I was understandably and visibly excited when I learned that Porsche was creating their first new flat-four production engine since the 356 period. But not for any logical reasons; primarily because I (and a significant percentage of my fellow loons) believe that anything with a flat-four engine belongs in an old Beetle.
Of course, Porsche places a great deal of emotional and historical significance on an opposed-four cylinder engine. The Volkswagen Type I flat-four engine, which Porsche also created, was later upgraded to produce the 356 engine, which propelled Porsche to international fame.
The only logical question to ask is, “How can I put one of them into my old Beetle/Bus/Ghia/Thing/old air-cooled whatever?,” given that Porsche is producing flat-four vehicles that normal people (well, wealthy-regular people) can purchase.
Adding a Porsche flat-four to an outdated Volkswagen transforms it into a contemporary, terrifyingly quick sleeper. Even if Subaru flat-fours, the last remaining manufacturer of popular automobile flat-fours, are being used by many smart loons today, having an engine that was created and built by Porsche is theoretically more appealing.
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Additionally, unless your goal is to create the most wonderful suicide machine ever created, you should probably upgrade the brakes, suspension, seat belts, tires, and pretty much everything else with a 300 HP Porsche engine in an old VW.
Let’s quickly summarize the steps that must be taken for this to succeed.
In a VW Beetle, a Porsche Cayman 982 flat-4 turbo
Porsche returned to the flat-4 engine in 2016, but this time it wasn’t because of its racing heritage or its sonic appetite; instead, it was done so that the engine would be more economical and able to survive the ever-stricter emissions and efficiency standards.
Although Porsche has a long history of producing flat 4 engines, such as the one found in the Porsche 356, the one found in the 982 Cayman/Boxster models received a less than favorable response from enthusiasts because it was a little too subdued, not that good-sounding, and didn’t rev as high as a regular naturally aspirated flat 6.
However, some excessively excited motorheads pondered if the new flat 4 could fit in a VW Beetle. After some time, some experts reached to the conclusion that it could. However, because the Cayman is a mid-engined sports car and the Beetle is a rear-engined vehicle, you must rotate the drivetrain 180 degrees.
You will also need to dramatically improve the Beetle’s cooling capabilities, install a new exhaust system, make several bodywork and cutting modifications, and do numerous ECU remaps. As many individuals have engine-swapped a Beetle with a Subaru flat 4 to create the ultimate sleeper Frankenstein, fitting a flat 4 inside a Beetle is not all that unusual.
Boxster Beetle with 270 hp
It’s nothing new to put Porsche performance in a Beetle, but when the people’s car gets a bigger engine in the middle of the car and most of the Porsche’s running gear as well, we just had to take a closer look.
When he developed the terrifying 210bhp 2.7-liter VW Carrera in 1973, Wolfgang Hornung, director of Hanover tuning company Autohaus Nordstadt, was one of the pioneers to install a Porsche engine in the Beetle’s midsection.
The Bugster, suitably named after the Austrian VW Porsche specialist and director of CarMaxx Siegfried Rudolf, is the product of another attempt to build a mid-Porsche-engined Beetle, and it is nothing short of magnificent.
According to Siegfried, the inspiration struck him while he parked his 1303 Beetle Cabbie next to his wife’s Porsche Boxster S. The two automobiles may be combined because of the startling similarity in their wheelbases, the man said.
Along with a donor 2000 Boxster S (hopefully not his wife’s! ), a 1973 1303 Beetle was discovered. and the second’s chassis was essentially soldered to the first’s body. All of the Boxster’s mechanical components were carried over, including practical features like the ABS, ESP, its enormous brake servo, and airbags. The vehicle was subsequently given a stunning Lamborghini Grigio Telesto Metallic paint job.
Of course, the Bug’s body had to undergo some alterations as well. Air vents have been cut into the rear quarter panels to provide the ventilation for the 3.2-liter Boxster engine, which rests in a cradle where the back seats would typically be. The wings had to be changed in order to fit those 18-inch rims. The original Europa bumpers were kept, but they had to be enlarged, and the rear apron had to be changed to accommodate the Boxter’s robust oval exhaust. Another unobtrusive indication that this isn’t just another tweaked European appearance 1303, is a spoiler beneath the rear windscreen.
The Bugster’s interior incorporates the Porsche’s unique dashboard and highback bucket seats. The doorcards, though, are undeniably Beetle, as are – it appears – the original wind-up windows and opening front quarter lights, illustrating a gloriously alluring fusion of old and new technologies.
The end result is a vehicle that, despite appearing quite stock from a distance, has the handling abilities of a mid-engined supercar, accelerates quickly (0-62 mph in just 5 seconds! ), and has six speeds. It’s a shame we weren’t aware of this earlier because it would have made a fantastic Christmas present!
If you’re interested in seeing one erected in the UK, click here to see one from 2013 that we highlighted.
The views expressed here are the author’s personal views, and they may not necessarily reflect those of VW Heritage.
In reality, this vintage black VW Beetle is a Porsche
This is the tale of the lone VW 39 that has survived, a prototype Porsche created in 1939.
The VW 39, which features a Type 64 engine from the Berlin-Rome race car, was created by Ferdinand Porsche and his son Ferry as a quicker variant of the split-window Beetle.
Even though the special engine only had a 1-liter capacity and 32 horsepower, the VW 39’s highest speed of 90 mph (145 km/h) was nevertheless quite outstanding for the time.
Ferdinand and Ferry routinely drove the car to and from the factory in Zuffenhausen, the VW plant in Wolfsburg, and Berlin as part of Porsche’s original plan to build 50 examples of the 39.
However, the outbreak of World War 2 derailed Porsche’s plan. Zuffenhausen produced only 14 VW 39 models, each powered by a different Porsche engine. Except for chassis number 1-00003, 13 of the vehicles were destroyed at the conclusion of the war.
After the war, the car was discovered underneath ruins in a very pitiful condition. It was later sold to a collector in 1948, who painted it grey. The car was eventually in the possession of Thomas Konig and Oliver Schmidt, the architects of the Hamburg Prototype Museum, five years ago.
Over the course of more than three years, the rare piece of Porsche history underwent a complete repair. The car was restored to its former state, however many of the parts needed to be hand-made specifically for it.
With its shiny Nitro Black paint, the one and only VW 39 in the world is now proudly displaying itself, exactly as it did when it first rolled out of Zuffenhausen.
Can a 911 engine be installed in a Beetle?
If you can’t accomplish this kind of thing yourself, it’s been done and will probably cost a few thousand dollars. Not sure whether it qualifies as a “sleeper” though, as the 911 engine will dangle out the back because it will not fit in the Beetle engine bay.
I’ve seen it done several times, and they will fit without sticking out the back; firewall modifications are all that are required.
Although it is very expensive, have you thought of using a Subaru motor instead?
cheaper and much easy to source. Budget a few PSK for a gearbox if you want a 911 engine in the back.
Yes, I am aware that the Subaru engine is the preferred choice for most people today. Sorry, no links for you, however a man I used to know who rebuilt his bug used to talk a lot about it.
Purchase a big engine from VW. A twin carb 2.2 or 2.3 is available. They’ll move quickly enough in a light-weight vehicle.
Just conduct a Google search for “owners clubs” or attend one of the many events. There will be a significant engine in the upcoming BugJam, which hosts a sizable RWYB event.
An ancient Vee Dub camper was fitted with a 520 horsepower 993 Turbo engine by this individual. Extreme, but it seems like fun if you have the money. There are many videos of it available on YouTube.
However, feck me that looks fast even though I have no idea what engine was used in this one.
As has already been mentioned, there will be some serious metal at Insect Jam. There are some VERY fast cars there with all kinds of engines, including Rover V8s, Porker motors, Subaru, home-built turbo bug engines, and all types!
I can think of no reason to bother. For that money, you could own a genuine 911. You know, a car will accelerate, corner, and stop better than a Beetle ever would.
One of my professors has a business restoring old Volkswagens, so I’m sure he’d be interested in trying it out. His website is at http://www.vweyes.co.uk/vegasvdubs/.
A while back, an impreza-powered road-legal beetle was featured in Volkswagen World magazine. Without using the NOS it was running, its 0–60 performance was on par with or faster than a McLaren F1. It was INCREDIBLY fast, but it could only fit one person—not counting the driver—and I wouldn’t want to drive it around a corner.
As has already noted, when it comes to authenticity, sound, and oomph, a “made” vw engine with twin webers is impossible to top.
Does a Beetle’s Type 4 engine fit inside?
Does a bug’s type 4 engine fit inside? Will I Need to Switch to the Top Blower or Can I Use the Engine Blower? The existing fan situated on the back of the engine is ineffective since it lengthens the engine.
A Porsche 911 is it a Beetle?
In fact, if you follow the 911’s ancestry back to its beginnings, you’ll discover that it shares a connection with the original Volkswagen Beetle from the 1930s.
Matthias Muller, the person in charge of Porsche, will now take over as CEO of the VW Group. He played a key role in expanding Porsche’s offering beyond the 911 to include high-end sedans and SUVs.
Even while the 911 has seen some slight changes throughout time, many other features have not. The most noticeable distinguishing feature that has stayed constant throughout the whole production run is the engine hanging over the back axle. This Porsche is one of the best handling vehicles on the road today, despite the fact that such a huge weight should operate as a pendulum and knock the car off balance.
The car’s iconic design, which hasn’t changed much in the past 50 years, is what gives it its unmistakable appearance.
The Corvette, which is 10 years older than the 911, has undergone a full transformation since its 1953 debut and would be entirely unfamiliar to someone who had only seen a first-generation model.
In the future, fifty years from now, a 911 owner may teleport and still easily recognize a new vehicle on the road as an evolution of his own.