Volkswagen Beetle

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This article is about the original Volkswagen Beetle. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_0

For the 1997–2010 car, see Volkswagen New Beetle. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_1

For the 2011–2019 car, see Volkswagen Beetle (A5). Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_2

Volkswagen Beetle_table_infobox_0

Volkswagen Beetle Type 1Volkswagen Beetle_header_cell_0_0_0
OverviewVolkswagen Beetle_header_cell_0_1_0
ManufacturerVolkswagen Beetle_header_cell_0_2_0 VolkswagenVolkswagen Beetle_cell_0_2_1
Also calledVolkswagen Beetle_header_cell_0_3_0 Volkswagen Beetle_cell_0_3_1
ProductionVolkswagen Beetle_header_cell_0_4_0 1938–2003: 21,529,464 builtVolkswagen Beetle_cell_0_4_1
AssemblyVolkswagen Beetle_header_cell_0_5_0 Volkswagen Beetle_cell_0_5_1
DesignerVolkswagen Beetle_header_cell_0_6_0 Ferdinand PorscheVolkswagen Beetle_cell_0_6_1
Body and chassisVolkswagen Beetle_header_cell_0_7_0
ClassVolkswagen Beetle_header_cell_0_8_0 Compact car, economy carVolkswagen Beetle_cell_0_8_1
Body styleVolkswagen Beetle_header_cell_0_9_0 Volkswagen Beetle_cell_0_9_1
LayoutVolkswagen Beetle_header_cell_0_10_0 Rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive layoutVolkswagen Beetle_cell_0_10_1
RelatedVolkswagen Beetle_header_cell_0_11_0 Volkswagen Beetle_cell_0_11_1
PowertrainVolkswagen Beetle_header_cell_0_12_0
EngineVolkswagen Beetle_header_cell_0_13_0 Volkswagen Beetle_cell_0_13_1
TransmissionVolkswagen Beetle_header_cell_0_14_0 Volkswagen Beetle_cell_0_14_1
DimensionsVolkswagen Beetle_header_cell_0_15_0
WheelbaseVolkswagen Beetle_header_cell_0_16_0 2,400 mm (94.5 in)Volkswagen Beetle_cell_0_16_1
LengthVolkswagen Beetle_header_cell_0_17_0 4,079 mm (160.6 in)Volkswagen Beetle_cell_0_17_1
WidthVolkswagen Beetle_header_cell_0_18_0 1,539 mm (60.6 in)Volkswagen Beetle_cell_0_18_1
Curb weightVolkswagen Beetle_header_cell_0_19_0 800–840 kg (1,760–1,850 lb)Volkswagen Beetle_cell_0_19_1
ChronologyVolkswagen Beetle_header_cell_0_20_0
SuccessorVolkswagen Beetle_header_cell_0_21_0 Volkswagen Beetle_cell_0_21_1

The Volkswagen Beetle—officially the Volkswagen Type 1, informally in German the Käfer (meaning "beetle"), in parts of the English-speaking world the Bug, and known by many other nicknames in other languages—is a two-door, rear-engine economy car, intended for five occupants (later, Beetles were restricted to four people in some countries), that was manufactured and marketed by German automaker Volkswagen (VW) from 1938 until 2003. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_3

The need for a people's car (Volkswagen in German, and in the English-speaking world in the early 20th century as "folks' wagon"), its concept and its functional objectives were formulated by the leader of Nazi Germany, Adolf Hitler, who wanted a cheap, simple car to be mass-produced for his country's new road network (Reichsautobahn). Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_4

Members of the National Socialist party, with an additional dues surcharge, were promised the first production, but civil war in Spain shifted most production resources to military vehicles instead to support Francisco Franco. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_5

Lead engineer Ferdinand Porsche and his team took until 1938 to finalise the design. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_6

Béla Barényi is credited with first conceiving the original design for this car in 1925, notably by Mercedes-Benz, on their website, including his original technical drawing, five years before Porsche claimed to have done his initial version. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_7

The influence on Porsche's design of other contemporary cars, such as the Tatra V570, and the work of Josef Ganz remains a subject of dispute. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_8

The result was the first Volkswagen, and one of the first rear-engined cars since the Brass Era. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_9

With 21,529,464 produced, the Beetle is the longest-running and most-manufactured car of a single platform ever made. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_10

Although designed in the 1930s, due to World War II, civilian Beetles only began to be produced in significant numbers by the end of the 1940s. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_11

The car was then internally designated the Volkswagen Type 1, and marketed simply as the Volkswagen. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_12

Later models were designated Volkswagen 1200, 1300, 1500, 1302, or 1303, the former three indicating engine displacement, the latter two derived from the model number. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_13

The car became widely known in its home country as the Käfer (German for "beetle", cognate with English ) and was later marketed under that name in Germany, and as the Volkswagen in other countries. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_14

For example, in France it was known as the Coccinelle (French for ladybug). Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_15

In 1943, Roy Fedden applied for a patent, GB570814, 'Improvements relating to road vehicles', a car identical to VW Käfer. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_16

The original 25 hp Beetle was designed for a top speed around 100 km/h (62 mph), which would be a viable cruising speed on the Reichsautobahn system. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_17

As Autobahn speeds increased in the postwar years, its output was boosted to 36, then 40 hp, the configuration that lasted through 1966 and became the "classic" Volkswagen motor. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_18

The Beetle gave rise to multiple variants: mainly the 1950 Type 2 'Bus', the 1955 Karmann Ghia, as well as the 1961 Type 3 'Ponton' and the 1968 Type 4 (411/412) family cars, ultimately forming the basis of an entirely rear-engined VW product range. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_19

The Beetle thus marked a significant trend, led by Volkswagen, and then by Fiat and Renault, whereby the rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout increased from 2.6 percent of continental Western Europe's car production in 1946 to 26.6 percent in 1956. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_20

In 1959 even General Motors launched an air-cooled, rear-engined car, the Chevrolet Corvair—which even shared the Beetle's flat engine and swing axle architecture. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_21

Over time, front-wheel drive, and frequently hatchback-bodied cars would come to dominate the European small-car market. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_22

In 1974, Volkswagen's own front-wheel drive Golf hatchback succeeded the Beetle. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_23

In 1994, Volkswagen unveiled the Concept One, a "retro"-themed concept car with a resemblance to the original Beetle, and in 1998 introduced the "New Beetle", built on the contemporary Golf platform with styling recalling the original Type 1. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_24

It remained in production through 2010, and was succeeded in 2011 by the Beetle (A5), the last variant of the Beetle, which was also more reminiscent of the original Beetle. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_25

Production ceased altogether by 2019. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_26

In the 1999 Car of the Century competition, to determine the world's most influential car in the 20th century, the Type 1 came fourth, after the Ford Model T, the Mini, and the Citroën DS. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_27

History Volkswagen Beetle_section_0

"The People's Car" Volkswagen Beetle_section_1

The original concept behind the first Volkswagen, the company, and its name is the notion of a people’s car – a car affordable and practical enough for common people to own. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_28

Hence the name, which is literally "people's car" in German, pronounced [ˈfɔlksvaːɡən). Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_29

Although the Volkswagen beetle was mainly the brainchild of Ferdinand Porsche and Adolf Hitler, the idea of a "people's car" is much older than Nazism and has existed since the mass-production of cars was introduced. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_30

In fact, Béla Barényi was able to prove in court in 1953 that Porsche's patents were Barényi's ideas, and therefore Barényi has since been credited with first conceiving the original design for this car in 1925 – notably by Mercedes-Benz, on their website, including his – five years before Ferdinand Porsche claimed to have made his initial version. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_31

Barényi also successfully sued Volkswagen for copyright infringement in 1955, whereby his contribution to the creation of the VW Type 1 was legally acknowledged. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_32

Contrary to the situation in the United States, where the Ford Model T had become the first car to motorize the masses, contributing to household car ownership of about 33% in 1920 and some 46% in 1930, in the early 1930s, the German auto industry was still mostly limited to luxury models, and few Germans could afford anything more than a motorcycle: one German out of 50 owned a car. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_33

In April 1934, Hitler gave the order to Porsche to develop a Volkswagen. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_34

The epithet Volks- literally, "people's-" had been applied to other Nazi-sponsored consumer goods as well, such as the Volksempfänger ("people's radio"). Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_35

In May 1934, at a meeting at Berlin's Kaiserhof Hotel, Hitler insisted on a basic vehicle that could transport two adults and three children at 100 km/h (62 mph) while not using more than 7 litres of fuel per 100 km (32 mpg US/39 mpg UK). Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_36

The engine had to be powerful enough for sustained cruising on Germany's Autobahnen. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_37

Everything had to be designed to ensure parts could be quickly and inexpensively exchanged. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_38

The engine had to be air-cooled because, as Hitler explained, not every country doctor had his own garage. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_39

(Ethylene glycol antifreeze was only just beginning to be used in high-performance liquid-cooled aircraft engines. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_40

In general, water in radiators would freeze unless the vehicle was kept in a heated building overnight or drained and refilled each morning.) Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_41

The "People's Car" would be available to citizens of Germany through a savings scheme, or Sparkarte (savings booklet), at 990 Reichsmark, about the price of a small motorcycle. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_42

(The average weekly income was then around 32RM.) Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_43

Development Volkswagen Beetle_section_2

Ferdinand Porsche developed the Type 12, or "Auto für Jedermann" (car for everybody) for Zündapp in 1931. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_44

Porsche already preferred the flat-four engine, and selected a swing axle rear suspension (invented by Edmund Rumpler), while Zündapp insisted on a water-cooled five-cylinder radial engine. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_45

In 1932 three prototypes were running; all were lost during World War II, the last in a bombing raid in Stuttgart in 1945. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_46

The Zündapp prototypes were followed by the Porsche Type 32, designed in 1933 for NSU Motorenwerke AG, another motorcycle company. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_47

The Type 32 was similar in design to the Type 12, but it had a flat-four engine. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_48

NSU discontinued car manufacturing, and the Type 32 was abandoned at the prototype stage. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_49

Initially designated Type 60 by Porsche, the design team included Erwin Komenda and Karl Rabe. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_50

In October 1935, the first two Type-60 prototypes, known as cars V1, a sedan, and V2 , a convertible (V for Versuchswagen, or "test car"), were ready. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_51

In 1936 testing began of three further V3 prototypes, built in Porsche's Stuttgart shop. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_52

A batch of thirty W30 development models, produced for Porsche by Daimler-Benz, underwent 1,800,000 mi (2,900,000 km) of further testing in 1937. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_53

All cars had the distinctive round shape and the air-cooled, rear-mounted engine. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_54

Included in this batch was a rollback soft top called the Cabrio Limousine. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_55

A further batch of 44 VW38 pre-production cars produced in 1938 introduced split rear windows; both the split window and the dash were retained on production Type 1s until 1953. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_56

The VW38 cars were followed by another batch of 50 VW39 cars, completed in July 1939. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_57

The car was designed to be as simple as possible mechanically. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_58

The air-cooled 25 hp (19 kW) 995 cc (60.7 cu in) motor's built-in oil cooler, and the flat-four engine configuration's superior performance was also effective for the German Afrika Korps in Africa's desert heat. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_59

The suspension design used compact torsion bars instead of coil or leaf springs. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_60

The Beetle is nearly airtight and will briefly float. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_61

Factory Volkswagen Beetle_section_3

On 26 May 1938, Hitler laid the cornerstone for the Volkswagen factory in Fallersleben. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_62

He gave a speech, in which he named the car Kraft-durch-Freude-Wagen ("Strength Through Joy Car", usually abbreviated to KdF-Wagen). Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_63

The name refers to Kraft durch Freude ('Strength Through Joy'), the official leisure organization of Nazi Germany. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_64

The model village of Stadt des KdF-Wagens was created near Fallersleben in Lower Saxony in 1938 for the benefit of the workers at the newly built factory. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_65

Volkswagen had only just started small scale production, building about 210 Beetles, when civilian production was halted at the start of the war. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_66

Except for two military prototype units, these KdF sedans were allocated to military officers as personal cars. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_67

Hitler was given the very first convertible Beetle built in 1938. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_68

Both 704cc and 984cc air-cooled engines were fitted in these early units. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_69

The first volume-produced versions of the car's running-gear and chassis were military vehicles, the Type 82 Kübelwagen (approximately 52,000 built) and the amphibious Type 128 and 166 Schwimmwagen (about 14,000 built). Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_70

Wartime production Volkswagen Beetle_section_4

A handful of KdF-Wagen were produced, primarily for the Nazi elite, from 1941 to 1944, as the Typ 60. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_71

During World War II, the factory primarily built the Kübelwagen (Typ 82), the Schwimmwagen (Typ 166), and a handful of other light wheeled vehicles, all mechanically derived from the Typ 1, for the Wehrmacht. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_72

These included several hundred Kommandeurswagen (Typ 87), with a Typ 1 Beetle body mounted on the rugged chassis of the four-wheel drive Typ 86 Kübelwagen prototype, and fitted with portal axle and a Schwimmwagen drive train, with wider fenders., to accommodate oversize Kronprinz all-terrain tires (reminiscent of the later Baja Bugs). Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_73

Kommandeurswagen were produced up to 1944, when all production was halted because of heavy damage to the factory from Allied air raids. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_74

Much of the essential equipment had already been moved to underground bunkers for protection, which let production resume quickly after hostilities ended. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_75

Due to gasoline shortages late in the war, a few "Holzbrenner" Beetles were built, which were fueled with logs of wood. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_76

The logs were converted into combustible gases using pyrolysis gas producers located under the front hood, so the car could retain its carbureted Otto engine. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_77

Post-war production and boom Volkswagen Beetle_section_5

In occupied Germany, the Allies followed the Morgenthau plan to remove all German war potential by complete or partial pastoralization. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_78

As part of this, in the Industrial plans for Germany, the rules for which industry Germany was to be allowed to retain were set out. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_79

German car production was set at a maximum of 10 percent of the 1936 car production numbers. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_80

Mass production of civilian VW cars did not start until post-war occupation. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_81

The Volkswagen factory was handed over by the Americans to British control in 1945; it was to be dismantled and shipped to Britain. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_82

However, no British car manufacturer was interested in the factory; an official report included the phrases "the vehicle does not meet the fundamental technical requirement of a motor-car… it is quite unattractive to the average buyer… To build the car commercially would be a completely uneconomic enterprise." Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_83

The factory survived by producing cars for the British Army instead. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_84

Allied dismantling policy changed in late 1946 to mid-1947, although heavy industry continued to be dismantled until 1951. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_85

In March 1947, Herbert Hoover helped change policy by stating Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_86

The re-opening of the factory is largely accredited to British Army officer Major Ivan Hirst. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_87

Hirst was ordered to take control of the heavily bombed factory, which the Americans had captured. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_88

His first task was to remove an unexploded bomb that had fallen through the roof and lodged itself between some pieces of irreplaceable production equipment; if the bomb had exploded, the Beetle's fate would have been sealed. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_89

Knowing Germany needed jobs and the British Army needed vehicles, Hirst persuaded the British military to order 20,000 cars, and by March 1946 the factory was producing 1,000 cars a month (in Army khaki, under the name Volkswagen Type 1), which Hirst said "was the limit set by the availability of materials". Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_90

During this period, the car reverted to its original name of Volkswagen and the town was renamed Wolfsburg. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_91

The first 1,785 Type 1s were made in 1945. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_92

After initially building mostly Beetles for the British military, in 1947 production transitioned to purely civilian Beetles, for the first time featuring chromed bumpers, hubcaps, and body and running board trim. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_93

Aside from some remaining military production, civilian output reached almost 9,000 units in 1947, and for 1948 total production increased to 19,244 cars. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_94

The late 1940s Beetles still had an understressed 1131 cc engine with just 25 horsepower, but it could effortlessly maintain cruising at the car's 60-mile-per-hour (97 km/h) top speed. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_95

Following the British Army-led restart of production and Hirst's establishment of sales network and exports to Netherlands, former Opel manager (and formerly a detractor of the Volkswagen) Heinz Nordhoff was appointed director of the Volkswagen factory in 1949. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_96

Under Nordhoff, production increased dramatically over the following decade, with the one-millionth car coming off the assembly line by 1955. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_97

During this post-war period, the Beetle had superior performance in its category with a top speed of 115 km/h (71 mph) and 0–100 kilometres per hour (0–62 mph) in 27.5 seconds with fuel consumption of 6.7 litres per 100 kilometres (42 mpg‑imp; 35 mpg‑US) for the standard 25 kW (34 hp) engine. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_98

This was far superior to the Citroën 2CV, which was aimed at a low speed/poor road rural peasant market, and Morris Minor, designed for a market with no motorways or freeways; it was even competitive with more advanced small city cars like the Austin Mini. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_99

In Small Wonder, Walter Henry Nelson wrote: Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_100

There were other, less-numerous models, as well. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_101

The Hebmüller cabriolet (officially Type 14A), a sporty two-seater, was built between 1949 and 1953; it numbered 696. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_102

The Type 18A, a fixed-top cabriolet, was produced by Austro-Tatra as a police and fire unit; 203 were assembled between January 1950 and March 1953. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_103

The chassis became a technological and parts donor to Volkswagen Type 2 (also known as Bulli) and external coachbuilders such as Rometsch, Dannenhauer & Stauss, Wilhelm Karmann, Enzmann, Beutler, Ghia-Aigle, Hebmüller & Söhne, Drews, Wendler. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_104

On 17 February 1972 Beetle No. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_105

15,007,034 was produced, surpassing total production of the previous record holder, the Ford Model T. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_106

By 1973, total production was over 16 million, and by 23 June 1992, over 21 million had been produced. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_107

Decline Volkswagen Beetle_section_6

Worldwide end of production Volkswagen Beetle_section_7

By 2002, over 21 million Type 1s had been produced, but by 2003, annual production had dropped to 30,000 from a peak of 1.3 million in 1971. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_108

VW announced the end of production in June 2003, citing decreasing demand, and the final original Type 1 VW Beetle (No. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_109

21,529,464) rolled off the production line at Puebla, Mexico, on 30 July 2003, 65 years after its original launch. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_110

This last Beetle, nicknamed El Rey (Spanish for "The King" after a legendary Mexican song by José Alfredo Jiménez) was delivered to the company's museum in Wolfsburg, Germany. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_111

To celebrate the occasion, Volkswagen marketed a final, special series of 3,000 Beetles marketed as "Última Edición" (Final Edition) in light blue (Aquarius Blue) or beige (Harvest Moon Beige). Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_112

Each car included the 1.6 engine, whitewall tires, a CD player with four speakers, chrome bumpers, trim, hub caps and exterior mirrors, a Wolfsburg emblem above the front trunk's handle, an all-cloth interior, chrome glove box badge, body coloured wheels, tinted glass, a rear parcel shelf, and VW Última Edición plaque. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_113

A mariachi band serenaded production of the last car. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_114

In Mexico, there was an advertising campaign as a goodbye for the Beetle. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_115

In one of the ads was a very small parking space on the street, and many big cars tried to use it, but could not. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_116

After a while, a sign appears in that parking space saying: "Es increíble que un auto tan pequeño deje un vacío tan grande" (It is incredible that a car so small can leave such a large void). Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_117

Another depicted the rear end of a 1954 Beetle (the year Volkswagen was established in Mexico) in the left side of the ad, reading "Erase una vez..." (Once upon a time...) and the last 2003 Beetle in the right side, reading "Fin" (The end). Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_118

Other ads also had the same nostalgic tone. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_119

Volkswagen Beetle_unordered_list_0

  • Engine: Fuel-injected (Bosch Digifant) four-cylinder horizontally opposed, 1,584 cc, 50 hp (37 kW), 98.1 N⋅m (72.4 lb⋅ft) @ 2,200 rpm, three-way catalytic converterVolkswagen Beetle_item_0_0
  • Rated fuel mileage: 7.2 L/100 km (32.5 mpg‑US; 39.0 mpg‑imp)Volkswagen Beetle_item_0_1
  • Max cruising speed: 130 km/h (81 mph)Volkswagen Beetle_item_0_2
  • Brakes: front disc, rear drumVolkswagen Beetle_item_0_3
  • Passengers: FiveVolkswagen Beetle_item_0_4
  • Tank: 40 L (11 US gal; 9 imp gal)Volkswagen Beetle_item_0_5
  • Colours: Aquarius blue, Harvest Moon beige.Volkswagen Beetle_item_0_6

Prototypes Volkswagen Beetle_section_8

Diesel Volkswagen Beetle_section_9

In 1951, Volkswagen prototyped a 1.3 L diesel engine. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_120

Volkswagen made only two of these naturally aspirated, air-cooled boxer diesel engines, and installed one engine in a Type 1 and another in a Type 2. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_121

The diesel Beetle was time tested on the Nürburgring and achieved 0–100 km/h (0–62 mph) in 60 seconds. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_122

Design Volkswagen Beetle_section_10

The Beetle featured a rear-located, rear-wheel drive, air-cooled four-cylinder, boxer engine in a two-door bodywork featuring a flat front windscreen, accommodating four passengers and providing luggage storage under the front bonnet and behind the rear seat—and offering a coefficient of drag of 0.48; to this relatively good Cd, the also streamlined rear of the car was of help. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_123

The bodywork attached with eighteen bolts to its nearly flat platform chassis which featured a central structural tunnel. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_124

Front and rear suspension featured torsion bars along with front stabilizer bar—providing independent suspension at all wheels. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_125

Certain initial features were subsequently revised, including mechanical drum brakes, split-window rear windows, mechanical direction-indicators, and the non-synchronized gearbox. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_126

Other features, including its distinctive overall shape, endured. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_127

In fact, the Beetle was prized for its seemingly unchanged appearance and "marketed to American consumers as the anti-GM and Ford: 'We do not believe in planned obsolescence. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_128

We don't change a car for the sake of change.'" Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_129

Its engine, transmission, and cylinder heads were constructed of light alloy. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_130

An engine oil cooler (located in the engine fan's shroud) ensured optimal engine operating temperature and long engine life, optimized by a thermostat that bypassed the oil cooler when the engine was cold. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_131

Later models featured an automatic choke. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_132

Engine intake air passed through a metallic filter, while heavier particles were captured by an oil bath. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_133

After 1960, steering featured a hydraulic damper that absorbed steering irregularities. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_134

Indicative of the car's utilitarian design, the interior featured painted metal surfaces, a metal dash consolidating instruments in a single, circular binnacle, adjustable front seats, a fold-down rear seat, optional swing-out rear windows, front windows with pivoting vent windows, heating via air-to-air exchange manifolds operating off the engine's heat, and a windshield washer system that eschewed the complexity and cost of an additional electric pump and instead received its pressurization from the car's spare tire (located in the front luggage compartment) which was accordingly overinflated to accommodate the washer function. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_135

Throughout its production, VW marketed the Beetle with a four-speed manual transmission. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_136

From 1961 (and almost exclusively in Europe), VW offered an optional version of the Saxomat semi-automatic transmission: a regular 4-speed manual transaxle coupled to an electromagnetic clutch with a centrifugal clutch used for idle. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_137

Subsequently, (beginning in 1967 in Europe and 1968 in the United States), VW offered an optional semi-automatic transmission (marketed as Automatic Stick Shift and also called AutoStick,) which was a 3-speed manual coupled to an electro-pneumatic clutch and torque converter. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_138

While the overall appearance of the Beetle changed little over its life span, it received over 78,000 incremental changes during its production. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_139

Evolution and design changes Volkswagen Beetle_section_11

Beetle cabriolet Volkswagen Beetle_section_12

It was in 1948 that Wilhelm Karmann first bought a VW Beetle sedan and converted it into a four-seated convertible. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_140

After successfully presenting it at VW in Wolfsburg the Beetle Cabriolet began production in 1949 by Karmann in Osnabrück. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_141

The convertible was more than a Beetle with a folding top. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_142

To compensate for the strength lost in removing the roof, the sills were reinforced with welded U-channel rails, a transverse beam was fitted below the front edge of the rear seat cushion, and the side cowl-panels below the instrument panel were double-wall. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_143

In addition, the lower corners of the door apertures had welded-in curved gussets, and the doors had secondary alignment wedges at the B-pillar. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_144

The top was cabriolet-style with a full inner headliner hiding the folding mechanism and crossbars. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_145

In between the two top layers was 1 in (25 mm) of insulation. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_146

The rear window was tempered safety glass, and after 1968, heated. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_147

Due to the thickness of the top, it remained quite tall when folded. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_148

To enable the driver to see over the lowered top, the inside rearview was mounted on an offset pivot. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_149

By twisting the mirror 180 degrees on a longitudinal axis, the mirror glass would raise approximately 2 in (5.1 cm). Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_150

The convertible was generally more lavishly equipped than the sedan with dual rear ashtrays, twin map pockets, a visor vanity mirror on the passenger side, rear stone shields, and through 1969, wheel trim rings. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_151

Many of these items did not become available on other Beetles until the advent of the optional "L" (Luxus) Package of 1970. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_152

After a number of stylistic and technical alterations made to the Karmann cabriolet, (corresponding to the many changes VW made to the Beetle throughout its history), the last of 331,847 cabriolets came off the production line on 10 January 1980. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_153

1950–1959 models Volkswagen Beetle_section_13

During this period, myriad changes were made throughout the vehicle beginning with the availability of hydraulic brakes and a folding fabric sunroof in 1950. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_154

The rear window of the VW Beetle evolved from a divided or "split" oval, to a singular oval. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_155

The change occurred between October 1952 and March 1953. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_156

Beetles built during this time were known as a "Zwitter", or "hybrid", as they used the split-window bodyshell with oval-model chrome trim, vent windows and dashboard. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_157

1953 models received a redesigned instrument panel. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_158

The one-piece "Pope's Nose" combination license plate/brake light was replaced by a smaller flat-bottomed license plate light. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_159

The brake light function was transferred to new heart-shaped lamps located in the top of the taillight housings. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_160

In 1954, Volkswagen added 2 mm (0.079 in) to the cylinder bore, increasing the displacement from 1,131 (1100) cc to 1,192 (1200) cc. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_161

This coincided with upgrades to various key components including a redesign of the crankshaft. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_162

This increased power from 30 hp (22 kW; 30 PS) to 36 hp (27 kW; 36 PS) and improved the engine's free revving abilities without compromising torque at lower engine speeds. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_163

At the same time, compression ratios were progressively raised as, little by little, the octane ratings of available fuel was raised in major markets during the 1950s and 1960s. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_164

In 1955, the separate brake lights were discontinued and were combined into a new larger taillight housing. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_165

The traditional VW semaphore turn signals were replaced by conventional flashing directional indicator lamps for North America. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_166

For 1956, the Beetle received what would become one of its more distinctive features, a set of twin chrome tailpipes. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_167

Models for North America gained taller bumper guards and tubular overrider bars. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_168

For 1958, the Beetle received a revised instrument panel, and a larger rectangular rear window replaced the previous oval design. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_169

1960–1969 models Volkswagen Beetle_section_14

1960 models received a front anti roll bar along with hydraulic steering damper. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_170

For 1961, significant technical advances occurred in the form of a new engine and transmission. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_171

The engine remained at 1,192 cc (1.2 L; 72.7 cu in) but the power increased to 40 bhp (41 PS; 30 kW) at 3900 rpm and 88 N⋅m (65 lb⋅ft) at 2400 rpm of torque primarily due to an increase in compression ratio to 7.1:1. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_172

The single-barrel Solex carburetor received an electric automatic choke and the transmission was now synchronized on all forward gears. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_173

The traditional semaphore turn signals were replaced by conventional flashing directional indicators worldwide. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_174

The standard model called the TYPE 111–112, continued to use the 36 hp 1200 engine of the old architecture that dates back to Franz Reimspiess original design of 1937 all the way until the end of the 1965 model year. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_175

1965 standard model in 1965 is called the "A" sedan. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_176

For 1962, the Beetle received a mechanical fuel level gauge in place of the former fuel tap. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_177

The Standard model continued without a gas gauge until the end of the 1965 model year. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_178

At the rear, larger tail lights were introduced incorporating a separate amber turn signal section to meet new European standards (these turn signals remained red in the US market until 1973). Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_179

The former hand-pump style windscreen washer was replaced by a new design using compressed air. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_180

A Schrader valve located on the washer fluid tank allowed the system to be charged at a filling station to the recommended 35 psi (2.4 bar). Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_181

1964 models could be identified by a widened light housing on the engine lid over the rear license plate, however the standard model continued to use the old teardrop style to the end of the 1965 model run. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_182

The largest change to date for the Beetle was in 1965: the majority of the body stampings were revised, which allowed for significantly larger windows. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_183

The windshield increased in area by 11% and was now slightly curved, rather than flat. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_184

Door windows increased accordingly by 6% (and door vent window edges were canted slightly back), rear side windows 17.5%, and the rear window 19.5%. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_185

The result was a more open, airy, modern look. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_186

For 1966, the big news was an optional new 1300cc 50 hp (37 kW; 51 PS) engine in lieu of the previous 1200cc engine that had been the sole engine since 1954. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_187

Models so equipped carried a "1300" badge on the engine lid. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_188

The 1300cc engine was standard for North America. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_189

For 1967, a yet-again larger-displacement engine was made available: 1500cc, 53 hp (40 kW; 54 PS) at 4,200 rpm. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_190

1200 and 1300 engines continued to be available, as many markets based their taxation on engine size. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_191

1500cc Beetles were equipped with front disc brakes and were identified with a "VW 1500" badge on the engine lid. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_192

North America received the 1500 engine as standard equipment, but did not receive front disc brakes. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_193

These models were identified by a "Volkswagen" badge on the engine lid. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_194

The rear suspension was significantly revised and included a widened track, softer torsion bars and the addition of a unique Z-configuration equalizing torsion spring. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_195

On US, UK and Ireland models, the generator output was increased from 180 to 360 watts, and the entire electrical system was upgraded from 6 to 12 volts. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_196

The clutch disc also increased in size and changes were made to the flywheel. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_197

New equipment included a driver's armrest on the door and locking buttons on both doors. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_198

Safety improvements included two-speed windscreen wipers, reversing lights (in some markets), and a driver's side mirror. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_199

In accord with the newly enacted US Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 108, North American models received a dual-circuit brake system, the clear glass headlamp covers were deleted; the headlamps were brought forward to the leading edge of the front fenders, and the sealed-beam units were exposed and surrounded by chrome bezels. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_200

In the rest of the world markets the 1967 model retained the older headlights. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_201

Another oddity of the 1967 North American market Beetle is the rear bumper overriders (towel rails) – the overriders have a different shape than the older models besides the one-year only engine decklid. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_202

The Brazilian market model (Volkswagen Fusca) retained the pre-1967 headlamps until 1972. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_203

1968 was a year of major change. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_204

The most noticeable of which were the new larger, higher mounted C-section bumpers. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_205

At the rear, new larger taillamps were adopted and were able to accommodate reversing lamps, which were previously separate bumper-mounted units. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_206

Beetles worldwide received the '67 North American style vertical headlamp placement, but with replaceable-bulb headlamps compliant with ECE regulations rather than the US sealed beams. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_207

Other improvements were a new outside gas filler with spring-loaded flap, eliminating the need to open the trunk to refuel. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_208

The fuel gauge was integrated with the speedometer and was now electrically actuated rather than cable-operated. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_209

The windscreen washer was now pressured by the spare tire, which was to be maintained at a pressure of 42 psi (2.9 bar). Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_210

A pressure valve in the connecting hose closed airflow to the fluid reservoir if spare tire pressure fell below 30 psi (2.1 bar), which was above the recommended pressures for the road tires. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_211

A ventilation system was introduced, which drew fresh air into the cabin from louvres on the front decklid. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_212

For improved shifting, the shift lever was shortened, stiffened and moved rearward by 78 mm (3.1 in). Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_213

A number of safety improvements were made in order to comply with new American safety regulations: these included trigger-operated outside door handles, a secondary front hood latch, collapsing steering column, soft vent window latches, rotary glove compartment latch and instrument panel knobs labeled with pictographs. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_214

US models received a padded instrument panel that was optional in other markets. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_215

To meet North American head restraint requirements, VW developed the industry's first high-back bucket seat. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_216

The Standard model 111–112, called the 1200 "A" still used the 1200 engine but for the first time for Europe it came with a 12 volt system. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_217

A new 3-speed semi-automatic transmission with torque converter and vacuum-operated clutch became available mid-production year. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_218

The semi-automatic models received a vastly improved semi-trailing-arm rear suspension (also known as "independent rear suspension" although the earlier swing axle Beetles were also independent) and eliminated the need for the equalizing torsion spring. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_219

This new rear suspension layout would eventually become an option on later models. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_220

Beetles equipped with the automatic were identified with a "VW Automatic" badge on the engine lid and a matching decal in the rear window. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_221

In North America, the badging and decal were later revised to read, "Automatic Stick Shift". Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_222

For 1969, the only exterior change was the fuel filler flap no longer had a finger indentation due to a new interior-mounted fuel door release. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_223

For North America, the Beetle received a heated rear window, day/night mirror and the semi-trailing, independent suspension with double jointed swing axles as standard equipment. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_224

In other markets, manual transmission models retained a swing axle independent suspension which would continue until the end of German Beetle production. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_225

1970–1979 models Volkswagen Beetle_section_15

Ireland Volkswagen Beetle_section_16

Main article: History of Volkswagen in Ireland Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_226

Volkswagen began its involvement in Ireland when in 1949, Motor Distributors Limited, founded by Stephen O'Flaherty secured the franchise for the country at that year's Paris Motor Show. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_227

In 1950, Volkswagen Beetles started arriving into Dublin packed in crates in what was termed "completely knocked down" (CKD) form ready to be assembled. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_228

The vehicles were assembled in a former tram depot at 162 Shelbourne Road in Ballsbridge. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_229

This is now the premises for Ballsbridge Motors which is still a Volkswagen dealer. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_230

The first Volkswagen ever assembled outside Germany was built here. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_231

This vehicle is now on display at the Volkswagen Museum in Wolfsburg. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_232

United Kingdom Volkswagen Beetle_section_17

In 1952, John Colborne-Baber began to import small numbers of Beetles largely to satisfy demand from US Air Force personnel stationed in Kent. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_233

Today, Colborne Garages still hold the Volkswagen franchises for Guildford and Walton-on-Thames. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_234

In 1953 J.Gilder & Co. Ltd. in Sheffield, began selling Beetles. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_235

Jack Gilder had been fascinated by both the design and engineering of the Beetle when he came across one in Belgium during the war. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_236

He applied for the franchise as soon as the opportunity presented itself and became Volkswagen's representative in the North of England. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_237

In 2013 the Gilder Group was acquired by JCT600. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_238

Japan Volkswagen Beetle_section_18

The Type 1 was introduced to Japan in 1953, and was imported by Yanase dealerships in Japan. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_239

Its exterior dimensions and engine displacement were in compliance with Japanese Government regulations, which helped sales. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_240

Several Japanese vehicles were introduced after the Beetle was sold in Japan, using an air-cooled engine and rear mounting of the engine, such as the Subaru 360, or an engine installed in the front, like the Honda N360, the Suzuki Fronte, and the Mitsubishi Minica. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_241

International production Volkswagen Beetle_section_19

German production of the Beetle took place initially at the parent Wolfsburg plant until the Golf's introduction in 1974, later expanding to the newer Emden and Hanover plants. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_242

Volkswagen's takeover of Auto Union in 1964 saw 60,000 cars per year being produced on the Audi assembly lines in Ingolstadt until 1971. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_243

The last German made cars were assembled at Emden in 1978, after which the Puebla, Mexico plant became the principal source of Beetle production. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_244

Other countries produced Beetles from CKD (complete knockdown kits): Ireland, Thailand, Indonesia, South Africa, Australia, Yugoslavia (city of Sarajevo), and Nigeria have assembled Beetles under license from VW. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_245

Beetles produced in Mexico and Brazil had several differences: Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_246

Brazil Volkswagen Beetle_section_20

Brazilian assembly of the Beetle, where it is called "Fusca", started in 1953, with parts imported from Germany. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_247

By January 1959 the cars were built in the new São Bernardo do Campo plant, although they originally had 60% German parts content. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_248

By the mid-sixties, the cars had 99.93% Brazilian parts content, with four German parts of a combined value of about one US dollar still being imported. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_249

Production continued until 1986. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_250

In 1993 production resumed and continued to 1996. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_251

The Brazilian version retained the 1958–64 body style (Europe and U.S. version) with the thick door pillars and smaller side windows. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_252

This body style was also produced in Mexico until 1971. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_253

Around 1973, all Brazilian Beetles (1300 and 1500 series) were updated with the 1968-up sheet metal, bumpers, and four-lug rims; although the five-stud rims and "bugeye" headlights were produced as late as 1972 (the base VW 1200 and 1300 manufactured in Brazil was similar to the 1964 European/U.S. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_254

1200 until the 1970 model year but came with vented wheels since the mid-1960s). Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_255

The 1971 and 1972 1300s had the 1964-era taillights and headlights, fuel tank, but fitted with the 1968-up raised bumpers. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_256

Brazilian CKD kits were shipped to Nigeria between 1975 and 1987 where Beetles were locally assembled. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_257

The Brazilian-produced versions have been sold in neighboring South American nations bordering Brazil, including Argentina, Uruguay, and Peru. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_258

The Brazilian Type 1s have four different engines: 1,200 cc, 1,300 cc, 1,500 cc, and 1,600 cc. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_259

In the 1970s, Volkswagen made the SP-2 (derived from the Type 1 pan and the Type 3 powertrain) with a 1,700 cc engine (a bored-out 1,600 cc). Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_260

In Brazil, the Type 1 never received electronic fuel injection, instead retaining carburetors (one or two one-barrels) throughout its entire life, although the carburetion differs from engines of different years and specification. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_261

The production of the air-cooled engine finally ended in 2006, after more than 60 years. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_262

It was last used in the Brazilian version of the VW Bus, called the "Kombi", and was replaced by a 1.4 L water-cooled engine with a front-mounted cooling system. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_263

Volkswagen do Brasil engaged in some string pulling in the early sixties when a law requiring taxis to have four doors and five seats was being considered. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_264

After proving that the average taxi fare only carried 1.8 passengers and an overall saving of twenty percent for a smaller two-door car, the Brazilian government relented and the law never entered the books. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_265

The Fusca proceeded to have a long career as a taxi in urban Brazil. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_266

Southern Rhodesia Volkswagen Beetle_section_21

The Volkswagen Type 1 chassis was used as the basis for a mine-protected APC called the Leopard security vehicle and the Pookie demining vehicle, fielded by the Republic of Rhodesia during the Rhodesian Bush War. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_267

Mexico Volkswagen Beetle_section_22

Main article: Volkswagen Beetle in Mexico Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_268

Mexican production began in 1955 because of agreements with companies such as Chrysler in Mexico and the Studebaker-Packard Corporation which assembled cars imported in CKD form. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_269

In 1964, they began to be locally produced. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_270

These models have the larger windshield, rear window, door and quarter glass starting in 1972; and the rear window from 1965 to 1971 German built models was used on the Mexican models from 1972 to 1985, when it was replaced with the larger rear window used on 1972 and later German built Beetles. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_271

This version, after the mid-1970s, saw little change with the incorporation of electronic ignition in 1988, an anti-theft alarm system in 1990, a catalytic converter in 1991 (as required by law), as well as electronic Digifant fuel injection, hydraulic valve lifters, and a spin-on oil filter in 1993. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_272

The front turn signals were located in the bumper instead of the Beetle's traditional placement on top of the front fenders from the 1977 model year on, as they had been on German Beetles sold in Europe from 1975 onwards. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_273

Starting in 1995, the Mexican Beetle included front disc brakes, an alternator instead of a generator, and front automatic seat belts. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_274

During the 1995 model year, the chrome moldings disappeared leaving body colored bumpers and black moldings instead on some models. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_275

By the start of the 1996 model year, exterior chrome or matt moldings were dropped altogether and Volkswagen de Mexico (VWdM) dropped the Sedan's flow-through ventilation system with all its fittings, notably the exterior crescent-shaped vents behind the rear side windows the same year. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_276

In mid-1996, front drum brakes and fixed front seat belts were re-launched in a new budget version called the "Volkswagen Sedán City", which was sold alongside the upscale version "Volkswagen Sedán Clásico" which had front disc brakes, automatic seat belts, right side mirror, velour upholstery, optional metallic colors and wheel covers in matte finish (also found on some 1980s Beetles and Buses). Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_277

These two versions were sold until mid 1998. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_278

From mid 1998–2003, The Sedán Clásico was discontinued and the Sedán City lost its prefix and gained disc brakes, automatic seat belts and optional metallic colors. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_279

This last version was named the "Volkswagen Sedán Unificado" or simply the "Volkswagen Sedán". Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_280

Independent importers continued to supply several major countries, including Germany, France, and the UK until the end of production in 2003. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_281

Devoted fans of the car even discovered a way to circumvent US safety regulations by placing more recently manufactured Mexican Beetles on the floorpans of earlier, US-registered cars. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_282

The Mexican Beetle (along with its Brazilian counterpart) was on the US DOT's (Department of Transportation) hot list of grey market imports after 1978 as the vehicle did not meet safety regulations. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_283

In the Southwest US (Arizona, California, New Mexico, Texas), Mexican Beetles (and some Brazilian T2c Transporters) are a fairly common sight since Mexican nationals can legally operate the vehicle in the United States, provided the cars remain registered in Mexico. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_284

Some of the Mexican Beetles have been registered in the United States since the 1998 NHTSA amendment granting the 25-year cutoff where it (and its Brazilian counterpart including the T2C) can be legally registered in any of the 50 states (this means a 1995 or earlier Mexican Beetle as of 2020 can be registered under the current NHTSA 25-year cutoff exemption). Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_285

The end of production in Mexico can be attributed primarily to Mexican political measures: the Beetles no longer met emission standards for Mexico City, in which the ubiquitous Beetles were used as taxicabs; and the government outlawed their use as taxicabs because of rising crime rates, requiring only four-door vehicles be used. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_286

The last Vocho taxis in Mexico City were retired at the end of 2012. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_287

In addition, Volkswagen (now Germany's largest automaker) has been attempting to cultivate a more upscale, premium brand image, and the humble Beetle clashed with this identity, as seen in the Touareg and Passat luxury vehicles. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_288

In the late 1990s consumers strongly preferred more modern cars such as the Mexican Chevy, the Nissan Tsuru, and the Volkswagen Pointer and Lupo. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_289

However, demand for the Beetle was relatively high, especially in the 1990s, with the workforce increasing at the start of the decade. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_290

The price of the base model (without even a radio) was pegged with the official minimum wage, by an agreement between the company and the government. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_291

In 1990 it cost US$5,300. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_292

Australia Volkswagen Beetle_section_23

Official importation of the Volkswagen Beetle into Australia began in 1953, with local assembly operations commencing the following year. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_293

Volkswagen Australia was formed in 1957, and by 1960 locally produced body panels were being used for the first time. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_294

When the European Type One body received the larger windows for the 1965 model year, Volkswagen Australia decided not to update, but continued to produce the smaller-windowed bodies, with unique features to the Australian versions. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_295

This was due to the limited size of the market and the costs involved in retooling. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_296

Australian content had reached almost 95% by this time. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_297

The Australian subsidiary continued to produce the earlier body style until 1967, when declining sales forced a switch to CKD assembly using imported components the following year. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_298

In 1968, Volkswagen Australia released its own locally designed utilitarian version of the Type 1, the Volkswagen Country Buggy or Type 197. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_299

The last Australian-assembled Beetle was produced in July 1976 with assembly of other models ending in February 1977. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_300

All Volkswagens for the Australian market have been fully imported since then. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_301

South Africa Volkswagen Beetle_section_24

The Beetle was also produced in South Africa at the Uitenhage plant from 31 August 1951 to 1979. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_302

Several features from the Super Beetle were grafted onto the South African Beetle 1600S, such as curved windshield, new dashboard, and larger taillights, while retaining the Beetle chassis and mechanicals. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_303

The 1600 model was introduced to South Africa in 1972; it was marketed as the cheapest 1.6-liter car available there. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_304

In late 1976, the sporty SP 1600 Beetle arrived – this version received bright red, yellow, or silver paint with black stripes, a front spoiler, wide tyres, and a more powerful engine with twin carburettors and a freer flowing exhaust. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_305

The interior was also sporty, with red tartan upholstery, a small steering wheel, and much matte black. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_306

Power crept up to 43 kW (58 PS; 58 hp), from 50 PS. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_307

Also new for 1977 were rubber bumper strips for all 1600s, and the same taillights with backup lights were now fitted across the range. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_308

The bigger-engined model was then phased out around August 1978, leaving only the 1300 model in production. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_309

Influence claims Volkswagen Beetle_section_25

Various cars and designs have each claimed to have been the original "influencers" of Porsche's Volkswagen concept. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_310

Béla Barényi Volkswagen Beetle_section_26

The Austro-Hungarian automotive engineer Béla Barényi is credited with designing a similarly shaped car in 1925, as early as five years before Porsche's People's car concept was unveiled. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_311

Standard Superior Volkswagen Beetle_section_27

German engineer Josef Ganz designed a car, the "May Bug", that is very similar to the Volkswagen Beetle. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_312

Hitler saw the car in 1933 at an auto show. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_313

There is a strong resemblance to the Standard Superior, an automobile produced from 1933 to 1935 by Standard Fahrzeugfabrik of Ludwigsburg, Germany, founded by motorcycle maker Wilhelm Gutbrod and unrelated to the Standard Motor Company of England. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_314

These small cars were designed according to the patents by Josef Ganz and featured transverse, two-stroke, two-cylinder engines mounted in front of the rear axle. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_315

However, Porsche, two years prior to the Standard Superior's introduction, had developed the Type 12 for Zündapp, already featuring many design similarities with the Volkswagen Beetle. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_316

Tatra Volkswagen Beetle_section_28

The Austrian car designer Hans Ledwinka was a contemporary of Porsche working at the Czechoslovakian company Tatra. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_317

In 1931, Tatra built the V570 prototype, which had an air-cooled flat-twin engine mounted at the rear. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_318

This was followed in 1933 by a second V570 prototype with a streamlined body similar to that of the Porsche Type 32. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_319

The rear-engine, rear-wheel drive layout was a challenge for effective air cooling, and during development of the much larger V8 engined Tatra 77 in 1933 Tatra registered numerous patents related to air flow into the rear engine compartment. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_320

The use of Tatra's patented air cooling designs later became one of ten issues for which Tatra filed suit against VW. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_321

Both Hitler and Porsche were influenced by the Tatras. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_322

Hitler was a keen automotive enthusiast, and had ridden in Tatras during political tours of Czechoslovakia. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_323

He had also dined numerous times with Ledwinka. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_324

After one of these dinners Hitler remarked to Porsche, "This is the car for my roads". Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_325

From 1933 onwards, Ledwinka and Porsche met regularly to discuss their designs, and Porsche admitted "Well, sometimes I looked over his shoulder and sometimes he looked over mine" while designing the Volkswagen. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_326

The Tatra 97 of 1936 had a 1,749 cc, rear-located, rear-wheel drive, air-cooled four-cylinder boxer engine. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_327

It cost 5,600 RM and accommodated five passengers in its extensively streamlined four-door body, which provided luggage storage under the front bonnet and behind the rear seats. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_328

It also featured a similar central structural tunnel found in the Beetle. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_329

Just before the start of the Second World War, Tatra had ten legal claims filed against VW for infringement of patents. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_330

Although Ferdinand Porsche was about to pay a settlement to Tatra, he was stopped by Hitler who said he would "solve his problem". Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_331

Tatra launched a lawsuit, but this was stopped when Germany invaded Czechoslovakia in 1938, resulting in the Tatra factory coming under Nazi administration in October 1938. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_332

The T97, along with the T57, were ordered by Hitler to be removed from the Tatra display at the 1939 Berlin Autosalon and Tatra was later directed to concentrate on heavy trucks and diesel engines, with all car models, except for the V8-engined Tatra 87, being discontinued. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_333

The matter was re-opened after World War II and in 1965 Volkswagen paid Ringhoffer-Tatra 1,000,000 Deutsche Marks in an out of court settlement. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_334

Fedden Volkswagen Beetle_section_29

On Sept 28, 1943, Roy Fedden, most known by his participation in the Bristol Single Sleeve valve engine research, headed by Harry Ricardo, applied for a British patent 'Improvements related to road vehicles', granted GB570814, 24 July 1945, describing a 2-door, rear-engined car, identical in arrangement and look to VW 'Käfer'. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_335

Tjaarda's 'Briggs Dream Car' Volkswagen Beetle_section_30

It has also been pointed out that the VW Beetle bears a striking resemblance to John Tjaarda's 1933 design for a streamlined, rear-engined car, that he created working for Briggs Manufacturing Company. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_336

At Briggs, a Detroit-based manufacturer of automobile bodies for Ford Motor Company, Chrysler Corporation and other U.S. and European automobile manufacturers, Tjaarda was developing a radical car for Ford to use as a new Lincoln. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_337

Ford displayed the show car at the 1933–34 Century of Progress Exhibition in Chicago as the "Briggs Dream Car". Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_338

One of the later designs looked almost exactly like the Beetle, if you shortened the wheelbase, and took out two side windows. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_339

It is even claimed that Porsche had visited Briggs automobiles one summer, when Tjaarda was head of R&D there, and several auto historians claim Porsche's People's Car was influenced by Tjaarda's designs, including the "Sterkenburg series" of the late twenties. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_340

Motorsport Volkswagen Beetle_section_31

Drag racing Volkswagen Beetle_section_32

The Beetle has been modified for use in drag racing; its rearward (RR layout) weight distribution keeps the weight over the rear wheels, maximizing grip off the starting line. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_341

The car's weight is reduced for a full competition drag Beetle, further improving the grip and also the power-to-weight ratio. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_342

Combined with the Beetle's RR layout, wheelies can be achieved easily, but time "in the air" worsens 1/4-mile time. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_343

To prevent this, "wheelie bars" were added. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_344

A notable version, campaigned in the USA was the EMPI Inch Pincher. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_345

Formula Vee Volkswagen Beetle_section_33

The Beetle is also used as the basis for the Formula Vee open-wheel racing category: specifically, the front suspension crossmember assembly (the shock absorber mounts are sometimes removed, depending on regulations in the class), and the engine and transaxle assembly (usually the earlier swing-axle type, not the later double-jointed axle). Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_346

In original 1,200 cc Formula Vee spec, upgrades to the cars would only be allowed sparsely, so that the wheels, tires and engines didn't differ very much from the original Beetle. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_347

At the end of the 1960s, Vee Beetle engine output on a single carburetor would reach up to 70 BHP; top speeds would gradually rise to nearly 200 km/h (124 mph). Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_348

In this configuration, FV would become one of the most popular entry-level motorsports classes of its time. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_349

Later on, double carbs and more extensive modification would be allowed, leading to the more powerful Super Vee class featuring wings for downforce and 123 bhp (92 kW; 125 PS) engines, which in the end had fairly little in common with the original VW Beetle. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_350

Around 2000, worldwide Vee racing had re-established itself as a 1,200/1,300 cc beginner class with wingless cars and VW engines outputting about 60 bhp (45 kW; 61 PS), but incorporating more modern chassis and tyres. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_351

Uniroyal Fun Cup Volkswagen Beetle_section_34

Volkswagen Beetle-style bodies are fitted to space frame racing chassis, and are used in the Uniroyal Fun Cup, which includes the longest continuous motor-race in the world, the 25 Hours of Spa. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_352

It is an affordable entry-level series that gentleman drivers race. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_353

Rally and Rallycross Volkswagen Beetle_section_35

Especially the Austrian sole distributor Porsche Salzburg (now Porsche Austria) seriously entered the Volkswagen in local and European contests in the 1960s and early 1970s. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_354

Starting with the VW 1500, in the mid-1960s the peak of their racing performance was achieved with the VW 1302S and VW 1303S (known as the Salzburg Rally Beetle) from 1971 to 1973. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_355

The vehicles were entered in such famous races as TAP (Portugal), Austrian Alpine, Elba, Acropolis etc. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_356

Drivers were top performers such as Tony Fall (GB), Guenter Janger (AUT), Harry Källström (S), Achim Warmbold (D), Franz Wurz (A), etc. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_357

The engines were highly modified 1600s delivering 125 hp (93 kW), later on mated to a Porsche 914 five-speed manual gearbox. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_358

Victories were achieved in 1973 on Elba for overall and class, Acropolis for class (5th overall), Austrian championship 1972, 1973 January Rallye for overall and class. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_359

Rally of 1000 minutes for overall 2nd (1st in class). Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_360

The fuel crisis, along with the arrival of the Volkswagen Golf (Rabbit), put an end to the days of unofficially supported rallying in 1974. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_361

All vehicles either used for training or actual racing were sold off to privateers, many kept racing with noticeable results until the early 1980s. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_362

Trans-Am Series Volkswagen Beetle_section_36

Beetles were used in the Trans-Am Series for the two-litre class from 1966 to 1967 and again in 1972. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_363

Armstrong 500 Volkswagen Beetle_section_37

A Volkswagen won its class in the Armstrong 500 in Australia in both 1962 and 1963. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_364

Baja 1000 Volkswagen Beetle_section_38

The Baja 1000 off-road race in the Baja California Peninsula, Mexico includes specific vehicle classes for both standard Beetles and Baja Bugs. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_365

These can be seen in the documentary movie Dust to Glory. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_366

The classes are: Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_367

Volkswagen Beetle_unordered_list_1

  • Class 5: Unlimited Baja BugsVolkswagen Beetle_item_1_7
  • Class 5-1600: 1,600 cc Baja BugsVolkswagen Beetle_item_1_8
  • Class 11: Stock VW sedansVolkswagen Beetle_item_1_9

Beetle Challenge Volkswagen Beetle_section_39

The Beetle Challenge is a UK-based circuit racing championship for classic air-cooled Volkswagen Beetles. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_368

The general concept is to take any Beetle, of any age or model from the 40s through to 1303s, and with minimal restrictions, allowing parts from various years to be interchanged, and of course the cars being prepared to the MSA safety requirements (cage, restraints, fire system etc.) Essentially the cars must be air-cooled Beetles (any age and parts can be swapped between years and models), with a 15-inch x 6-inch max wheel size with a control tyre. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_369

Engines must be based on a Type 1 case, with no electronic fuel injection or ignition and no forced induction, with an unlimited capacity. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_370

Other regulations apply. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_371

Retrofit program Volkswagen Beetle_section_40

Volkswagen has joined up with eClassics to allow beetle owners to convert their car to electric. Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_372

The battery will have a total capacity of 36.8 kWh, which should be good for a range of about 200 kilometres (120 mi). Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_373

It reaches a top speed of 150 kilometres per hour (93 mph) and charging for an hour allows to store enough energy for a journey of over 150 kilometres (93 mi). Volkswagen Beetle_sentence_374

See also Volkswagen Beetle_section_41

Volkswagen Beetle_unordered_list_2

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: Beetle.