The VW Beetle successors that by no means have been


In 1974, the Volkswagen Golf launched because the substitute for the Beetle, however previous to that, a number of different makes an attempt have been made to switch the enduring Bug. VW just lately put collectively a press launch exhibiting the Beetle successors that by no means have been.

Greater than 70 potential replacements or variants of the Beetle have been thought-about, together with the EA47-12 prototype. It was quantity 12 of 15 prototypes constructed between 1953 and 1956 as VW’s first try at a Beetle substitute. It featured bodywork from Italy’s Ghia and a 1,192-cc air-cooled boxer-4 engine, rated at 30 hp and enabling a 50-mph high pace. Different notable options included a transverse-link entrance axle, a torsion-bar rear suspension, and a synchronized transmission, which was uncommon for the time.

1955/56 Volkswagen EA47-12 prototype

1955/56 Volkswagen EA47-12 prototype

Across the similar time the EA47 sequence was below growth, VW additionally thought-about a brand new mannequin slotting under the Beetle in dimension. In 1955, it accomplished a prototype known as the EA48, which featured front-wheel drive, a front-mounted 0.7-liter air-cooled flat-twin engine producing 18 hp, and a McPherson strut entrance suspension. This prototype was truly quicker than the EA47-12, with a 60-mph high pace.

1960 Volkswagen EA97 prototype

1960 Volkswagen EA97 prototype

Whereas these early initiatives solely resulted in one-off prototypes, VW truly constructed 200 hand-assembled pilot variations of the EA97 in 1960, indicating this potential Beetle substitute was a lot nearer to manufacturing. It was reportedly killed off as employees have been getting ready meeting traces, partially as a result of it was positioned too near the Beetle and Kind 3, in response to VW. It appears executives weren’t absolutely dedicated to changing the Beetle at the moment.

1969 Volkswagen EA276 prototype

1969 Volkswagen EA276 prototype

VW additionally thought-about a Kind 3 convertible as a extra upmarket different to the Beetle convertible. A single prototype was accomplished in 1961, however that position was finally stuffed by the Beetle-based Karmann Ghia.

Subsequent got here the 1963 EA128, a four-door sedan with seating for six, powered by a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine from the Porsche 911, which debuted the identical 12 months. Three years later, VW accomplished the EA142, a rear-engine hatchback powered by the 1.7-liter 4-cylinder that will later be used within the Kind 4, which launched in 1968.

1969 Volkswagen EA266 prototype

1969 Volkswagen EA266 prototype

By 1969, VW was getting nearer to what would finally turn into the Golf. Just like the Golf, the EA276 was a boxy front-wheel-drive hatchback, nevertheless it was powered by a Beetle-sourced air-cooled engine. Its styling was additionally decidedly much less elegant than the Giugiaro-penned Golf. That very same 12 months, a workforce led by future VW chairman Ferdinand Piëch accomplished the EA266, a mid-engine hatchback with a longitudinally-mounted, water-cooled 1.6-liter 4-cylinder below the rear seat.

Regardless of a design relationship again to the Nineteen Thirties, the Beetle proved laborious to switch. Whereas the Golf can be VW’s essential focus after 1974, the Beetle remained in manufacturing till 2003. Trendy variations combining Beetle-like styling and Golf mechanicals remained in manufacturing till 2019.

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