Porsche has talked openly about the possibility of bringing back the 914. The move has fuelled rumours that the German car maker is actively preparing the way for the launch of a new back-to-basics model aimed squarely at enthusiast drivers.

In an official interview posted to its Newsroom website, Porsche has detailed the history and design of the 914, launched in 1969, recognising it as a successor to the iconic 550 Spyder and describing it as a “typical Porsche” in terms of engineering.

It also asked if there is a future for the mid-engined 914 in an interview with head of design Michael Mauer.

Mauer said that a “cheaper, entry-level Porsche would be the right thing to do”.

He added: “We have this discussion all the time… A modern 550 in the broadest sense – a very simple, unpretentious car.”

Mauer – who recently relinquished duties as head of design for the Volkswagen Group to focus on design operations concentrated at Porsche’s Weissach R&D centre – hinted that Porsche is considering two alternatives for a spiritual successor to the 914 in a move aimed at reaching out to young customers.

The first is what he described as “a car with almost no electrics, everything mechanical, puristic”. The second, he said, is “a car for a target group of people who drive Audi TT RSs or Golf R32s”.

Mauer, who is credited with the design of the original Mercedes-Benz SLK, indicated that internal discussions about a modern-day 914 at Porsche are split along two lines.

He said: “Sales might see things differently. From this standpoint, a much cheaper entry-level Porsche would be the right thing to do – but that’s not my approach.”