The return of the 912
Porsche today announced a new model and the return of a well-loved name – 912.
As with the original 912 of the 1960s, this new car has a 911 bodyshell and is powered by a four-cylinder engine. This all-new 2.5-litre unit is essentially a cutdown version of the current 3.6-litre flat-six and features DFI. Power is a modest but acceptable 185bhp, driven through a six-speed manual gearbox to the rear wheels. Gearing is for economy, with a 0-62mph time of 9.2 sec and a top speed of 125mph – fuel consumption, though, is a miserly 48mph on normal unleaded.
With UK prices starting at just £46,500, the 912 is an affordable alternative to a ‘real’ 911. However, to achieve that price point, Porsche has made sacrifices, as it did with the original 912. Standard wheels are 16-inch items (although we expect most buyers to upgrade), the PCM screen is replaced by a cubbyhole (as per GT3 RS), and the leather interior is scrapped in favour of vinyl and pinstripe fabric.
Just like the current 911, the 912 will not be badged thus, but rather with a ‘Carrera’ badge, making it indistinguishable from its more powerful cousin.
Porsche sees the new 912 as appealing to the UK and US markets. Marketing manager Avril Dummkopf explains: “UK buyers are stuck in traffic jams much of the time, so have no need for a powerful car,” she explains. “American drivers, meanwhile, are too busy drinking coffee to drive properly. It is only us Germans, and perhaps the Italians on a good day, who really drive 911s as they are meant to be driven.
The 912 will shortly be joined by an electric-powered version, developed in conjunction with UK-based Smiths Electric Vehicles, which is a world leader in electric vehicle technology.
There is a Complete Guide to the original Porsche 912 in the next issue of Total 911.