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1950 Volkswagen Kaefer

Volkswagen “Käfer”

Year of manufacture – 1950
Engine – 4-Zyl.Boxer
Engine capacity – 1,131 cc
Horsepower – 25 hp (18 kW)
Full speed –105 km/h

Volkswagen Käfer ( English ”Volkswagen Beetle”) is a car, produced by German company Volkswagen AG from 1938 till 2003. It is the most mass-produced car in the history, manufactured without reconsidereing a base design. 21, 529, 464 pieces were built all together.

Porsche offered to develop a small, but at the same time technically elaborate car with a light 3-cylinder reciprocating engine and an independent suspension. The car had to drive four grown-ups and could develop the full speed up to 100km/h. However its price had to be affordable for an average German family with little children.

Among the main disadvantages of the “Beetle” we can distinguish over-steering, complicating driving at high speed and on slippery roads, as well as crosswind sensitivity – though these qualities are peculiar to all rear engined cars. Besides, interior heating is ineffective, furthermore tubular doorsills, used as air conduits, suffer corrosion very quickly (that is why, the „Beetle“ was not popular, for exam;ple, in Sweden and Norway). Round out the picture, there is higher fuel consumption. Therefore, when the car became morally obsolete by 1970s and stopped being marketable due to the energetic crisis of 1973, the company Volkswagen was on the verge of bankruptcy in 1974, from which it was saved only with the help of quick development of compact front wheel drive model range (such as legendary “Golf”, that gave the name to the whole car class and to more compact “Polo”).

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