The VW beetle is an iconic car that has shaped the world we live in. Commissioned by Adolf Hitler, it was designed to be a “people’s car” that was affordable, practical, and reliable.
When it was redesigned in 2011 Volkswagen tried to reinvigorate the Beetle’s appeal. It aimed to look more sporty and masculine, with the Golf underpinnings still intact.
In the 1930s, Adolf Hitler commissioned Ferdinand Porsche to create a car that could be used by the general public, and he named it the VW Beetle (VOLKS in German and WAGEN in German, meaning “people’s car”). The goal was to have a car with a simple air-cooled engine that would cost less to run than an automobile.
It also had a trunk space that wasn’t typically found in cars of the time, so the Volkswagen Beetle was known for its quirky design.
While many people have heard of the VW beetle’s history, they often don’t know where it came from or how it came to be. For instance, they might not realize that a Jewish Austro-Hungarian engineer named Josef Ganz designed the prototype for what was eventually called the “people’s car”—or that Bela Barenyi designed the chassis that went into production.
Ultimately, it was this quirky, cute vehicle that started to catalyze a movement. As a result, it’s now one of the most well-known automobiles in history.
In the 1930s, Adolf Hitler commissioned Ferdinand Porsche to design a “people’s car” (Volkswagen in German, VOLKS meaning people and WAGEN, car). This told it needed to be affordable, practical, and reliable, but most importantly, it should have an air-cooled engine.
The result was the vw beetle, a curvy car that became popular worldwide thanks to its affordable price and easy-to-change parts. The Beetle also helped establish the “small is beautiful” ethos of the 1960s.
One of the first ads for the Beetle was a single car placed alone in a white space, with the slogan, “Think Small.” The campaign quickly caught on and earned Volkswagen the top advertising award of its time.
When the roof was removed, the Beetle could be converted into a four-seat convertible. To ensure the strength of the convertible, VW reinforced the sills with welded U-channel rails and fitted a transverse beam below the rear seat cushion. The convertible also had more luxurious features, such as twin map pockets, rear stone shields, and dual rear ashtrays.
The original Volkswagen Beetle was a surprising speed demon. While it may not have been as fast as a modern supercar, it could still zip from 60 to 70 mph in under eight seconds.
The newer Beetles aren’t relatively as quick, but they still have a lot of power and are fast enough for everyday driving. The standard 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine puts out 174 horsepower and has enough torque to keep it up with most class rivals.
Volkswagen also offers a six-speed automatic transmission for all Beetle models. This helps the car feel more responsive and gives it better-passing abilities, but critics say it can be a little slow to change gears. The VW Beetle is also an excellent choice if you want good fuel economy. It gets an EPA-estimated 26 mpg in town and 33 mpg on the highway.
The VW beetle is a classic vehicle that is loved for its unique design. However, many drivers also value fuel efficiency as well.
Volkswagen has been designing and manufacturing cars for decades, so it should be no surprise that their Beetle offers a combination of power and economy that’s hard to beat. The 2019 Beetle features a solid 2.0-liter turbocharged engine with 174 horsepower paired with a six-speed automatic transmission to give the car excellent fuel efficiency.
The EPA estimates 26 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. This is an impressive number for a compact vehicle, especially if you plan to drive it long distances. And as a result, you’ll save money at the pump and reduce your annual car insurance costs.