The 911 was a faster, more complex and crucially more expensive car than the 356 which came before it. Porsche didn’t want to lose potential sales to people who couldn’t afford a 911, so it introduced the 912 in 1965.

This was essentially a 911 body shell fitted with the simpler four-cylinder, 1.6-litre engine from the last-of-the-line 356SC, which produced a modest 90bhp. As you’d expect the performance was reduced but still respectable for the period 0-60mph took 11.6 seconds and the top speed was 115mph.

However, a happy side-effect of the smaller engine was that the 912 was some 130kg lighter than the 911, and because the weight-saving was at the back, the car was actually more balanced, thus making it handle better than the often tail-happy 911.

The 912 made a brief reappear in 1976 in the North American market, where it was known as the 912E.

How to spot
  • 912 badge on rear
  • Rear-mount, air-cooled flat-four with two Solex dual-throat carburettors
  • Narrower tyres than contemprary 911

See also 912E (NA market in 1976)


Capacity: 1582cc

Compression ratio: 9.3:1

Maximum Power: 90bhp @ 6100rpm

Maximum Torque: 116Nm @ 3500rpm

Brakes: Front: 235mm discs; rear: 244mm discs

Suspension: Front: MacPherson struts with telescopic dampers and torsion bar springs; rear: Trailing wishbones with telescopic dampers and transverse torsion bar

Wheels & Tyres: Front: 15×4.5J with 165HR tyres. Rear: 15×4.5J with 165HR tyres

Length: 4163mm

Width: 1620mm

Weight: >935kg

Did you Know?

0-60mph: 11.6 sec Top speed: 119mph