What makes the Beetle run?
After the war, Mr. Porsche stayed true to his original concept of a simple, low-maintenance vehicle that working-class families could afford.
The designed mandated an air-cooled, horizontally-opposed four-cylinder engine mounted in the rear for easy repairs. The robust body rode on an equally robust suspension designed for durability, not lithe handling or speed.
Those who have ever driven Beetles, especially cars from the 1940s and 50s, know the cars to be glacially slow. Early cars had tiny four-cylinder engines (995 cc) that produced only 30 horsepower, equal to some modern riding lawnmowers. The simple suspension proved tough and smooth riding, but the swing axle rear design wasn't the most stable.