A recent article on the Carbuzz.com web site revived the enthusiasm among Porsche 914 enthusiasts that Porsche might revive the 914 as an entry-level Porsche. I am the first to say “Hell, yes” as I think of the joy of driving my 1973 Phoenix Red Porsche 914 2.0.
But, is a back-to-basics entry-level 914 the right thing for Porsche and the Porsche brand? I don’t think so as much as I would like to see the car being sold.
Porsche today represents the epitome of German engineering for the ultimate driving experience in a luxury package.
Porsche is able to command premium pricing for their strong consistent brand positioned product which goes contrary to the idea of an entry level model that is a return to the basics and a pure driving experience. This is already available in the Porsche line-up and is called an Air-Cooled Classic Porsche like a Porsche 911SC, Porsche Carrera 3.2 or an original Porsche 914.
Porsche Chief Designer Michael Mauer hinted that a new Porsche 914 would be very basics with almost no electrics, just a pure driving experience that is back to the roots. This goes contrary to where the brand is moving with the resources and enthusiasm behind the introduction of the new electric Taycan and various hybrid models in the Porsche lineup. The Taycan at my Porsche dealer has a sticker of $200,000. Does moving Porsche into a pure, basic non-electrics model at $30,000 support Porsche AG to sell all-electric cars at $200,000. Porsche seems to be clearly stating where they see the direction of the company: selling premium cars with the latest technology. The halo cars leading the brand will continue to be the $100,000+ 911 Carrera and the Taycan, not a $30,000 basic car.
If you return to the original pricing differential of the 914 to the 911 it is very close to the price differential of a Boxster/Cayman to a 911 today. After all, the Boxster/Cayman are intended as the entry-level Porsche sports cars and are true to today’s Porsche brand. The Boxster/Caymans provide the lower price, lower performance and purer experience than the state-of-the-art racing inspired Porsche 911 conquering racetracks. The Boxster/Cayman models are the entry-level models for Porsche.
It is very difficult to make money at the low end of the car industry. Manufacturers want and need the premium pricing to survive in the highly competitive industry that rewards $100,000 prices as opposed to $30,000 price tags.
The car being proposed; a purer sports car with purer driving experience already exists in a Mazda MX-5 that sells in the $30,000 range. Does Porsche want to compete against Mazda at $30,000 or continue to compete against Ferrari and Corvette in the market and on the race track.
Unfortunately, there is not a need or benefit to introducing a new Porsche 914 as much as I would like to see one.
CarBuzz article: Porsche Hints at Purer 914-Inspired Entry-Level Model
Tags: New Porsche 914, Porsche 914, Entry-level Porsche