By on February 3, 2011

End of the 60s, Volkswagen and Porsche cooperated on a budget sportscar called the 914. Soon, one of the many feuds erupted between Wolfsburg and Zuffenhausen, and the mid-engined twoseater was sold as a “VW-Porsche” in Europe. Memories of the boxy, targa-topped car flash through my mind as I read in Germany’s AUTOBILD that Volkswagen might bring back a new Volksporsche.

“Volksporsche.” Porsche for the people. That’s what people promptly called it when it was launched, spiteful souls even shortened it to “VoPo” – which also was the abbreviation of the Volkspolizei, the police of East Germany, not very much in favor in the West, or the East. In the U.S., the car was spared the humiliation, and it was sold as a Porsche.

If you looked hard enough, you could find “Volkswagenwerk” on the identification plate of the 4 banger. The six-cylinder version was built at Porsche.  The 6 banger sold poorly, the 4 pot version was a runaway hit and cannibalized the sales of the 911. The car needed a firm hand in the turns. The Neunvierzehner’s claim to shame was the hole behind the front passenger seat. This was where the battery had been placed, and seeping battery acid accelerated the rust already aggressively munching away on the budget steel used to build car. No big deal: When the battery fell out of the car, the 914 stopped automatically.

1976, the episode was over. No more Volksporsches.

And now, it might be back again. Beginning in 2014, at least according to AUTOBILD’s dubious sources, a new, mid engined (possibly targa-topped) budget-priced sportscar will be launched. At a starting price of  €27,500 ($38,000 in today’s $).

Built from the new kit developed in the Volkswagen realm, three different versions will be available, an Audi, a Porsche, and a Volkswagen. Not just rebadged, totally different looking, swears the paper. Brand separation will happen by horsepower: The Volksporsche VW will be powered by meek 110 to 180 hp.  The Porsche (rumored moniker “Porsche 550”) will receive engines with 210 and 250 hp. Strangely enough, the Audi version will be given a 350 hp engine. Again, all as per AUTOBILD.

A lot of water will have flown down the Mittellandkanal before 2014. But hey, stranger things did happen.

PS: No mention of hybrid, plug-in, hydrogen, chloroform, or any other alternative propellants. Not even diesel talk. There still is time.

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19 Comments on “A Tale Of The Undead Volksporsche: 914 All Over Again?...”

  • avatar

    Despite the shortcomings, I thought the 914 was an awesome little machine. Goods looks, good handling, okay so maybe the 4 cylinder version was just a VW in drag, but it sure felt cool from the driver’s seat.

  • avatar

    I’d love to see what they could do if, instead of trading more money for more horsepower, they priced them so that more money buys less weight.

  • avatar

    I’ll take the VW version with a stick. In silver please.

  • avatar
    M 1

    Looks like an Audi TT rear-ended an RX8.

  • avatar

    the 914 battery problem is easily addressed with third party battery trays. they are a great collectible. some very interesting things have been done by adding a wrx engine to an old 914.

  • avatar

    I was just reading it will be fueled by hamster hair and unobtainium in a 2016 version.

  • avatar

    Yes, the 914 was a nifty little number for its day.  However, like most “cheap” Porsches the parts and services had 911 prices.  Hence, not many survived.  The Porsche cognoscenti tell me it’s the next model to undergo insane appreciation since most 356s and pre 1974 911s have already reached stupid prices.

    I hope Porsche keeps the new “550” priced below $30,000.  Maybe the VW version can.

  • avatar

    A Porsche that doesn’t look like the stereotypical Porsche sounds like a good idea to me.

  • avatar

    buy the time I saw those “Porsche” in 1990 they were called ArbeitslosenPorsche (Porsche for the unemployed). I assume the purchase price was low, not sure unemployed people (even back then in wellfare Germany) could afford repairs.
    VolksPorsche I heard the first time here in the US. I guess that shows how young I am.

  • avatar

    How will Audi build in massive understeer? (I say that as an owner of 3 Audis – great for the weather right now, but each plows like a tractor.)

  • avatar

    There is nothing strange about the hp for the Porsche variant.  Remember that this car is being slotted under the Cayman which now comes with either 265 or 320 hp and that hp for 911s starts around 350.   Giving the new entry level Porsche a 350 hp engine would completely upset the Porsche apple cart.

  • avatar

    The Audi should differentiate itself from the Porsche version by content, not horsepower.  I think a lot of the Audi demographic wouldn’t mind the smaller engine, and I’m sure some of the Porsche buyers would like the bigger engine in a ‘purer’ format than Audi will deliver. Give the Audi all the luxury gizmos and maybe a powered folding hardtop versus the targa, and keep the Porche more of a stripped down driver’s car. Maybe keep the VW version a hardtop.

  • avatar

    I’ll take the Audi version with TDI 4 bangers.

  • avatar

    $38,000 is too much…$28,000 would be too much $25k is about right

  • avatar

    More like AlPo… you haven’t seen a prettier fire than a magnesium-fed fire in a 914.

  • avatar
    SVX pearlie

    It’ll be fun if VW forces Porsche to not only relaunch the 914, but also the 924.

  • avatar

    Unfortunately, around $40,000 is about right.  Porsche is moving the Cayman/Boxster upmarket and the rumor is that the Cayman will be around $65,000 which would leave plenty of room to slot an entry car under it.

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