VW Of Canada Brings Back "Super Beetle" Name

VW hasn't sold a car called the "Super Beetle" since the final run of convertible Super Beetles sold in in the US in the 1979/1980 model year. I remember lobbying for one as a kid when my parents went car shopping in 1980. They bought an Accord. But now VW of Canada is selling a "Super Beetle" edition of the Turbo Beetle.

The new Super Beetle uses the 2L TSI engine making 210 HP and 207 lb-ft of torque, which does make it over three times as powerful as the 60 HP Super Beetle of the '70s. It also seems to have a slightly lowered stance and a bunch of other goodies like sport seats, big wheels, Fender-branded audio system, and nice, ketchupy-red brake calipers.

I sort of like seeing the Super Beetle name brought back, since I've always felt the latest incarnation of the 'new' Beetle looks vaguely Super Beetle-inspired, with its wide-eyed front and large, curved windshield.

VW Of Canada Brings Back "Super Beetle" Name

And, for those of you wondering just what it was that made the original Super Beetle so damn super, here's the deal: front suspension. The Super Beetle, starting with the 1302 model in 1971, replaced the standard Bug's torsion tubes up front with a more modern McPherson strut front suspension setup, primarily for the goal of increasing the size of the trunk. And boy, did they. The Super's trunk was about twice the size of the old one, and may be the only car in history to be called "Super" based on trunk size.

As a nice aside, the handling became more "modern" with the McPherson setup, and many folks still consider Supers some of the best-handling Beetles, being very similar to 911/912s of the era.

In 1973, the Super Beetle really went all out and got a totally new curved windshield and a real dashboard. You could almost put things on top of the dash! Holy crap!

But by far the most super of all the Super Beetles were the rally-racing series of modified VWs produced by Porsche of Austria for rallying purposes. They beefed up everything and managed to squeeze 125 HP from the 1600cc Beetle engine, and made a very potent rally fighter that managed a pretty decent record. Those deserve their own post, so I'll save some details and just leave you with this great, oversteer-tastic video of the Salzburg Rally Beetles in action.