“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.


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

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