Should Porsche bring back the 912? This is the random stuff I think of while daydreaming about my favorite automotive obsession. When you spend as much time in the garage as I do, it’s hard not to wander in thought.
I’d bet I’m not the first or only person to think about this. I believe the conditions and rationale for a slower and less expensive 911 are similar to those discussed during the days the first 912 was introduced.
With the original 911 priced beyond some enthusiasts’ pocketbooks, Porsche introduced a 911 with a four-cylinder 356 engine and, voila, the 912 was born. But we all know that history.
And today? What’s my argument to bring the 912 back? The 911 of today has turned into a beast. It gets faster and faster with each new model. The fenders now flare out to outlandish portions compared to the first 911. And the price! Don’t get me started. I’m not complaining here. The 911 is an amazing car. It’s a thoroughbred sport driving machine that people with the right funds will undoubtedly enjoy. But the reality is that it’s too much machine and too much money for someone like me. Heck, I really don’t need 305/30R20 tires to get around. If someone gave me one of these new 911s, would I take it? Of course!
I’m sure some will say that the Boxster or Cayman is the car for the “less than 911” crowd. While I’ll agree with that (and I own a Boxster) it just isn’t the same thing. A 911 is just … better. It’s better because of the design, the shape, the performance, the history, the motorsports tradition, and, honestly, I look way cooler in a 911 than a Boxster. At least I think I do.
Like I said, my mind wanders while in the garage…
So, what about a new 912? Porsche could take the classic 911 shape that we all love, replace the massive six with a four-cylinder turbo from the 718 and, voila again, the 912 is reborn. But I’m not thinking a hulking 992 version of a 912 but a slimmer more svelte version reminiscent of the first 911 (and 912).
Wouldn’t it be cool to have a modern version of the classic 911 shape? I wouldn’t want to suggest that Porsche throw out all the current 911 development. But a 912 could sneak in and do something wonderful by filling the niche that some of us lovers of the old 911 long for. Can you imagine a light and nimble two-seater that wasn’t too fast, handled well, and was easy on the pocketbook? Wait, that was the 912 of yesteryear.
History even looks fondly at the 912. At PCA Concours events I see people admiring a well-cared for 912 with the same glee as an early 911. Owners of these 912s hold their heads high with pride that their cars are still cherished by the Porsche community.
Bringing the 718 name back into the lineup shows the folks at Porsche care about the marque’s history. So why not bring the 912 name back? Better yet, instead of just bringing it back, bring it into the future. This new 912 could be a fully electric car. A streamlined and lighter classic 911 shape with a small battery and electric motor in the rear could appeal to environmentally-conscious and entry-level Porsche buyers alike, while still retaining the mighty 911 name at the top of the petrol-fueled market.
Porsche could have this new 912 as the entry electric car and the upcoming Taycan as a top-end electric sedan. Then the Boxster/Cayman line would continue as the entry-level gas-powered vehicle with the 911 as the top-of-class automobile that it already is. I can’t forget to mention the Macan and Cayenne line up and the SUV stepping-stone price points of these models. This new 912 could help round out the entire Porsche line up.
With electric cars all the rage these days, I think this smaller electric car would be a hit with the younger crowd too. After all, not everyone needs four doors these days. I’d bet an electric 912 would be a hit at the upcoming Formula E races that Porsche is entering in 2019-2020. As the young, and young at heart, flock to these metro city racing events, I believe a little 912 would be an instant hit with the millennial crowd.
As my garage-time think-fest comes to an end, if Porsche built an entry-level electric 912, I know I’d buy one. And, of course, I’d look cool driving it.