porsche 914 1970s motorauthority 001
To mark the anniversary, Porsche will display an ultra rare 914/8 once owned by Ferdinand PorscheEnlarge Photo
Though the lightweight mid-engined Porsche 914 was far from a perfect machine, it has developed a cult following that keeps it active in the streets and on tracks around the world to this day. With Volkswagen now sitting on a new mid-engined platform developed for its Bluesport roadster concept and eventual production version, as well as Porsche’s strengthening links with the German auto giant, the case for a new baby Porsche roadster is made even stronger.
Speaking with Automobilwoche, Porsche production manager Michael Macht said the car could be as priced as low as €33,000 to €35,000. However, he explained that this would not fit in with the company’s current market position but it could if a fifth model line was added.
If built, the baby roadster would be a joint effort between Porsche and VW though the basic mechanicals would likely be drawn primarily from VW's massive corporate parts bin. The two engines with the most potential are the 1.4L turbocharged/supercharged TSI unit that's good for 170hp (126kW) and the 125hp (93kW) diesel four-cylinder. Though the diesel would likely be more fitting of an economy-version of the car than a Porsche-badged model.
Expect it to come sans-LSD, however, in order to keep the car from vying too closely with the lower end of the Boxster range. At an estimated 2,200lbs (1,000kg) and 170hp (126kw), the baby roadster could be expected to give the standard Elise a run for its money, especially considering it is likely to benefit from Porsche's legendary suspension tuning and steering design.
There remains no official confirmation of any such joint project as yet - it's still purely in the realm of speculation, and optimistic at that - but it does make sense. Tight fuel economy requirements make production of a quick, nimble and miserly car an appealing maneuver, and tying the car into established enthusiast history could help Porsche side-step issues that such a car might create for its image. Not that the Panamera, soon to be available in diesel and hybrid forms, or the Cayenne in its many guises do much to keep with the company's tradition of sports car-focused performance.