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.
What will you have to do in order to install the new Porsche Flat-Four in a vintage Volkswagen?
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Adding a Porsche flat-four to an outdated Volkswagen transforms it into a contemporary, terrifyingly quick sleeper.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.
Bugster: VW Beetle’s exterior, Porsche Boxster S’s interior
What do you get when you cross a 1973 Volkswagen Beetle with a 2000 Porsche Boxster S? Siegfried Rudolf, proprietor of the Austrian Porsche restoration business Carmaxx Classics, designed an unique Porsche-powered Beetle called The Bugster 9:03.
Rudolf and company finally finished their road-legal, registered vehicle after two years of welding and cutting. Under the vintage bodywork, the car conceals the 3.2-liter flat-six engine and six-speed transmission from the Boxster S. The engine gains a new exhaust and a computer that has been reconfigured, increasing output to 270 horsepower. The entire Bugster weighs only 2416 pounds, so according to Carmaxx, it accelerates from 0 to 62 mph in just five seconds. Wow, what a sleeper!
The Bugster has adjustable suspension parts as well as the original Porsche steering, brakes, and 18-inch wheels because its designers also sought to preserve the Boxster’s adept handling. What’s more astounding is that the Bugster now has ABS, stability control, and airbags—features that weren’t even thought of when the donor Bug was being constructed.
The resulting vehicle is practically the opposite of the Porsche 914 from the 1970s. In contrast to that vehicle, which used a Volkswagen engine in a Porsche body and chassis, the Bugster houses contemporary Porsche parts inside of a vintage, air-cooled Beetle.
Rudolf was inspired to create the Bugster when he spotted the similarity in the general shapes and wheelbases of a Boxster and a Beetle that were parked next to each other. Carmaxx claims that it will no longer be content with producing just one Bugster and is currently taking orders for customized variants. They’ll even switch in running gear from the Porsche 911 GT3 for the truly daring. Yikes.
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.
Which engines can be installed in a VW Bug?
- Toyota EJ257. the same engine that powers the legendary WRX STi.
- 20B-REW Mazda. Those are three rotors, people!
- KF-ZE 2.0L V6 Mazda. Although it only has 160 horsepower, it sounds incredible.
- Suzuki K20Z1. It’s classic for a reason.
- 4-AGE Redtop Toyota
Are Porsche and Volkswagen engines identical?
Among these synergies is the provision of Porsche components to sibling companies. Other brands may use the Panamera platform for conceptual or under development vehicles, according to Macht.
Macht responded that the 911 platform “might be made available to other VW brands” when asked if it was also on the table. But Porsche won’t employ any other VW Group engines save the V6 in the Cayenne. Macht stated that “engine development is a basic value for Porsche.”
Porsche is now focusing on weathering the global recession after its failed effort to acquire VW. The company aimed for annual sales of 150,000 cars prior to the credit crunch. However, sales this year are down 24% to little over 75,000. With its three core model families—the Cayenne, Panamera, and 911/Boxster—Porsche will make an effort to achieve its initial aim, but it is also considering additional range expansions.
“Any brand-new model would need to be upscale, athletic, and have a strong financial case. Porsche must be the most expensive, top-quality, and capable of providing the best driving experience in any segment “explained Macht.
The Panamera’s 1800kg kerb weight is low for its market segment, making it an ideal candidate for efficiency improvements. There will be a six-cylinder Panamera available next year, and eventually there will be a hybrid and a diesel Panamera as well.
Porsche has also considered building an electric vehicle. According to Macht, “it would have to have the same maneuverability, performance, acceleration, and range as a conventional Porsche.”
“The current state of technology is incompatible with Porsche’s needs. At least two years will pass before the technology is up to par.”
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.
Which Porsche is powered by a VW?
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As of model year 1970, Porsche’s new entry-level vehicle was the 914, which was jointly developed by Porsche and Volkswagen.
The mid-engine Sports Car with two seats was also known as the “VW Porsche.” The very long wheelbase compared to the length of the car, the small overhangs, the removable glass fiber reinforced plastic roof center panel, and the wide safety bar were all notable design elements. Additionally, the 914 had pop-up headlights.
The 914 had two engines available at the time of its debut. Volkswagen 914: 1.7-liter flat-four engine with 80 horsepower 914/6: 110-horsepower 2.0-liter flat-six engine from the Porsche 911 T Following this came a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine in model year 1973 that had 100 horsepower and a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine in model year 1974 that had 85 horsepower.
The ignition lock was on the right in the four-cylinder variants. Four wheel nuts were used to mount the 914’s wheels. The Osnabruck body manufacturer Karmann created the standard 914 model (914/4) for the market.