VW Engine?

VW based Porsche. In a league of its own.

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Paul Illick
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VW Engine?

Post by Paul Illick » Fri Mar 16, 2001 10:01 am

The forum header says the 914 has a VW engine. Steve, I think you remember me making a statement just like that over in the Rennlist forums and being beaten to a pulp by the Porsche purists. You'd think I'd offered to rent one of their daughters or something, jeez!

You might want to consider maybe saing it's the engine Porsche 'shared' with VW or something politically correct like that. You know and I know, but they don't seem to, and they're MEAN.

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VW Engine?

Post by CptanPanic2 » Fri Mar 16, 2001 10:06 am

Well what is the true answer? Is it a VW engine, or was it a joint effort by porsche/vw?

Steve Arndt
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VW Engine?

Post by Steve Arndt » Fri Mar 16, 2001 12:04 pm


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VW Engine?

Post by Aircooled_vw » Fri Mar 16, 2001 12:25 pm

I think I remember that thread from Rennlist. Ok, so it's come up more than once. From what I have learned over there (and various other places), the only 914 engines that are not straight off of the VW shelf would be the 914/912E 2 liter. Even at that, VW installed the Porsche specific heads, pistons and engine tin before shipping them off to Karmann.

Granted, all 914's were fuel injected and thus had different bits of machine work performed on the case that the Bus didn't have. Not sure about the 411 and 412's tho. The 914 also has a different flywheel when used with the 901 Porsche 5-speed and maybe even a windage tray when fitted to the 914.

I know i'm missing something but am I close?


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VW Engine?

Post by Chris_914 » Fri Mar 16, 2001 3:42 pm

Only US 914s were marketed as Porsches, with exception to the 914-6, rare 916 (11 made, production model so Porsche could race in the GT class), and very rare 918 (2 prototypes flat 8). The rest carried a Wolfsburg crest on the horn pad and a VW/Porsche badge on the rear. They didn't even come with a hood badge (all owner installed), even though the Audi based 924 did.

Porsche did not want a lesser model to out perform its flagship 911, so performance (engine and braking) was of a lesser grade even on the 914-6. The 914 has better balance, less weight and would outperform an equally equipped 911.

The engines and front brakes on the 914-4 were shared with the VW 411-12 models. In '73 the 2.0L four cylinder with Porsche redisgned combustion chambers replaced the discontinued 2.0L six cylinder engine.

In addition the 901 gear box fitted to the four cylinder models has different gearing than the 901 for six cylinder models. Each engine produces power in a differnt range and the gearing (4 versus 6) was changed to match that.

All of which really doesn't matter when you get in, stare into the monster tach, and head out for the open road. The car is a blast to drive no matter who wants to claim or disclaim responsibility for its creation.


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VW Engine?

Post by stevestromberg » Fri Mar 16, 2001 3:54 pm

None of the engine parts are marked Porsche. They are marked with the Audi-VW stamping of the interlocking circles and the VW initials, or, with just VW markings.

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Post by Bleyseng » Sun Mar 18, 2001 2:46 am

The 914 engine is a type 4 shared with VW. The 1.7l have more in common with the VW 411/412 engine. The 2.0l stands on its own, yes basic long block is the same as a bus 2.0l. Pretty much from the P&C's, heads, FI, exhaust...all are just for that motor. VW assembled the motors on their line, Porsche made the trannies and most of the other parts and Karmann assembled the cars. Remember that the first 356's were VW powered too. The whole car was at first a joint venture between Porsche and VW. VW hired Porsche to design a car to replace the Ghia. But then decided not to go ahead with that plan. Porsche decided to pick up the project to replace the 912 and have a entry level Porsche. Thus the joint venture as VW wanted to keep it's plant running, Porsche for a more mass produced car than the 911. They sold almost 120,000 of these cars and helped Porsche when it was having $$$ problems due to the rising mark.The 924 was basically the same thing other than it was more Audi based.

76 914 2.0L

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VW Engine?

Post by Karman » Mon Mar 19, 2001 3:36 pm

The official answer to the question "Is it a VW or a Porsche?" is "Neither.". Its a VW-Porsche. VW-Porsche was a separate company owned 50/50 by both Volkswagen and Porsche. It was created specifically to market the 914 with the potential for new cars in the future (which never developed) It worked well for both firms - Volkswagen got sports cars to add to the lineup and Porsche was able to tap into the manufacturing might of VW and add lower priced models to its line. For a full explanation, check out "Porsche Excellence was Expected". Its the definitive history of Porsche and explains the 914 and its heritage well.

The 914 is, for the most part, a parts bin car. Many of the items are period-correct from both companies and were modified for the 914. As for the engine, it was most definitely developed for the VW 411. Porsche did have a hand in it, though, as they did R&D work for VW at the time (as they continue to do today with companies like Harley Davidson). If I had to call the engine one or the other, it would be VW. I can't say the same of the transmission or front suspension, though, as these are most definitely modified versions of Porsche parts (even though VW manufactured them).

I for one enjoy the fact that the 914 is both VW and Porsche mechanically-speaking. Its the best of both worlds in many ways.

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VW Engine?

Post by Roland Kunz » Tue Mar 20, 2001 11:31 am


Not direct 914 but it will help to understand some things.


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VW Engine?

Post by Karman » Thu Mar 22, 2001 6:00 pm

Roland (our man in Stuttgart),

WOW! Excellent write up on NSU and the development of the 924/944. For those of you that haven't read his post(s) on the link listed above, be sure and check them out. Very interesting stuff, whether you're interested in 924/944/Audi/NSU or not.

I am a big fan of the Karmann firm - do you have any interesting stories, information, etc. to pass on about the company and their work? I will be visiting Osnabrueck/Hanover/Wolfsburg for the 100th anniversary of Karmann - I know its the opposite side of the country from Stuttgart, but do you have any suggestions relating to places to stay, things to do, etc? My only plans thus far (other than the Karmann activities) are to visit the autostadt.

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