Is Now the Time for an Electric 914?

Photograph Courtesy PCA

Our friends at PCA make a compelling case for an electric Porsche 914. “Particularly among younger brand devotees, the existence of the Taycan, and what it represents, is going to cause an aspirational sea change — electricity is going to become the perceived gold-standard in performance,” states author Rob Sass.
“It’s already been noted by others that a Taycan Turbo S is faster in many situations than a McLaren 570S. How long will it be before people take note of the fact that a Taycan Turbo can hang with a GT3?”

But what Porsche needs, the article continues, is an affordable EV roadster–something less expensive than a Cayman. “A 914/E obviously wouldn’t be a 911 killer, but an Elise-like 0-60 time of well under five seconds, and a range of 150 to 180 miles would seem like fairly easy marks, and would make the car more than attractive enough for most two-seater buyers, which sort of gets to the last part of the puzzle: Do two-seater buyers exist in sufficient numbers for something like this to be profitable?”

Read the whole article here.

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Comments
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jstein77
jstein77 UberDork
1/9/20 2:46 p.m.

Yes, now is absolutely the time.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/9/20 2:51 p.m.

In reply to jstein77 :

What color for you? I'd have to do Ruby Red for mine. 

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
1/9/20 2:56 p.m.

How many Tesla roadsters were sold?  

I'd wager that the market is somewhere in between the boxter and the old roadsters.  The higher the cost, the closer to the Tesla...

The car has two problems- it's a sports car and it's an EV.  Neither of which have massive penetration at the moment- the sports car part being worse than the EV part.

wheelsmithy
wheelsmithy UltraDork
1/9/20 2:59 p.m.

Me likey. 

triumph7
triumph7 Reader
1/9/20 3:12 p.m.

Yes, but it has to be at a reasonable, sub-$30K price point.  Which IS doable.  The question is whether Porsche wants to play in that arena.  IIRC, they had more customer issues with 914 and 924 models than anything else.  Not because the cars were bad but because the, um, entry level customers expected so much.

spandak
spandak Reader
1/9/20 3:13 p.m.

I really like that rendering. 
I probably wouldn't buy it new unless they got it under $40k. And that would probably be bare bones and I would want $10k in options. 
And then there's the reality of having a family....  

If they make it, I hope someone buys it

Toebra
Toebra Dork
1/9/20 3:19 p.m.

I already know a few guys with electric 914's  Guy I got mine from has one.

STM317
STM317 UltraDork
1/9/20 3:44 p.m.
alfadriver said:

How many Tesla roadsters were sold?  

I'd wager that the market is somewhere in between the boxter and the old roadsters.  The higher the cost, the closer to the Tesla...

Around 2500 of the original roadsters were sold. But the world was different then. The roadster was basically an expensive novelty (100k starting price) from a boutique manufacturer. When Tesla first began hyping their next Roadster in 2017, they had people giving them $50k and even $250k deposits. I don't know that an 914e would be a huge seller, but they'd be much more common than a Roadster from 10-12 years ago just because the market has changed and Porsche has tons more brand equity than Tesla did when the first Roadster was released.

Woody
Woody MegaDork
1/9/20 3:51 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:

In reply to jstein77 :

What color for you? I'd have to do Ruby Red for mine. 

Tangerine.

noddaz
noddaz SuperDork
1/9/20 3:56 p.m.

That rendering has me mumbling to myself.   And not in a "that's my stapler" kind of way.

Guards Red please.

Kreb
Kreb UberDork
1/9/20 4:00 p.m.

The concept has merit. It's just that - like the original 914, it slots in at the, um.... homlier end of their lineup IMO.

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia Dork
1/9/20 4:08 p.m.

can I buy the body kit to put on a stock 914 ?

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy MegaDork
1/9/20 4:13 p.m.
Kreb said:

The concept has merit. It's just that - like the original 914, it slots in at the, um.... homlier end of their lineup IMO.

I don't know.  The original 914 was a homely little beast until you cut those weird front tailfins off.  Then, it looked pretty good.

The rendering above looks a lot better than any other Porsche since the 944, to me.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/9/20 4:15 p.m.

In reply to Woody :

White interior or black? 

Gingerbeardman
Gingerbeardman Reader
1/9/20 4:26 p.m.

I have attended my mandatory re-education at the Glorious School Of The Enlightened One Musk and all matters vehicle electric:

I have seen the error of my ways and beg forgiveness for questioning t̶h̶e̶ ̶S̶t̶a̶t̶e̶  , err GRM masters, and I reconcile to hold the party line.

"Ermahgerd, electric AND Porsche!" "It's gotta be the best thing EVAR!" "THIS will totally revolutionize the industry!" "Best thing since vegan meat and gluten-free alcohol!" "It's ALL anyone needs, fight me bro!"

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia Dork
1/9/20 4:27 p.m.

are there more photos ?

I looked on PCA website and there was just this one photo

Thanks

Olemiss540
Olemiss540 New Reader
1/9/20 6:06 p.m.

They should definately make that, and then limit production numbers enough that dealers can sell them to a few of their cronies that are willing to split the profit from reselling with 25-45% ADM tagged to the price while they explain how scarcity makes an even better drivers car so as to dangle the carrot of unknown excitment over the remaining 99.9% of enthusiasts that will never be able to afford the transactional fees associated with a car culture driven by scarcity and markups instead of feel, soul, love, culture, and the .25%.

dyintorace
dyintorace PowerDork
1/9/20 6:10 p.m.

I think it's pretty darn cool looking. But I wonder if this type of car belongs in the VW brand, not Porsche. My fear is that the latter would mean a (much) higher price than might be otherwise necessary.

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia Dork
1/9/20 6:45 p.m.

Porsche built an all electric car 100 years ago , motors in the hubs even !

lost to History , Porsche built a working replica a few years ago for the museum collection,

So what is old is new again !

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson MegaDork
1/9/20 7:35 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:

In reply to Woody :

White interior or black? 

Editorial Director, Grassroots Motorsports & Classic Motorsports

Both, it's called Pasha!

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson MegaDork
1/9/20 7:44 p.m.
alfadriver said:

How many Tesla roadsters were sold?  

I'd wager that the market is somewhere in between the boxter and the old roadsters.  The higher the cost, the closer to the Tesla...

The car has two problems- it's a sports car and it's an EV.  Neither of which have massive penetration at the moment- the sports car part being worse than the EV part.

That's an invalid argument. That was 12 years ago when the company and technology was in its infancy. The technology has improved immensely in that time. The public has accepted the technology and is buying these vehicles in increasing numbers. 

Dave M
Dave M HalfDork
1/9/20 7:45 p.m.

Is it time for an electric BRZ? Yes.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/9/20 7:54 p.m.

It would be a really interesting entry into the marketplace. I'd love to build an electric ND Miata, but the Porsche price point is probably more realistic. You can charge more for a car with a Porsche badge on it than you can for one with a Mazda badge.

There's one thing that sticks out, though - a big part of the cost of an EV is the battery. And the $100k Taycan can only manage 200 miles of range. If they're targeting 150-180 miles with a similar powertrain, it's going to still need a lot of battery and they're aiming at a lower price point. Either that or they'll have to make it more efficient than the Taycan.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/9/20 7:57 p.m.

Let's just say that in the near future I will be spending some time with a company possibly mentioned in this thread. Who knows what beans will be spilled. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/9/20 8:00 p.m.
triumph7 said:

Yes, but it has to be at a reasonable, sub-$30K price point.  Which IS doable.  The question is whether Porsche wants to play in that arena.  IIRC, they had more customer issues with 914 and 924 models than anything else.  Not because the cars were bad but because the, um, entry level customers expected so much.

I think that's a pretty unreasonable expectation. Why would it have to be that cheap? Think more Corvette than BRZ. Sub-$30 is less than a lot of Miatas.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/9/20 8:01 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:

Let's just say that in the near future I will be spending some time with a company possibly mentioned in this thread. Who knows what beans will be spilled. 

McLaren, Porsche, Mazda, Tesla and VW. That's a wide spread.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/9/20 8:05 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Yup. smiley

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia Dork
1/9/20 8:07 p.m.

VW wants to make a "EV skate"  that can be used for many models  ,  so this falls right in there with the EV Manx buggy , MiniVan  and others , 

Hopefully by using the same bottom they can keep the price down.....

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
1/9/20 8:35 p.m.

I like it, but let's compare it to the current top selling 2-seat, low-priced sports car - the ND - which has barely passed 37K sold over the past 4 years, averaging a tick over 9K per year.  Maybe a 914 EV would sell better. I suspect not. 

If VW does develop an EV "roller skate" that Porsche could base this on there's a chance, but I wouldn't bet money on it.  And I can't imagine anything with a P-badge on it priced less than $50K.

secretariata
secretariata SuperDork
1/9/20 8:43 p.m.
Woody said:
David S. Wallens said:

In reply to jstein77 :

What color for you? I'd have to do Ruby Red for mine. 

Tangerine.

Me likey your thinking Woody!

In reply to David S. Wallens :

Black interior.

GIRTHQUAKE
GIRTHQUAKE HalfDork
1/9/20 9:36 p.m.

It would be very difficult for Porsche to make an EV 914 that would sell well, personally- not becuase it's a bad idea, but because I can't see how they could get one cheap enough price-wise to really make people look at it as an option. Then you run into the problem of whom you're going after- tackle the BRZ/GT86 and you could risk 'cheaping' the Porsche brand and making the 914EV feel "lower class" to tangle with 25K roadsters. What about battery size? Can't have it too big for cost, but also can't cheap out on range since Americans get concerned if something can't do 200 miles.

I think its a good idea, but Porsche needs better, more efficient drivetrains and batteries to make it gain the range needed for people to see it as a little more than a toy. It'll probably have to be a 2+2 for insurance too, instead of a 'true' coupe.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/9/20 10:25 p.m.
Ian F said:

I like it, but let's compare it to the current top selling 2-seat, low-priced sports car - the ND - which has barely passed 37K sold over the past 4 years, averaging a tick over 9K per year.  Maybe a 914 EV would sell better. I suspect not. 

If VW does develop an EV "roller skate" that Porsche could base this on there's a chance, but I wouldn't bet money on it.  And I can't imagine anything with a P-badge on it priced less than $50K.

 Why does it need to outsell the ND? The ND outsells the Boxster pretty handily in the US at the moment.

I wouldn't get too hung up with Porsche looking to compete with the least expensive sports cars on the market, or the fact that the original 914 had a VW connection. I'd take "electric 914!" as "lower-priced Porsche than the high priced Porsche". Basically, the niche currently occupied by the Boxster/Cayman but with electric drive. 

nimblemotorsports
nimblemotorsports Reader
1/9/20 10:56 p.m.

I think it would be a great car.  If it was truly inexpensive, i think it would be very popular, otherwise, why bother?  Make it fast with a small light powerful battery.

The 914 is a very popular EV conversion.

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy MegaDork
1/9/20 11:12 p.m.

Why are we discussing Porsche building it cheap?  That really isn't their target demographic, is it?

JimS
JimS Reader
1/9/20 11:21 p.m.

I like the looks but I have no desire for any electric. The sound of my 911 is part of the enjoyment. No golf carts for me thank you. Yes I know they're fast. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/9/20 11:24 p.m.
Streetwiseguy said:

Why are we discussing Porsche building it cheap?  That really isn't their target demographic, is it?

The article says "something less expensive than a Cayman". Caymans (Caymen?) start at $57,500. The Taycan is over $100k. So we're talking relative numbers.

nimblemotorsports
nimblemotorsports Reader
1/9/20 11:52 p.m.

It would have to be the same as a Miata to really sell in numbers and have a winner.  IMO.  Porsche doesn't need another expensive car for the few.

If they made it light, fast and nimble, it would do what Tesla hasn't.

stroker
stroker UltraDork
1/10/20 6:02 a.m.

Do it before Toyota does.

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Reader
1/10/20 6:22 a.m.

They would need to undercut the Boxster price as well.  I would absolutely love to see one of these, especially if they kept the weight down and the price reasonable.  Ruby red with black interior, here.  And either BBS rims or something that looked like the old Fuchs.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
1/10/20 6:40 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:
Streetwiseguy said:

Why are we discussing Porsche building it cheap?  That really isn't their target demographic, is it?

The article says "something less expensive than a Cayman". Caymans (Caymen?) start at $57,500. 

That's kind of an odd target to sell this car.  For a chassis, they can't spend money to create a new one- else it would be too expensive.  So the chassis is a cross between a Boxter and a Cayman.  

And, right now in 2020 and the current tech future, the EV powertrain will cost more than the ICE powertrain.  

So if they use a Cayman chassis, selling it for less than Cayman prices would be giving it away.  Makes no sense to me.

As for the available market- it would be stunning if it sold in the same numbers as either P car- again combining the sports car market with the EV market doesn't make the customers bigger...  No way in heck does it sell in Miata numbers- this car isn't going to find some long lost sports car market....  All its going to find are the Sports car people who want an EV....

I'm sure it will be a cool car.  But to be a truly cheap car will take some rather quantum steps in technology vs. where we are now.

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson MegaDork
1/10/20 7:01 a.m.

In reply to alfadriver :

You're forgetting that Porsche is part of the VW juggernaut.  VW do an outstanding job of platform sharing, much better than anyone else.  The Pepper wagon is the same platform as Audi A4, A5, A6, A7, A8, Q5, Q7, Q8, E-tron, Lambo Urus, VW Toe-rag and the Porky Mecan.  Just because a random article by a journalist suggests a 'new 914' doesn't mean that Porsche themselves are thinking along the same lines.  If Porsche are looking at this, and I'm sure they're looking at something small and sporty to complement the Taycan, they will be looking at what else is in the VW family they can work with/from.  Just because the 914 is loved by the GRM crowd and now  even embraced by Porsche enthusiasts, it was the red headed step child for most of it's history.  Don't forget that Porsche didn't even sell it as a Porsche in Europe.  It was badged VW-Porsche and sold through VW dealers.  Let's look at what really worked for them.  The 924/44/68 platform saved Porsche as a company.  Why wouldn't they look at another front engine rear drive chassis?  If they want a mid engine car then there is the MR2/X1/9/Fiero etc. model of using budget FWD parts in a mid engine chassis.  There are lot's of ways to skin this proverbial cat.

dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
1/10/20 7:08 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:

It would be a really interesting entry into the marketplace. I'd love to build an electric ND Miata, but the Porsche price point is probably more realistic. You can charge more for a car with a Porsche badge on it than you can for one with a Mazda badge.

There's one thing that sticks out, though - a big part of the cost of an EV is the battery. And the $100k Taycan can only manage 200 miles of range. If they're targeting 150-180 miles with a similar powertrain, it's going to still need a lot of battery and they're aiming at a lower price point. Either that or they'll have to make it more efficient than the Taycan.

This is a case where the cost will be offset by all the suv sales. 

triumph7
triumph7 Reader
1/10/20 7:30 a.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Maybe but at least sub $40K.

And reading some of the other responses here, the idea of buying the Miata chassis from Mazda and reskinning it to look Porschish would be a solid plan.  Packaging an electric motor and reduction gearbox is small enough to fit where the rear diff and lower fuel tank live, electronics into the upper fuel tank area and batteries under the hood. (I work for a company that converted Dodge vans to all electric so I know what goes into it.)

STM317
STM317 UltraDork
1/10/20 7:41 a.m.

So for all intents and purposes, the new Taycan is basically an electric Panamera. Thanks to Porsche's dumb, but consistent naming strategy, we can actually compare prices for various trim levels pretty easily between the EV and ICE.

A Taycan 4s starts at $104k, while the Panamera 4s starts at $105k.

A Taycan Turbo starts at $151k, while the Panamera Turbo starts at $153k.

A Taycan Turbo S starts at $185k, while the Panamera Turbo S starts at $188k.

So, Porsche has some precedent for pricing their EVs slightly below their equivalent ICE models (within 1% or so). To me, that provides a little hope that this entirely make believe car might not be priced much different than the Boxster (or whatever it's called now).

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
1/10/20 7:44 a.m.
Adrian_Thompson said:

In reply to alfadriver :

You're forgetting that Porsche is part of the VW juggernaut.  VW do an outstanding job of platform sharing, much better than anyone else.  The Pepper wagon is the same platform as Audi A4, A5, A6, A7, A8, Q5, Q7, Q8, E-tron, Lambo Urus, VW Toe-rag and the Porky Mecan.  Just because a random article by a journalist suggests a 'new 914' doesn't mean that Porsche themselves are thinking along the same lines.  If Porsche are looking at this, and I'm sure they're looking at something small and sporty to complement the Taycan, they will be looking at what else is in the VW family they can work with/from.  Just because the 914 is loved by the GRM crowd and now  even embraced by Porsche enthusiasts, it was the red headed step child for most of it's history.  Don't forget that Porsche didn't even sell it as a Porsche in Europe.  It was badged VW-Porsche and sold through VW dealers.  Let's look at what really worked for them.  The 924/44/68 platform saved Porsche as a company.  Why wouldn't they look at another front engine rear drive chassis?  If they want a mid engine car then there is the MR2/X1/9/Fiero etc. model of using budget FWD parts in a mid engine chassis.  There are lot's of ways to skin this proverbial cat.

I understand, but it does not really change the economic math.  If the P-EV is just a car, then it can use a much higher volume platform, as you point out- but it's still going to be more expensive than any of those cars just because of the EV powertrain.  By a significant amount- otherwise they will be giving it away.  So a 914 return can't be cheaper than a Cayman- since it's the same platform, and any other version will have to be more expensive than it's ICE counterpart.

Clearly, the issue of platform sharing with P and VW isn't an issue anymore, since the VW SUV is the top selling car in the P name.  But economics is still economics.  The current state of the art EV powertrain is significantly more expensive than an ICE powertrain- and from what I understand, that includes HEVs, since the additional battery for the pure EV offsets the second powertrain for the HEV (otherwise, the entire industry would be flocking to pure EVs, when the reality is a big increase in HEV's of all flavors.

Regardless of what the P-EV is, it's not going to be "cheap".  VW can't afford it to be.  Nor can we, since it appears that VW EV's will be influencing EV's with F's on the front of them.  I'm really not sure about what that agreement is going to be, but it still leaves a bad tates in my mouth that we did that.

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
1/10/20 7:46 a.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

I used the ND as a simple gauge of the potential market.  No, it probably wouldn't outsell the ND as it would likely be more expensive.  It was more of a statement of what the potential sales might be. Not a lot.

Along a similar train of thought, could this 914 EV model simply replace the Boxter and Cayman as Porsche's entry level car? 

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
1/10/20 7:46 a.m.
dean1484 said:
Keith Tanner said:

It would be a really interesting entry into the marketplace. I'd love to build an electric ND Miata, but the Porsche price point is probably more realistic. You can charge more for a car with a Porsche badge on it than you can for one with a Mazda badge.

There's one thing that sticks out, though - a big part of the cost of an EV is the battery. And the $100k Taycan can only manage 200 miles of range. If they're targeting 150-180 miles with a similar powertrain, it's going to still need a lot of battery and they're aiming at a lower price point. Either that or they'll have to make it more efficient than the Taycan.

This is a case where the cost will be offset by all the suv sales. 

That's the fastest way to have a car eliminated.  It takes ONE shareholder to question why profits are low because of non legal requirements to subsidize a car, and that car will die a quick death.  Just look at all of the OEM's who are stepping away from profitable cars- as the profits are not high enough.  No way a car gets a boost that can't make money.

STM317
STM317 UltraDork
1/10/20 7:47 a.m.
triumph7 said:

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Maybe but at least sub $40K.

And reading some of the other responses here, the idea of buying the Miata chassis from Mazda and reskinning it to look Porschish would be a solid plan.  Packaging an electric motor and reduction gearbox is small enough to fit where the rear diff and lower fuel tank live, electronics into the upper fuel tank area and batteries under the hood. (I work for a company that converted Dodge vans to all electric so I know what goes into it.)

The average new vehicle sold is something like $37k these days. No way Porsche goes that far down market. Audi doesn't really even go that low anymore. That's VWs playground. It would likely be priced in line with the Boxster/Cayman if they're consistent with the prices of the top models.

If they go after the upcoming Tesla Roadster and give it those levels of (claimed) performance, then they can charge 911 money for it.

Kreb
Kreb UberDork
1/10/20 10:00 a.m.

I think that Porsche would do a lot better with something that approximated an upscale, performance-oriented smart car. The sports car market is saturated, and a lot of drivers nowadays don't like looking up at everyone else. But in big cities, having a short car opens up a lot of parking spaces and qualifies you for the carpool lane. But let's be honest, the smart car is a penalty box, as are most tiny cars. But if they were actually fun and fast, Porsche could open up a new market segment.

I'm serious, damnit!

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/10/20 10:14 a.m.

So the 914 analogy might be stronger than it initially appears. If VW comes up with a corporate skateboard, then it's a matter of taking that and sticking a Porsche badge on it to justify a higher price than a VW badge can support. And if Porsche purists take offense, well, again it's a 914 :)

I don't agree that an electric has to be cheaper than the ICE equivalent to be competitive. Our current market shows this to be incorrect. Never mind EVs, people pay a premium for diesel trucks when there are gas variants available. Yes, they do different things - which is exactly my point.

nimblemotorsports
nimblemotorsports Reader
1/10/20 10:42 a.m.

DId someone say retro cars are dead now?   VW is supposed to produce the EV van again..and not super expensive.

porschenut
porschenut Reader
1/10/20 12:24 p.m.

Porsche has no good history on entry level cars.  They can't make the profit dollars per car like the SUVs and such.  The 914, 924 and944 were around for 6 years each, compare that with other models.  The marketing concept of entry level leading to upscale sales never worked for them.  

Hate to be so cynical, this is from a 914/924 owner for over a decade.  But when I consider how the PCA and dealerships treated me it is how I feel.

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
1/10/20 12:34 p.m.
triumph7 said:

Yes, but it has to be at a reasonable, sub-$30K price point.  Which IS doable.  The question is whether Porsche wants to play in that arena.  IIRC, they had more customer issues with 914 and 924 models than anything else.  Not because the cars were bad but because the, um, entry level customers expected so much.

I wouldn't expect it to be sub-$30k from Mazda, let alone Porsche.

 

However if it were sub-50k...

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
1/10/20 12:45 p.m.
Adrian_Thompson said:

In reply to alfadriver :

You're forgetting that Porsche is part of the VW juggernaut.  VW do an outstanding job of platform sharing, much better than anyone else.  The Pepper wagon is the same platform as Audi A4, A5, A6, A7, A8, Q5, Q7, Q8, E-tron, Lambo Urus, VW Toe-rag and the Porky Mecan.

Now I'm going to have to find my copy of The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul and give it a reread.

 

Back to discussion, for color I'd like to see it in a suffusion of yellow.

TVR Scott
TVR Scott HalfDork
1/10/20 12:53 p.m.

I love the concept shown by PCA.  Just looks fabulous.  I'd take mine in that exact green!

If they could make a $50k model, that would basically be a Tesla Model 3 opponent.  A sporty fun inexpensive commuter that would shred an autocross course would be a very compelling car.

With used prices thru the roof, and the new cars so expensive, there's very little getting younger drivers hooked on the marque.  This would turn that around.

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
1/10/20 12:58 p.m.
porschenut said:

Porsche has no good history on entry level cars.  They can't make the profit dollars per car like the SUVs and such.  The 914, 924 and944 were around for 6 years each, compare that with other models.  The marketing concept of entry level leading to upscale sales never worked for them.  

Hate to be so cynical, this is from a 914/924 owner for over a decade.  But when I consider how the PCA and dealerships treated me it is how I feel.

I have a friend who is a tech in the service department of a Porsche dealership.

One interesting thing he pointed out is that the sales of the SUVs and Panameras meant they had to massively upscale the size of their service department, even beyond the proportion you'd expect from higher vehicle sales.  In short, a 911 might be on its third owner by the time it accrues enough mileage to be due for major service, at which point it might just be taken to an indie.  A Cayenne might get multiple major services while it's still being paid for, because people drive them as cars and not sunny day weekend toys.

 

Porsche has undergone some changes since the days of the 924 and 944.

bcp2011
bcp2011 Reader
1/10/20 1:12 p.m.
TVR Scott said:

With used prices thru the roof, and the new cars so expensive, there's very little getting younger drivers hooked on the marque.  This would turn that around.

I think this is the strategic reason to do it.  With electric cars coming the industry will need to consolidate more, and to me that means more separation between more utilitarian cars vs. "fun" cars.  At the moment the halo around the Porsche brand is fantastic, and they should capitalize it before they're seen as elite expensive play toys for the few.  This will never be a volume driver for the company, but I think about it as a marketing cost to bring more people into the brand.  

Put another way, we've all read about the next generation's desire to drive cars, and what's going to change that?  A reasonably priced (<50k), fun, cool-looking EV sports car I think can hit the spot.  

dyintorace
dyintorace PowerDork
1/10/20 1:14 p.m.
nimblemotorsports said:

DId someone say retro cars are dead now?   VW is supposed to produce the EV van again..and not super expensive.

I sure hope this one makes it to market. We'd seriously consider one to replace my wife's i3 when the time comes. 

STM317
STM317 UltraDork
1/10/20 1:36 p.m.

Here's an interesting article with insider quotes about their plans for future Boxster and Macan models.

Seems like they're considering making fully electric versions of each model on a shared EV platform alongside the ICE versions on their current platforms.

Info about the upcoming EV platform, known as PPE

So a fully electric, 2 seat Porsche seems pretty likely in the next 5 years. The big question is will they dust off the 914 nomenclature or go with something else.

Lof8 - Andy
Lof8 - Andy Dork
1/10/20 1:42 p.m.

This is the most intriguing EV idea I have seen to date.  It looks cool and I imagine it would be a blast to drive.

RadarRider
RadarRider None
1/10/20 6:48 p.m.
jstein77 said:

Yes, now is absolutely the time.

I think the market would be more friendly to a VW Karman Ghia version.  I don’t think Porsche would want to go down market enough to make it work numbers wise.  Of course, with shared platforms and some interior pieces, perhaps both would be viable. 

RadarRider
RadarRider New Reader
1/10/20 8:41 p.m.

In reply to dyintorace :

Yeah, might make more sense as a reimagined Karman Ghia. 

Mike
Mike SuperDork
1/11/20 11:25 a.m.

I think "914" is an informative name for a discussion, but I can't imagine Porsche would literally call a car that.

Based on the VAG EV platform, I'm seeing this project as being more like the Audi TT. It's platform engineering a sports car out of a volume platform. Porsche hasn't really done this in 40 years, even if the Beetle and 356 were kin. Sure, crossovers, but the Boxster was never, I dunno, a VW EOS.

Put a two door, 2+2 fastback body with hard roof panel on the awd skate. Give it a roomy trunk and a frunk. Give it a sub-718 Boxster entry price that is still above the Audi and VW that are most mechanically related. Almost no standard features. Long option list. Focus on federally subsidized leases in the US. Do an S at the same time, drop a GTS and Turbo shortly thereafter. Maybe do a RWD "spyder" skate in the last year of the platform.

Lease me one in Miami Blue.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/11/20 12:36 p.m.

The 924/944 were based on a VW platform, no? The fact that you can put Super Beetle parts on a 944 makes me very happy. And the Cayenne and the Touraeg are platform buddies.  Or are those the crossovers you reference?

Porsche is planning on sharing a platform with Audi for electrics. I guess it depends on how much you separate Audi from VW, but they are the A in VAG :)

I do find the "make it super cheap!" requests interesting for both a Porsche and an EV. There is obviously still a large number of people who think the only reason for an EV is to be as cheap as possible to buy and run, and the 944/Boxster category has defined the bottom of the Porsche price range for a generation. Why would they go cheaper for an EV? They're not aiming to take the oh-so-desirable Bolt/Kona/500e market. This theoretical car would sit in an interesting spot in the market, an electric Porsche for people who would otherwise consider a Boxster. Like the way the Model 3 is for people who would otherwise consider a BMW 3 series. Or 4, or whatever BMW calls their sporty sedans this week.

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia Dork
1/11/20 12:57 p.m.

People will be happy to pay the extra $10k to say they have a Porsche.....

and the VW  EV skate will probably also be used by Skoda , Seat  and other brands that the VW group owns, 

I am sure in 10 years VW will bring out the New New EV bug  , 

The real problem will be can they make the body and interior etc  with cheap enough tooling that they can afford to sell low volume of each model , 

Somehow the Japanese seem to do that with the K cars.....

 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/11/20 1:34 p.m.

I believe Porsche has been using the Cayenne to subsidize the halo cars for a while - one of the previous GT3s had a custom side marker light that had to be reworked and recertified at a cost of 200k euros in order for it to flow nicely in the fender flare. You don't make choices like that unless you've got a war chest :) They might be willing to accept a lower margin on this 914 if it lets them take a lead in the market while the tech evolves.

STM317
STM317 UltraDork
1/11/20 1:57 p.m.

Just to clarify, VAG is working on 4 separate EV platforms.

The MLb-EVO platform is used when they want to  electrify a model designed with an ICE. Basically they remove the ICE stuff and put EV stuff in its place. The current Audi E Tron SUV is on this platform. It works great for hybrids, but it's compromised for a full EV and probably won't see many full EV models.

VW's mass market EV platform is currently entering production and is known as MEB. Ford is also expected to use this platform at some point. It's designed from the start as an EV only. It will likely be the most common EV platform around. Default RWD design!

Audi and Porsche are doing an EV platform that's more focused on performance. That platform (known as PPE), is still a couple of years from production, and would be what underpins any future Porsche EV or performance Audi EV. Default RWD design!

The Taycan is on what's currently a one-off platform known as J1. But that platform could spin off some Audis at some point too. Default RWD design!

RandolphCarter
RandolphCarter New Reader
1/12/20 8:17 a.m.
Adrian_Thompson said:

In reply to alfadriver :

Let's look at what really worked for them.  The 924/44/68 platform saved Porsche as a company.  Why wouldn't they look at another front engine rear drive chassis?

An electric 928 S4?

One please. Arrow Blue with a Light Gray interior.

 

(now I just need room in the budget for one)

 

TreDeuce
TreDeuce New Reader
1/12/20 1:14 p.m.

Wow!  What a comment response.

With performance specs similar to the smaller Porsche and a 300-mile range for a similar price point it would move me to add it to the stable.

The original Tesla 'Roadster' was a hoot to drive.

dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
1/12/20 4:10 p.m.
alfadriver said:
dean1484 said:
Keith Tanner said:

It would be a really interesting entry into the marketplace. I'd love to build an electric ND Miata, but the Porsche price point is probably more realistic. You can charge more for a car with a Porsche badge on it than you can for one with a Mazda badge.

There's one thing that sticks out, though - a big part of the cost of an EV is the battery. And the $100k Taycan can only manage 200 miles of range. If they're targeting 150-180 miles with a similar powertrain, it's going to still need a lot of battery and they're aiming at a lower price point. Either that or they'll have to make it more efficient than the Taycan.

This is a case where the cost will be offset by all the suv sales. 

That's the fastest way to have a car eliminated.  It takes ONE shareholder to question why profits are low because of non legal requirements to subsidize a car, and that car will die a quick death.  Just look at all of the OEM's who are stepping away from profitable cars- as the profits are not high enough.  No way a car gets a boost that can't make money.

News for you. What do you think pays for the halo cars and all the high tech crap that some of it eventually filters down to other cars.  For Mercedes it is the GL. For Porsche it was the cayenne and now it is what ever there new smaller one is.  

Packard
Packard New Reader
1/12/20 6:28 p.m.

I'm not a fan of EVs however don't mind them. They have a place in the auto market and auto sports however there is still much to be done with combustion engines.

 

dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
1/12/20 9:35 p.m.

Thinking about this more I think that Porsche  should bring back the Boxster name and make it an electric sports car. 

SirNick
SirNick New Reader
1/13/20 10:34 a.m.

Wow, GRM!  You've sure poked the hornet's nest.  However, I believe this discussion is moot.  Hasn't Porsche already decided that the next generation of Boxster/Cayman will be EV?  And that the next gen. of 911 will be hybrid?

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/13/20 10:45 a.m.

If you want to see the hornet's nest, you want to check out the Sony EV thread...

bcp2011
bcp2011 Reader
1/13/20 11:07 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:

If you want to see the hornet's nest, you want to check out the Sony EV thread...

It didn't seem like a hornet's nest if you avoid the one troll?  

Mike
Mike SuperDork
1/14/20 8:27 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

The 924/944 were based on a VW platform, no? The fact that you can put Super Beetle parts on a 944 makes me very happy. And the Cayenne and the Touraeg are platform buddies.  Or are those the crossovers you reference?

Porsche is planning on sharing a platform with Audi for electrics. I guess it depends on how much you separate Audi from VW, but they are the A in VAG :)

I do find the "make it super cheap!" requests interesting for both a Porsche and an EV. There is obviously still a large number of people who think the only reason for an EV is to be as cheap as possible to buy and run, and the 944/Boxster category has defined the bottom of the Porsche price range for a generation. Why would they go cheaper for an EV? They're not aiming to take the oh-so-desirable Bolt/Kona/500e market. This theoretical car would sit in an interesting spot in the market, an electric Porsche for people who would otherwise consider a Boxster. Like the way the Model 3 is for people who would otherwise consider a BMW 3 series. Or 4, or whatever BMW calls their sporty sedans this week.

I mean, yes, that's what I was saying. The 924 et al are the last time a Porsche sports car was badge engineered from elsewhere. Honestly, I said 40, but that was more than 40 years ago, and even then, there was no non-Porsche product, even if the project started at VW. AFAIK, the sports cars since... 928, 959, Carrera GT, 918, Boxster, Cayman, and everything that ever wore the 911 badge was exclusive to Porsche. The 2nd gen Panamera sits under some Bentleys. The Cayman and Macan share with a bunch of VAG crossovers.

My point was that engineering a sports car out of a platform that underpins non-sports cars has informative precident from the Audi TT.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/14/20 9:33 p.m.

It was the Cayenne I didn't see - I consider it an SUV instead of a crossover. Really, every current Porsche except the Boxster and 911 is a platform share. The stay an as well, I suppose. But it has been a long time since one of the sporty cars was shared, that's true. 

JStrobel80
JStrobel80 New Reader
1/15/20 7:06 a.m.

I love the idea, however for "regular" folks that cant have a daily driver and a "novelty car" I just don't see the reality of full time, one car EV ownership yet. When they get to 3-400 mile ranges and can be a genuine option instead of a combustion engine Ill begin to entertain the idea for such cars. Yes, they seem great for people that commute 20 miles to work and have a second car for road trips or live in a city etc.

I don't fly...anywhere. I live in NC, Ill be driving the quick 10 hours to Daytona next week, I drove to San Diego in 2.5 days for my brothers wedding, turned around and came home, my family is all in Connecticut. I want to be able to make those trips with an EV, right now its not possible and its not possible to have 2 cars. I feel like part of the point to owning an EV is not just the "look at me I have an EV" but because of morals for reducing consumption of fuel. However, when a car is only going 140 miles, you're putting a lot of stock in airlines if it happens to be your only car. Seems counter productive.

I think we are at a turning point and the day will come, maybe in 10 years when they can be a day to day full time viable option and for the record, I look forward to that day. For now, things like the Chevy Volt, Kia Niro and such have my attention.

Keith Tanner....an EV Locost? Seems like a fun project. What do you think?

Hopefully I'll see some of you at the 24. Ill be there early Thursday a.m.

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
1/15/20 7:09 a.m.

Hmm ... I didn't think about the TT. I could definitely see a platform shared between the TT and a similar sized Porsche model.  And maybe, just maybe, a Scirocco version from VW.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/15/20 9:24 a.m.

I disagree about the non-viability of an EV as an only car, but that subject has been hashed out many times. The Porsches would be the hardest if constant cross-country driving is the goal, as they are the least efficient EVs on the market. But Porsche sports cars have never been at their best as an only car.

I”m not sure about an EV Locost. The attributes of an electric are at odds with what makes a Locost fun instead of annoying. I would love an EV version of my old Cadillac. That’s what Cadillac was basically aiming for. 

dculberson
dculberson MegaDork
1/15/20 2:06 p.m.

In reply to JStrobel80 :

Nobody buys a Porsche 914 (or Boxster, or Cayman) to be their only car. They're always second, "toy" cars. An electric one sounds perfect to me.

dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
1/15/20 3:57 p.m.
JStrobel80 said:

I love the idea, however for "regular" folks that cant have a daily driver and a "novelty car" I just don't see the reality of full time, one car EV ownership yet. When they get to 3-400 mile ranges and can be a genuine option instead of a combustion engine Ill begin to entertain the idea for such cars. Yes, they seem great for people that commute 20 miles to work and have a second car for road trips or live in a city etc.

I don't fly...anywhere. I live in NC, Ill be driving the quick 10 hours to Daytona next week, I drove to San Diego in 2.5 days for my brothers wedding, turned around and came home, my family is all in Connecticut. I want to be able to make those trips with an EV, right now its not possible and its not possible to have 2 cars. I feel like part of the point to owning an EV is not just the "look at me I have an EV" but because of morals for reducing consumption of fuel. However, when a car is only going 140 miles, you're putting a lot of stock in airlines if it happens to be your only car. Seems counter productive.

I think we are at a turning point and the day will come, maybe in 10 years when they can be a day to day full time viable option and for the record, I look forward to that day. For now, things like the Chevy Volt, Kia Niro and such have my attention.

Keith Tanner....an EV Locost? Seems like a fun project. What do you think?

Hopefully I'll see some of you at the 24. Ill be there early Thursday a.m.

I don't think your driving habits are the norm and as such manufacturers won't be gearing there design criteria at your demograhic. 

jstein77
jstein77 UberDork
1/15/20 6:37 p.m.
dyintorace said:
nimblemotorsports said:

DId someone say retro cars are dead now?   VW is supposed to produce the EV van again..and not super expensive.

I sure hope this one makes it to market. We'd seriously consider one to replace my wife's i3 when the time comes. 

If you like the I3, it's no wonder you like this.

JStrobel80
JStrobel80 New Reader
1/16/20 7:32 a.m.

In reply to dculberson :

I agree with you completely. Im saying EVs as a whole, even a Nissan Leaf, if that's your only car its very limiting. I guess my argument was more towards the whole picture, not just the 914 EV. I look forward to the day when I can use an EV in a manner like a combustion engine car.

Also, for the record, Im definitely not against them, I think the 914 EV is an amazing idea. Thanks for the discussion :)

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/16/20 8:16 a.m.

It would be an interesting experiment to log your actual daily use and see how it would align with an EV. I suspect that, other than random and rare cross-country blasts, it would work just fine. I’ve done 300 mile city-to-city trips in one without any hardship and I know that driving to Las Vegas from here (500 miles across Utah and Nevada desert and mountains) would be the same trip in an EV as it is in my diesel truck with a trailer on the back. There are certainly situations where it would present limitations, but they are pretty unusual in reality.

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
1/16/20 8:27 a.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Agreed. For my normal commute to the office and general life at home, an EV would cover nearly all of my driving needs.

Right now, however, an EV would be difficult. Every 2-3 weeks I commute 350-400 miles (depending on the route) from home to a client site and live in a hotel. Although I could adjust the drive to make it shorter and be able to stop at a couple of charging stations, charging the car at the hotel would be a challenge as none of the client-approved hotels have charging stations at this time and there are few of them in the immediate area (I've looked). 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/16/20 9:34 a.m.

In that case, does it make more sense to fly and rent a car or use taxi/Ubers? A 400 mile trip is time-intensive and not free. IIRC the federal mileage rate is roughly 50c/mile to cover maintenance and fuel, so using that we're looking at $200 plus 5 hours of windshield time each way where you're not doing anything worthwhile. 

nderwater
nderwater UltimaDork
1/16/20 9:45 a.m.
JStrobel80 said:

In reply to dculberson :

I agree with you completely. Im saying EVs as a whole, even a Nissan Leaf, if that's your only car its very limiting. I guess my argument was more towards the whole picture, not just the 914 EV. I look forward to the day when I can use an EV in a manner like a combustion engine car.

Can't say I agree.  People have been using their EVs in a manner like a combustion engine car since the Leaf debuted back in 2011.  I dailied an early 'short range' EV from 2015-2018, and multiple family members of mine have as well.  Our cars were small five-door hatchbacks (Leafs and a Soul) and we all found them to be surprisingly practical for nearly all of our daily driving needs. 

Current-gen EVs are faster, more comfortable and have more than double the range than the car I leased.  For example, my mother in law swears that her Tesla Model 3 Performance is the best car she's ever owned.  It does everything she needs as her only car.  It makes her driving easier in DC traffic, yet at the same time is an autocross monster straight off the showroom floor.

The big road trips my family takes every year in our minivan are from Atlanta to Orlando or Washington DC.  I have kids, so these trips have to include multiple stops to get out for meals and potty breaks--so stopping every few hours to high-speed charge an EV would make no difference to us.  Given that EV trucks are now on the horizon, there are fewer and fewer use cases that EVs can't fulfill.

JStrobel80
JStrobel80 New Reader
1/16/20 9:52 a.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

I think you're probably right, MOST average daily use Im sure it would work. I generally drive about 90 miles a day for work and most weekends I take a 3+ hour trip to see things, like Asheville, or Road Atlanta etc. So Im sure it would work out.

While Im camping in the West Campground of Daytona next week, ill keep an eye out of EVs and talk to the owners to see what realities they deal with. Ill report back after that!

JStrobel80
JStrobel80 New Reader
1/16/20 9:55 a.m.

In reply to nderwater :

Thanks for the insight, I appreciate it. This is all good info and allowing me to be less ignorant on the realities of EV ownership haha. Ill keep looking into it and talking with more people that own them.

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
1/16/20 10:31 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:

In that case, does it make more sense to fly and rent a car or use taxi/Ubers? A 400 mile trip is time-intensive and not free. IIRC the federal mileage rate is roughly 50c/mile to cover maintenance and fuel, so using that we're looking at $200 plus 5 hours of windshield time each way where you're not doing anything worthwhile. 

Debatable. Most of my coworkers who come up here for meetings and whatnot do fly, but it doesn't really save much time and it's definitely more expensive than the ~$250 it costs for mileage and tolls.  When I'm here it's only $4 for my drive from the hotel to the site. Plus, I can bring whatever I want with me without airline restrictions - important when I'm here for 3 weeks at a time.  I'll bring bikes to go riding on the weekends and skis in the Winter (if we ever get any snow around here...). Plus a guitar, books, food, etc. And I'm in NH (no sales tax) so I can buy stuff to take home.

Flying still pretty much kills the entire day by the time I drive to the Philly airport (1 hr drive, two hrs early), fly to Boston or Manchester, get luggage, get to the rental car, then drive an hour to the hotel.  Since the client doesn't want to pay me OT, then my travel days are billable hours.  Since 9/11, I absolutely detest flying.  All of the pointless security B.S. makes it more trouble than it's worth to me.  So if I have to go somewhere that is within a day's drive (sometimes more), I take that option.

JStrobel80
JStrobel80 New Reader
1/16/20 10:33 a.m.

In reply to Ian F :

I agree. Before I decided to stop flying, anything within 6ish hours isnt worth flying. In a world of constantly being attacked by work emails, calls, to do lists etc, its nice to get in the car and drive an easy 6 hours and check out. And...as you said, billable hours :)

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/16/20 10:58 a.m.

Fair enough, it was worth asking. I flew to Vegas for SEMA this year instead of driving because it was considerably faster than driving 500 miles on empty 80 mph speed limit roads, then used the public/show transport options so I didn't have to deal with driving into the show and paying the exorbitant parking prices. Simply looking at alternatives. We've built our habits and expectations around the capabilities of the tools at hand, and changing those tools sometimes means reexamining those habits. 

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
1/16/20 11:59 a.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

I agree it depends on the situation.  For SEMA I would probably fly as well if I was only going out there for that event. 

The annoying part is I am literally about a mile away from an airport large enough to land any commercial airliner. But the one carrier that was flying out of here stopped service last year due to lack of business. And they only connected to Florida.

Hell... paying $12/day for parking near the Philly airport would be brutal although I have taken the train from my house to the terminal.  Takes about two hours to do that, however, since it's not a direct train.  Flying takes less time only when nothing goes wrong, which here in the Northeast is definitely not a given and even less so in Winter. 

Vigo
Vigo MegaDork
1/17/20 9:34 a.m.

I don't see why anyone thinks the difference from 200-400 miles in range is significant. If you charge every day then there is an extremely low number of people who drive that much  (200+) in one day without explicitly getting paid for it.  And if you're talking about going on a road trip, what is the difference between stopping for basically a whole day every 200 miles, or every 400 miles? You're still stopping for more or less a whole day so often that you just WONT use it for that road trip. So going from 200-400 doesn't solve that issue. Faster charging solves that issue. Porsche is doing things in that direction, and if they make a 200mi car that can fully charge in 20 minutes, they will do a lot more to address 'range anxiety' than if they had a 400mi car that took 6+ hours to charge. The charging rate is far more important than the non-stop distance if you want to talk about long-distance driving.

STM317
STM317 UltraDork
1/17/20 10:04 a.m.

In reply to Vigo :

Not to mention that you need twice as much battery to go 400 miles as you would to go 200 miles. That's twice the weight, cost, and space allocated to the battery in a vehicle.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/17/20 10:26 a.m.
Vigo said:

I don't see why anyone thinks the difference from 200-400 miles in range is significant. If you charge every day then there is an extremely low number of people who drive that much  (200+) in one day without explicitly getting paid for it.  And if you're talking about going on a road trip, what is the difference between stopping for basically a whole day every 200 miles, or every 400 miles? You're still stopping for more or less a whole day so often that you just WONT use it for that road trip. So going from 200-400 doesn't solve that issue. Faster charging solves that issue. Porsche is doing things in that direction, and if they make a 200mi car that can fully charge in 20 minutes, they will do a lot more to address 'range anxiety' than if they had a 400mi car that took 6+ hours to charge. The charging rate is far more important than the non-stop distance if you want to talk about long-distance driving.

Note that the best selling EV in the world has a 200 mile range with a charging time of 20-30 minutes. I agree that charging speed is paramount for road trips - but a lot of people also think it's important for day to day use. That's because there's a change in how EVs operate versus ICE vehicles - the EV starts every day with a full charge, but it's pretty common to assume it works like a gas car where you run it down and then go to a special refueling location.

nimblemotorsports
nimblemotorsports Reader
1/17/20 12:49 p.m.

In reply to Vigo :

I'd say 100  miles range and 5 minute recharge.  I'd tolerate a fuel-stop every 100 miles to save $10k and get faster car.  If long drive was often, I'd not be using a 914 for that.

Half the battery weight and cost and space than 200 miles.   And a car lighter and faster...what a 914 should be.

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