards and now, and a growth of a Porsche code identity.


Time for history: Michael Mauer has enthralled himself in a story of a 914. Surprisingly, there are still a lot of corpse from a early days of this plan that are also a source of good seductiveness for this engineer and Porsche fan.

Michael Mauer: The change of a 550 Spyder is transparent in a Model 1 dating behind to 1964. we immediately wondered about a specifications, a elementary orientation. For an entry-level Porsche, a 912 judgment – a four-cylinder 911 – could have been grown further. So since did they go behind to a mid-engined concept? The impulse of a 550 is obvious. As a designer, we know this. Because a automobile was also a smallest of a choices, a many agile. Minimalist, puristic. Using this as a starting point, as a commencement for growth of a new model, as inspiration, is logical.

From a 550 judgment to a 914. An expansion that resulted in a new, eccentric indication in 1969?

For me, on closer inspection, this isn’t even so most a grave evolution. The models make it transparent that a 914 indeed had no genuine predecessor. The several drafts, some of that are unequivocally different, literally uncover a hunt for a judgment around a thesis of a 550. This was high-tech in a day, positively a genuine racing car. The thought of building a tiny mid-engined automobile again came naturally. That’s how we asian yourself.

The initial breeze in 1964 was followed by a Model 2, that went in a totally opposite direction. It was indeed a lot some-more elegant, a lot rebate sporty. This reminds me of many things, yet not indispensably of a “small, sporty, puristic” theme. This – in my opinion – comparatively clever disproportion shows that a hunt was open-ended during a time. With a 5 models from 1964 to 1967, a pattern routine of a 914 shows accurately this hunt for a new array alongside a 911. The elementary package was established, yet a grave characteristics were still enormously opposite initially. In sequential order, we started with “something like a 550”, afterwards a contention apparently headed in a opposite direction.

“Brand temperament comes about by following functionalities.”
Michael Mauer, Head of Style Porsche

From a inheritor to a 550 for a 1970s to a breeze that indeed looks utterly different?

Quite different! This is already apparent in a second draft, that we find sensational. This one looks roughly American-inspired. The fourth indication isn’t unequivocally complicated during all, and afterwards we come to this one (note: a Model 5, Klie). The behind in sold is unequivocally complicated for that time and a indicate in a sequence. It looks clean, neat. That fits a bill. That’s since I’m astounded that a May 1966 breeze (note: a Model 2) was also combined by F. A. Porsche, given it doesn’t unequivocally fit with his pattern philosophy. If we demeanour during a initial indication from 1964 and review it with a growth dual years later, it doesn’t have a characteristics or interest of a elementary 550 judgment during all. The outcome is allied with a growth from a 356 to a 911. That was an impossibly bold step behind afterwards – a new indication had that complicated factor. The 914 Model 3 is usually starting to get precisely that complicated factor. Even if we demeanour during these front lines, these transparent surfaces. Good proportions. The Jul 1966 breeze is utterly different, and some-more suitable for a Model 2. Two competing drafts that were afterwards discussed. At that time, in my opinion, they done positively a right preference and went for a most some-more complicated design.

The initial drafts are clearly different, afterwards one builds on a other, and a others are combined by dual opposite designers during a same time.

Designers who eventually finish adult operative on a same plan speak to one another. To review it with what we’re doing today, this proviso is identical to a growth of a Panamera. At that time, we knew what we wanted, a judgment was there, and we fundamentally came adult with dual variants. One like this, a other like that. And as we can see from a 914 models, people work side by side. They enthuse one another, they change one another in their work. You finish adult looking opposite a room, and meditative yeah, we like that. And we incorporate it.

Admiration and distance: Mauer creates no tip of a fact that, from a designer’s indicate of view, a 914 is not one of his favourites. And nonetheless he admires a precisionist approach.

The 914 of 1969 is a genuine mid-engined Porsche. Even nonetheless it looks unequivocally opposite to a 911. Are elements such as a Targa bar a proceed of rigourously demonstrating a common family bond?

A mid-engined sports automobile is indeed a typically Porsche thing. At a time of a Auto Union, a foe still began with a front-mounted engine, and Porsche grown a initial mid-engined racing cars. The 356 “No.1” Roadster is a mid-engined car, too. This had to be altered in foster of mass prolongation capability. Given this background, Ferry Porsche’s thought is distinct – okay, let’s make another of those clever entry-level models. The mid-engine is a right judgment for things like that. The Targa was combined as a resolution for a reserve issues and a new regulations from a US. Actually, a minimal roof is unequivocally all we can have with an open, reduced, minimalist judgment informed from a 550, or maybe a Speedster as well. But if a new legislation no longer authorised this, a proceed brazen was transparent for a 914. We ourselves had already come adult with a good resolution for mixing top-down pushing and reserve – a Targa bar. After all, a judgment was to mix a thought of “top-down” and “safety”, and now we had to make it modern! The final pattern is evil of a styling truth underneath a instruction of Ferdinand Alexander Porsche. This common belligerent roughly automatically led to a origination of a code identity. Although that positively wasn’t a tangible intention.

Does a judgment set a march for a design?

That’s how we see Porsche to this unequivocally day. First, we ask ourselves – what would be a best concept? Entry-level, reduced, sporty. When it comes down to it, what do we unequivocally need if I’m going to have fun driving? A mid-engined car, obviously. And afterwards transferring a grave characteristics is a judicious subsequent step. To emanate a automobile with utterly appealing proportions on comment of a engine position. The 914 has standard mid-engine proportions, that has to be said. we don’t know either there was anything comparable, generally not in those days.

Typ 914

The initial indication of a Type 914 was designed by Heinrich Klie, 1964.

The second indication of a Type 914 was designed by F. A. Porsche in 1966.

The third indication of a Type 914 was desgined by F. A. Porsche in 1967.

Brief designations masking a prolonged duration of development. The Epple pattern points a proceed to a Mar 1967 model, that already bears many of a facilities of a final 914.

Klie’s breeze is already clearly recognizable as a 914. Should it be easier for people to place their bend on a lowered doors?

Just a few months after Klies’ groundbreaking design, a figure of a Porsche 914 was clear. A functional, smooth-surfaced automobile with space for dual and their luggage – and with a Targa roof, usually for fun.

The small clay indication was incited into a life-size design. Slowly a organisation done their minds up: they were streamer in a right direction, a mid-engined automobile plan usually went on improving.

A doubt about a schedule: a initial indication dates behind to 1964, yet a 914 wasn’t accessible on a marketplace until 1969. Is that fast? What’s a conditions today?

With a new 911, that we presented during a finish of 2018, it took about 4 years from a unequivocally initial blueprint to marketplace launch. In this box (note: a Type 992) this is a serve development, not a totally new development. But a 914 was. It started in around 1964 and marketplace launch was in 1969, so 5 years. That’s flattering impressive! Things went impossibly quickly, generally between 1967 and 1969. That’s unequivocally changeable some.

Details such as a front, generally a headlights, were a thesis of prolonged discussions. Twin headlights or singular headlights, that was a question. The chronicle with a pop-up twin headlights was rigourously a some-more coherent. Especially if we remember what things were like in those days. Such concepts in 1965, 1967 – crazy. From my indicate of view, a doubt of truth is an engaging one. The 911 had a singular turn headlights, yet a cheaper automobile was ostensible to have twin headlights? That wasn’t logical. But a drafts were already state-of-the-art.

“The final pattern is evil of a styling truth underneath a instruction of Ferdinand Alexander Porsche.”
Michael Mauer

After contrast a array of pattern variants, a 914 incited adult with carried wings and distinguished indicators.

That propitious in with Porsche’s running corner philosophy. This describes a march accessible to a motorist interjection to a wings in a outdoor area, where a automobile is straight. At Porsche, this thesis comes from a 911.

If you’re on a towering pass in a 911, it’s a genuine help. In lots of other sports cars, all we can see is a window, not where your automobile ends. These particular wings yield march when you’re sitting in a car. This is implemented in a 914, too. we don’t know either a emanate of code identity, what we now call “movement over a bonnet”, was already personification a purpose during this point. Probably not. Conversely, a few years ago a Panamera wasn’t about combining a running edge, yet about transferring a code identity. In this case, a one that has determined itself over a 911, on a automobile designed for a totally opposite segment. As formidable as this is when a engine is during a front, it was clearly a stylistic component with a aim of transferring a code identity.


The shapes of a side line and behind were finalised some-more fast than a front. There was a good bargain of contention on a arrangement of a headlights. But a judgment of particular pop-up headlights with spotlights in a fender eventually prevailed.

The 914 has an astonishingly good cd value of 0.37. Even with a headlights popped up, and with no formidable mechanism simulations. Does today’s record extent tellurian pattern influence?

Despite all a make-believe and complicated technologies, we trust a creativity isn’t limited. Just like things were in a 1960s. The lads in those days did of march have a elementary bargain of things like what works good aerodynamically and what doesn’t. Today, we know that carrying indentations in front of a wheels and clever indentations during a behind is a misfortune thing when it comes to a aerodynamics. If we demeanour during a brutally true blueprint of a 914, it’s a answer to a hunt for an intensely complicated shape. In that case, it’s expected that a aerodynamics worked utterly splendidly from a end to make a unequivocally complicated car. Surely a outcome was no fluke – there were adequate people during a association who knew right from a opening accurately what works and what doesn’t. And though today’s make-believe methods, too.

In a aged days, engineers were designers as well. How many technicians does a engineer have to be today?

You have to have a elementary understanding. If we wish to grasp certain things, we can’t do that though a elementary believe of what you’re doing. Because though that, we wouldn’t be means to disagree opposite a classical technicians if there was any doubt.

What are your possess personal thoughts on a figure of a 914?

I still find a automobile whimsical, yet a pattern changes as we demeanour during it some-more closely. we haven’t unequivocally been intensively concerned with a 914 to date. From what we’ve been observant over a past hour and a fact that we was wakeful when it came into being, I’ve come behind to a indicate where we consider a automobile was modern.

“The brutally true blueprint of a 914 is a answer to a hunt for an intensely complicated shape.”
Michael Mauer

It’s considerable to see how a automobile stands out in a era. It wasn’t even on my radar before. The automobile has roughly no layout, this center bit is intensely consistent. To have a bravery to pattern something like this, so large yet though a swage line, though creation all – that’s unequivocally fantastic. we consider a tail is unequivocally good. The routine adult to that indicate is fascinating from today’s indicate of view, too. we contingency confess, I’m still a bit demure when it comes to this car, yet for me a opening of a time outweighs everything. Coming adult with something like that. And there’s a minute solutions, too: a far-reaching headlights are superb. Or a doorway handles, minimalistically integrated. Completely new for Porsche. we find it fascinating how F. A. and his organisation managed to move in this modern, reduced style, in a identical proceed to a transition from a 356 to a 911. The some-more we work with a 914 – that’s accurately what I’m fighting for now. This reduced, puristic approach. Integrating things, not one line too many.


Typically Porsche: Michael Mauer remembers a 356 “No. 1” Roadster, that founded a Porsche code with a mid-engine. The 914 took adult this truth again.

Is there a destiny for a 914? Or does it during slightest yield inspiration?

We have this contention all a time. It’s all about a entry-level Porsche. we consider it’s unequivocally interesting, yet opinions differ on a characteristics of a automobile like that. Porsche is substantially a usually code that could concede this in an surprising way. An entry-level Porsche not in terms of a price, yet a clarity of reduction. A automobile with roughly no electrics, all mechanical, puristic. we find a thought exciting. The other one is a automobile for a aim organisation of people who expostulate Audi TT RSs or Golf R32s. A Porsche that stands out charity what would have to demonstrate accurately that, in grave terms – a unequivocally simple, unobtrusive car. A complicated 550 in a broadest sense. Limits in terms of measure are reached quickly, simply given of pushing safety. This automatically requires cars to be a certain size. Sales competence see things differently anyway. From this standpoint, a most cheaper entry-level Porsche would be a right thing to do – yet that’s not my approach. Puristic, reduced, “back to a roots”. we consider a time has come. That would be typically Porsche again.

Info

Text initial published in a repository „Porsche Klassik 15“.

The whole talk is published in a Delius-Klasing book “50 Jahre Porsche 914” [50 Years of a Porsche 914] – now in stores!

Interview: Frank Jung
Photos: Deniz Calagan

Copyright: The picture and sound published here is copyright by Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Germany or other individuals. It is not to be reproduced unconditionally or in partial though before created accede of Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG. Please hit [email protected] for serve information.