In 1964, Porsche introduced the 911 range, as a successor for the 356 model. But the car was too expensive. A compromise solution was found: a 911 with the 356 engine. And that was the 912.
The design was an evolution of the Porsche 356 model. The new headlights, higher greenhouse, and the same slope in the back were the main characteristics that defined the classic Porsche shape. Its design was created by Ferdinand "Butzi" Porsche, son of the Ferdinand "Ferry" Porsche. The latter was the creator of the 1936 VW Beetle.
The Porsche 356 was a commercial success for the young German company. One year after the 911 was launched, the 912 reached the showroom floors. It kept the same principles of the 356 with a flat-four, air-cooled engine. That led to a different engine lid in the back, with big vents on top of it.
Inside the car, there was a simple flat layout for the instrument cluster. The five-dials concept was kept over the time Another particularity of the Porsche 912 was the starter key on the outside, closer to the window, while most of the other vehicles had it on the inside. To keep the car's price low, some of the Porsche 911 features were deleted and offered only as an option. In that process, the stereo and some sound-deadening materials were axed.
The simple layout for the engine included a four-wheel independent suspension, which was a great advantage while cornering. The 1.6-liter flat-four engine was based on the one found in the 356 SC. It was fed by a Solex carburetor and mated to a 4-speed manual gearbox.