1974 Volkswagen Super Beetle is tougher, lusher, fancier and slower

It might not have been the panacea that VW needed to hypo it's sales charts, but the 1974 Super Beetle featured in this vintage Car and Track road test was undoubtedly an air-cooled Volkswagen. Even with a new suspension system and slight cosmetic changes, the 48 horsepower was, in the words of host Bud Lindemann, "noisy and not enough".


According to Lindemann "the Beetle's performance suffered badly with the advent of emissions controls" and the proof was plain to see in this vintage road test. From the atrocious acceleration (22 second 1/4 mile run) to the dangerously slow passing times, it was clear the '74 Super Beetle was very underpowered.

Anyone able to look past the Super Beetle's dismal straight line performance would find a car with good stopping ability that ran Car and Track's pylon course well while managing an honest 27 MPG. Still it seemed the negatives outweighed the positives. Lindemann believed it would be Volkswagen's newer models that would keep Volkswagen's hopes alive saying "the little ugly bug has had its day in the American sun"



This one seems to have enough power to tow a trailer. It's probably a good idea not to follow it up a hill.