In the Eye (or In the Hand) of the Beholder

Oct 1999 | 0 comments

Import Service Article ImageThe Volkswagen New Beetles sell as fast as the longshoremen can roll them off the boats. There already seem to be more of them on the roads than the – hmm, I almost said than the ‘real’ Beetle, the VW Type One originally designed by Ferdinand Porsche in 1927. New sales of that Bug rolled over and curled up their wheels here after the last one sold in 1981, though VW still built them in Mexico later. Other than styling cues, of course, the cars share nothing but the name and the Wolffortress logo. The RWD Type One had a pushrod, air-cooled rear engine and, for most of its roughly 40-year production run, a one-barrel Solex carburetor and contact-point ignition. The FWD New Beetle has a multivalve DOHC, liquid-cooled engine in its nose, feedback-controlled fuel injection and waste-spark, distributorless ignition, referenced from a sensor at a camshaft. In fact, mechanically it’s almost the same car as the latest Golf/Jetta.


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