You know about the iconic Volkswagen Beetle, but what about the Super Beetle?
It’s been around, in one form or another, since 1938. Volkswagen produced the iconic Beetle for sixty-five years until 2003, landing it a spot as one of the longest-running cars in existence. In that time, the company produced 21,529,464 examples of their original “people’s car”. We’d forgive you for assuming the car stayed pretty much the same during its six decades in production. After all, it doesn’t look like the styling changed all that much during that time. However, Volkswagen did take care to tweak the Beetle with a myriad of updates over its long and illustrious history.
That all came to a head in 1971 – the Volkswagen Beetle’s most popular year. In 1971 alone, Volkswagen produced 1.3 million units. Out of that 1971 production run came our TFL Super Beetle. Note I said Super Beetle, as 1971 marked the beginning of production for another model alongside the standard Beetle. All models at this point received an enlarged, 1600cc (1.6-liter) engine that put out around 60 horsepower. However, that didn’t stand the standard Beetle apart, as Volkswagen also fitted it with the bigger engine.
So just what does make the Super Beetle different from the standard model? The devil is certainly in the details. At first glance, you’d be hard-pressed to tell it apart from the ordinary Beetle. However, the 1971 Super Beetle is 3.2 inches longer and 1.4 inches wider than a standard model. Thanks to the added size, the Super Beetle also weighs about 100 pounds more than the standard model. Fortunately, you do get a big more space for the inconvenience. The Super Beetle also has 43-percent more storage space than the standard car.