Sunday, February 17, 2008

VW Beetle History

1934 - The idea of the Beetle was born on January 17 1934, when Ferdinand Porsche wrote his ‘Exposé of a German People’s Car’. A people’s car or ‘Volkswagen’ should, he said, be fully adequate and reliable with light construction. It should offer room for four people, reach speeds of up to 100 km/h and be able to overcome gradients of 30 per cent.
1936 - The first prototype was completed on February 5 1936.
1945 - Mass production of the Beetle began in December 1945.
1947 - First exports started in August.
1949 - The first convertible Beetle. Production began to soar.
1950 - The 100,000th Beetle rolled off the line.
1955 - The millionth Beetle.

1967 – Major upgrade including improved clutch, braking system, and rear axles. New standard equipment includes two-speed windshield wipers, back-up lights, sealed-beam headlights and a driver side exterior mirror.
1972 - February 17 1972 the 15,007,034th Beetle made this car a world champion, overtaking the previous production record held by the Ford Model T
1981 – 20 millionth Beetle rolled off the Mexican production line
1998 - Launch of new Beetle. Earlier models up to 2005 used GL, GLS and GLX designations to reflect the various trim levels and the base engine was a 115-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder. A 100-hp 1.9-liter Turbo Direct Injection TDI was also offered until the end of 2006.
1999 – Until 2006 the New Beetle 1.8T was powered by a 1.8-liter turbo four-cylinder -150 hp.
2000 - Two new colours for the New Beetle -Vapor Blue and Reflex Yellow - were introduced in limited editions.
2002 - VW added the Turbo S trim to the coupe line-up. It was equipped with a tuned up 180 hp version of the 1.8T turbo engine and a six-speed manual transmission, 17-inch wheels and a leather interior.
2003 - The convertible was launched and the last old Beetle rolled off the production line on Wednesday 30 July. Two new models - the V5 Sport Edition and the Colour Concept are launched. The first is a new version of the Beetle V5 with extras such as two tone heated leather seats.
2005 - The Turbo S was discontinued in 2005.
2006 - The New Beetle received several major updates including an external makeover and a new 5-cylinder engine. The New Beetle also received a new powerplant - a 150-hp, 2.5-litre 5-cylinder engine. Its high torque rating—170 lb.-ft. at 3,750 rpm—makes it better suited to 6-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission than the 2.0-liter 4-cylinder it replaced. The New Beetle is also available with a 5-speed manual.
2007 - A million sales of the new Beetle cars are expected to be reached in 2007. The New Beetle also adds colour choices. Diesel-powered TDI has been dropped.

VW Beetle History


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